Video games are more popular today than they have ever been in the past. The appeal of video games isn’t limited to one gender or age group either. People of all ages and genders enjoy spending time playing a wide variety of games using an equally wide variety of devices. This upswing in popularity shows no signs of slowing down. Because of this, many people have expressed concerns over the potential for playing video games to have a negative impact. One particular area of concern is the way that video games could negatively affect relationships.
There is certainly scientific and anecdotal evidence to support this. On the other hand, there is also some evidence that shows that playing video games can bring a couple closer together. Are you wondering how video games might be impacting your relationships? Here are a few pros and cons about video games and couples.
Pro: Video Games can Provide Couples with Needed Space
To maintain a healthy relationship, you and your significant other must have your own interests. If video gaming happens to be that interest for one or both of you, there is nothing automatically wrong with that. Playing video games as a hobby is no more detrimental to a relationship than playing golf or knitting. If it gives each member of a couple a bit of time to themselves, video gaming can definitely help a relationship. The only caveat to this is that both parties in the relationship should be permitted and encouraged to pursue solo interests.
Con: Video Games can Leave one-Half of a Couple Feeling Abandoned
When playing video games becomes more than an entertaining hobby, the result can be that one-half of a couple feels like a video gaming widow/widower. Any time somebody in a relationship feels as if video gaming or another hobby is more important to their partner than they are, the relationship is at serious risk. Too much time spent gaming can definitely harm a relationship.
Pro: Gaming Together can be a way for Couples to Connect
Video games don’t need to be a solo activity. Couples can play video games together as a means to spend more time with one another. Couples with a bit of a competitive streak can play games against one another. A second alternative is that couples can team up together to defeat video games or play online games with one another. Couples who participate in gaming together don’t simply spend more time with one another, they also communicate more. Gaming together in some instances is a way for somebody to express an interest in what their significant other does for enjoyment, and to participate in that activity with them. This always has a positive impact on relationships.
Con: Easily Influenced Players can Pick up Anti-Social Behaviors
The average person can spend a few hours playing video games that are highly competitive in nature or even violent, without exhibiting any negative behavior changes. Unfortunately, there are a few individuals who cannot do this. Instead, these folks become irritable, isolated, and in some instances aggressive. This can be more troublesome with male gamers who can be badly influenced by the extremely sexist subculture that permeates the world of online, multiplayer gaming. When these behaviors impact a relationship, the result can be permanent damage to a relationship. In extreme cases, verbal abuse and even relationship violence can occur.
Pro: Couples can use Video Games to get Fit Together
People who are more physically fit feel better about the way they look, and they have more energy. This combination is a key factor in having a great romantic life. How can video games contribute to physical fitness? Many modern video game consoles have interfaces that require movement, and support games that encourage physical activity. These games require that the people who play them dance, run, and simulate the movements required to box, hit a baseball, bowl, ski, or participate in other sports. This means that a couple can spend time with one another and improve other aspects of their relationships.
Con: Couples can Fall into a Pattern of Using Video Games as a Means to Avoid Real Issues
It takes a lot of focus and attention to play a video game. A gaming session that begins early in the evening may not end until it is time for a couple to go to sleep. This can mean hours of fun for a couple. It can also mean hours of time spent not working on the relationship, not hashing out problems, and avoiding difficult conversations. When this happens, problems that need to be dealt with fester and grow until they become a major issue in the relationship. Even worse, the relationship simply atrophies from neglect.