Video Game Addiction is the newest major cause for divorce.
Married couples are still trying to cope with abuse, infidelity, financial fights, and constant arguing which have always caused divorce. But now the impact of video gaming addiction is driving even more couples to divorce.
Constant texting, Facebook addiction and other internet distractions have been placing additional burdens on marital relationships, but video gaming addiction is the newest blow to maintaining a happy home. The newest victim is the Gamer Widow.
The uncontrollable attraction to video gaming and the single focus of a gamer on the game causes their spouse to feel she is second best, uninteresting, unwanted and not worth the gamer’s time or attention. Coupled with the fact that most games are online multiplayer games where players chat with each other using headsets – this can compound the feelings of “being left out” if the gamer is constantly seen laughing and cavorting with strangers from the internet. Different than the wild weekend football fan and the Wednesday night co-ed softball star, the gamer can always and constantly play. There is no end to the game. There is no “I’ll be back next week”. There is no off switch. The box is always there and is everywhere.
A gamer also has to focus. A gamer has to concentrate. A gamer has to win, and win again. Video game addiction leaves no room for a spouse. Any interruption can break the gamer’s focus, and cause them to lose a game they could have won. Players are ranked online, and any losses go on to affect their overall score. Especially troubling in the recent years of video game development, is the lack of “split-screen multiplayer”. In the past, gamers could play a game like Halo with three other friends in their living room. Now, game developers are abandoning the split-screen for seemingly no reason. One might suspect it is to make more money on online service subscriptions, or perhaps developers just want to make us isolated so we play their games more.
In just one year the number of spouses reporting their partner’s video gaming addiction as the cause of their divorce increased from 5% to 15%. One game, Fortnight, was reported as a major cause of increased divorce in Great Britain.
Video games used to be a fun distraction for most people, even a social event – back when video game arcades were a place you went to meet your friends. Now, video game’s are often enjoyed in dark basements, alone, with other lonely strangers.
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