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He’s got game — video games, that is

Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2010 in Aging, dating, Happiness, Men, Relationships, teens/teenagers, Women

I was a little lost looking up and down the aisles of Best Buy, trying to find the new PSP3 video game title The Kid asked me to pick up for him.

But as it turned out, my aging eyesight wasn’t being put to the test as much my ears. Nearby, I could hear a few guys discussing the pros and cons of various video games. I thought they were middle-aged dads talking about their teens’ gaming skills, until I gave them a good look — they were late-20- to early-30-somethings, max, too young to have kids indulging in the joys of the latest Grand Theft Auto.

I returned to my search, but I couldn’t help but think, “Dudes, aren’t you a little too old to be playing video games?”  

And then I thought of The Kid, who kills more than his share of hours in front of FIFA
Soccer 11
or the latest MLB or Madden title, and all of a sudden I had a freak-out moment — is he going to be a gamer past his teens? He wouldn’t be the only one. And, if I were dating someone like him — or the late-20- to early-30-somethings at Best Buy — how would I feel about it?

Would I want to be dating a gamer?

No. Well, I don’t think so, but I realize it’s not fair to say that; I’m not a late-20- to early-30-something woman who’s grown up with video games and all the other techno stuff we can’t seem to live without. Maybe it’s no big deal. Honestly — how different is it than blobbing out in front of the TV, which I did grow up with (although barely watch anymore). We Trekkies turned out OK, right? And, my boomer friends and I still play board games — Scrabble, anyone?

And yet, there’s something about guys sitting around for hours on end killing people or even just kicking soccer balls around  that makes me pause; it seems childish, like guys are suspended in adolescence (not quite a child, not quite a man but a child-man).

Now, I love it when a guy is in touch with his boyish side, but I mean the playful, imaginative, dreamer side — not the boyish side usually portrayed in the clueless T&A-obsessed beer-soused frat boy flicks, the kind that thinks hours of Final Fantasy with a Halo– keg and pizza chaser is a good use of time. But I wouldn’t be dating those kinds of guys, anyway.

I don’t think video game playing is a threat to society — if I did, I wouldn’t let The Kid play them (although at this point, it would be one helluva battle to get him to stop!) I think checking your cellphone or Facebook constantly may be more threatening — certainly to relationships, and that happens a lot more with both genders and among all ages.

I would have no problem learning how to play FIFA Soccer 11 or whatever if it brought my kid and me together although I haven’t volunteered to learn nor has he asked; might be weird to bitch-slap Mortal Kombat‘s Bo Rai Cho with your Mom by your side.

Would I want to do that to be closer to my partner? Uh …

  • How do you feel about guys playing video games?
  • Is there an age when guys should stop?
  • Is it any better/worse than TV watching?
  • Do you kids play them, and do you place limits on time/violent titles?

Bring on the comments

  1. jim
    Twitter: mobilene

    Sure, my kids play them. I veto any title that makes me nervous, and they understand that. My older son would rather play video games than eat or sleep — that is a problem.

  2. The Observer says:

    My two sons were allowed some video game time as long as they did homework and were making grades in school. Games rated a lot less violent than today. GTA is clearly not a game I’d allow them, today. OK, they Played Duke Nukem but that was the limit. They favored Mario, Zelda, SIM City, etc. anyway. Their friends always seemed to be into the more violent games. Most of that pre-teen and teen angst was worked out on the baseball or soccer fields or swim team. Support your local sports activities! TV was likewise limited. Cheers, T.O.

  3. Steve says:

    I feel like you Kat. I’ve met women into gaming and my first thought was “life is short and that is the best way you can find to spend your time?”.

    Gaming may not be any different than blobbing out in front of a TV, but if anyone does either for a LOT of time people aren’t going to want to date them.

  4. dadshouse
    Twitter: dadshouseblog

    Guys over 30 playing video games don’t sound interesting to me.

    And I don’t let my kids play video games. I’d rather they kick a ball, or read a book, or create something artistic.

  5. RT @KatWilder: Would you date a #gamer?

  6. Ross Felix says:

    Interesting post. RT @KatWilder: Would you date a #gamer?

  7. KC says:

    OK, got to jump in here… I’m OLD ! I do a LOT of things that don’t include sitting in front of a TV. That includes spending every Sunday on the couch watching Football. Talk about a waste of time!! BUT, I like playing video games with my boys. Some of the graphics are really amazing. We laugh, kid, we tease each other. We challenge, I lose almost all the time but I don’t back down from a challenge… I think gaming is fun, My youngest son has to read about some of the games he plays so he’s “READING”
    Don’t get me wrong, we find plenty to do outside of the house, but sitting around on a rainy day, eating popcorn, staying warm by the fire and playing Madden ’10 is no worse than sitting by a fire, eating popcorn, staying warm and watching a movie…

    Go Giants!

  8. Henway says:

    I think kids shouldn’t ever start playing video games in the first place – it’s a tremendous waste of time. We all need leisure of course, but there’s so many other positive ways to spend our free time from reading, socializing, sports, learning how to play music, etc. Video games are a crutch, and the stigma with playing video games if you’re old is well-deserved.

  9. BigLittleWolf
    Twitter: BigLittleWolf

    This post is a crack up! I never thought about this.

    Even in my boy household, which certainly has had its share of video game action, it’s taken a back seat to other sorts of games, often on the computer, and equally often involving conversation and music. Yes, loud music.

    Date a gamer? I can’t even imagine it. Date a guy who enjoys games and will sit with kids and play them now and then? Another matter.

  10. brian says:

    you need to provide some alternative video entertainment
    like maybe a tastefully done porn video to share together
    break his game habit
    and there is a much happier ending

  11. weetos says:

    majority of late twenties – early thirties women have their own toys to get fun from, so why cant we have ours?

  12. Kat Wilder says:

    Jim — that is a problem! Starvation by gaming — not pretty!

    TO — My kid is very active, so he’s no PSP3 blob. Still … as an adult?

    Steve — Yeah, maybe it’s a date thing. But, once you get married, that’s what most couples do anyway. Sad …

    Dads — “Guys over 30 playing video games don’t sound interesting to me.” Good thing you’re not dating a guy!

  13. Honey
    Twitter: honeyandlance

    Jake probably spends 10+ hours a week playing Call of Duty online, often more. I am not thrilled (mostly because we only have 1 TV), but it’s cost-effective, keeps him home (rather than out spending money we can’t afford right now), and we have learned to compromise so we can both get what we want out of the TV.

  14. The Observer says:

    Follow up: yeah, adults, of course being adults, have a broader range of, er recreational experiences open to them. Perhaps someone can combine Woody Allen’s Orgasmatron and 3D video game technology for some more fulfilling electronic recreation. Don’t laugh, the Japanese are probably half-way there already. ttfn, T.O.

  15. Chopper Papa
    Twitter: chopperpapa

    I had my days of playing video games and they ended before I was 30, hence why I was able to score dates and subsequently what would eventually be an ex wife.

    There comes a point when its time to put the controller down…

  16. Kat Wilder says:

    KC — Making your kid read the instuctions/reviews? Sneaky!

    Henway — I’d pretty much guess if you’re a teenaged boy nowadays and don’t play video games, you’re an outcast.

    BLW — Good distinction between gamer and one who’ll play with the kids. And, yes. boys in house = noise and action!

    Brian — couldn’t agree more. Porn is always a good activity for a couple …

    Honey — given his crazy work life, I’d say he needs some sort of release — besides, uh, you know, that release, which I know you take care of 😉

    Weetos — Actually, women of all ages enjoy those sorts of toys …

    TO — I think I remember reading about a robot being designed just for sex. Of course, it’s a female …

    Chopper Papa — Hmm, so if you kept playing you would have avoided divorce. But, you’d be dateless. Life is full of tough choices, eh?

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