Are Gamers at a Higher Risk of Divorce?

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There are a lot of stereotypes surrounding gamers and video game culture. Some of them have some merit, while others are probably a little far fetched. Gamers can be referred to as lazy, “nerdy,” or even obsessed with the video games they play on a regular basis.

But, could video games really contribute to the downfall of a marriage? What is it about seemingly harmless video games that could ruin a relationship? Let’s take a closer look.

Who Is at a Greater Risk for Divorce?

It’s hard to pinpoint why certain groups of people seem to get divorced more than others. One study by the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that money often has a lot to do with it. Couples with higher-paying professions tend to stay together. People with lower-paying jobs or those who are unemployed are at a greater risk of splitting up. This is reflective of the toll that financial strain can have on a marriage.

While it’s not necessarily fair to associate gamers with people who don’t have high-paying jobs, a spouse might see someone who plays games all the time as “lazy” or not willing to go out and get a better job, which can boost that risk factor. Gaming can also be an expensive hobby, no matter the gaming system of choice.

Money isn’t the only problem, though. Gamers face a couple more complex issues when it comes to their beloved hobby and their relationships. 

Video games often take a lot of time and attention, and video game addiction is one of the most common addictive behaviors. Getting addicted to gaming is easy, and that can cause the person involved to isolate themselves and feel anxious when they’re not playing. For a married gamer who could be spending more time on their spouse or might not be enjoying that quality time as much as they could, that can create a lot of turmoil. A study from Brigham Young University found that most spouses who are married to gamers wish they would put as much effort and energy into their marriages.

Video games can also cause other problems, including physical ailments and conditions. The hobby is often criticized for contributing to the 36% of obese adults in the country. Because video games are especially popular with kids and young adults, they are similarly seen as a contributing factor towards the 12.5 million children considered obese in the U.S. When someone is glued to a screen for hours at a time, especially if they’re addicted, they likely aren’t getting the exercise and physical activity they need. An addiction to video games absolutely puts you at a higher risk of divorce if you’re ignoring your marriage and not taking care of your physical and emotional health the way you should.

Are There Any Positives to Playing Video Games?

There are plenty of “pros” to being a gamer — if you do it the right way. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean talking to your friends on Fortnite until two in the morning every night. If you love the world of gaming and don’t want to give it up, find different ways to make it more productive for you and your marriage.

When it comes to “getting physical,” not all video games require sitting on the couch with a bowl of your favorite salty snack. Some games, like Just Dance or Kinect Sports, are designed to get you up and moving while you game. It’s a great way to stay active, especially if you find other physical activities time-consuming and un-motivational. Video games can do more than get your body in shape, too. Educational video games are being used to help students with visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning styles. They’re designed to boost critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while helping kids to learn more about how to make decisions. They even help kids learn what it’s like to lose.

Finally, the video game industry is actually doing some good for the world at large. Most recently, a game called “Change: A Homeless Survival Experience” has taken on the popular genre of role-playing games to show what it’s like to be living on the streets. This gives gamers a real window into the harshness of homelessness. Other gaming companies have given back to charities that help the homeless population. The industry itself is so much more than the image of a lazy teenager on his parents’ couch, playing games for hours on end. It’s important to start realizing that, so the stigma many people have about gamers begins to change.

How to Lower Your Risk of Divorce As a Gamer

If you’re an avid gamer, you don’t have to give up your passion to keep your marriage alive. There are a just few things to keep in mind to balance your relationship with your gaming habit. Do you spend more time gaming than you do with your spouse? Does it change the way you actually treat your spouse? If so, it’s time to make a change.

The changes you make don’t have to be extreme or overwhelming. Set a timer for yourself when you start to play, and stop playing when it goes off. Maybe use that extra time afterward to go on a date with your spouse. You can also invite your spouse to play along with you. Even if they’re not a gamer, chances are they’ll appreciate the fact that you want to let them in on that important part of your life.

However, the most important thing you can do is to make sure you’re living in the real world, and not a virtual one. If you’re not spending as much time and effort on your marriage as you do on your games, you could be putting your relationship at risk.

According to Kotaku, a survey by Goo Rankings (the link is in Japanese, but hey, go for it) playing video games in excess is the 4th leading reason for women to divorce their husbands in Japan. So, basically, what this tells me is that all those hours that I spent developing valuable hand eye coordination skills in an effort to make myself a fingerbang jedi means absolutely nothing!

In all seriousness, saying that excessive gaming leads to divorce is a bit broad. I’m sure there are certain video game things that, in and of themselves, lead to divorce more than docile, stand alone gaming. Perhaps avatar adultery, excessive masturbation to Lara Croft… or Kratos (he’s beautiful, don’t judge me!), and strategic DualShock controller placement while repeatedly firing off a machine gun in Call of Duty should have their own ranking.

Speaking of the rankings, according to the English language breakdown of the study, which polled 721 Japanese women of varying ages, the top 3 reasons for leaving ones husband are adultery, spending too much money, and having a drinking problem. Surprisingly, having pixelated genitalia did not rank.

Sources: KotakuGoo Rankings, What Japan Thinks

Finally, the blessed day is almost upon us!

Tomorrow morning (bloody early in eastern time), the wedding will take place between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Is anyone else as sick about the constant coverage surrounding it as I am?

You would think that nothing else is happening on this whole planet besides two people getting married!

Yes, they are part of the British royal family, and he is in line to become King of England, and yes she is a “commoner” … but really? REALLY?

I will be happy when the whole thing is over and done with, and the news media can finally begin reporting on stuff that actually matters.

Or, at least that was my opinion until I found out how the couple met!

Neill Cameron, the artist who brought us the A-Z of Awesomeness, decided to shed his veil of secrecy and bestow upon us  the awesome and 100% true story of just how they met.

Behold the action, adventure, romance and dinosaurs (yes, DINOSAURS) in the comic below! Persoanlly, I may have to tune into the wedding just to see how the whole thing goes down, thank to this new evidence.

Check out the cool comic below!