According to research conducted by Divorce Online, men obsessively playing video games is cited as a reason for divorce in 15% of marriages, and 8% of marriages end due to video game addiction. These negative statistics only show one side of the story however. Video games can actually bring a couple closer together, helping them to communicate and find common ground. It’s a great way to spend free time together, having fun and relaxing. You can also learn more about each other’s interests. Playing video games at home definitely isn’t all bad – it is really inclusive and is an immersive hobby that can not only be enjoyed as a couple, but could also strengthen your relationship.
Finding common ground
Opposites may sometimes attract, but research done by Facebook found that couples that have interests in common are less likely to break up. Enjoying gaming together can be one of those interests. Another study done by the National Bureau of Economic Research Found that couples who are also best friends showed increased levels of happiness. If you are in a new relationship, or even a rebound relationship, it helps to find common interests to bond. You might be looking to start a rebound relationship to get over an ex, but if you actually look for some common ground, you could get past that honeymoon stage of attraction and find something deeper. This is definitely a great reason to sit down and play a little Cuphead together.
Gaming can improve communication
Rather than driving you apart, playing video games can actually bring you closer together, improving your communication skills. Cooperative games, such as Unravel 2, are particularly good for this, as you work together to achieve a shared goal. You’re not only playing and manipulating your characters at the same time, you need to talk to one another whilst you’re playing to discuss your strategies and tactics. These skills are easily transferable into everyday life. You can take what you’ve learned from playing Overcooked and get into the kitchen together. Just make sure that you serve everyone quick enough and try not to burn the rice.
Social connections and memories
It is a common misconception that video games are anti-social, yet what many people don’t realise is that in playing video games, we are making social connections both in person and online with friends. By playing games together as a couple, it means that you are both forging the same social connections together. You will have the same network of friends in common too. Gaming together also helps you to make memories that you can share over the years. It may be that you’ve flown the Everspace together, and become Astroneers. You may have sobbed together playing The Last Of Us, but those memories are as important and valid as “real life” ones and can help cement your relationship.
Playing video games doesn’t have to have a negative effect on a relationship. Gaming can help you find common ground, build on your communication skills and simply be great fun.