I’ve been a gamer far longer than I’ve been a boyfriend.
I’d like to say I’m equally good at both, but truthfully I’m probably a better gamer than partner.
I don’t think my partner fully realised the extent of my obsession until it was too late. Like any addict I covered it up, hidden beneath the surface knowing in some way it would be a sticking point if it was revealed.
My partner is a non gamer. Sometimes she falls in the ‘casual gamer’ category but it usually only goes as far as getting briefly addicted to Plants vs Zombies, Candy Crush or Angry Birds. I will add one exemption to this rule. For some reason she is phenomenally good at Mariokart 64, this will forever baffle me. It could also be that I’m phenomenally bad at Mariokart and just not willing to admit it, but I’d never admit that.
On occasion (all the time) I have prioritised video games over chores. I am now the master of cleaning between death matches. As the game loads I will wash some dishes, when I hear the start tone I madly run to the controller. The jobs still get done, eventually.
My partner has always had to relinquish storage space to exorbitant sized laptops and desktops, numerous consoles and stacks of video games. I distinctly remember her coming home to see my latest desktop computer and inquiring if it was a heater. We haven’t lived in a house where the TV and Xbox weren’t given pride of place, pushing her crafty fabrics and lentils out of the way to make space for the collection I have amassed.
The common discussion after I purchase a new game is “surely you don’t need any more games?” I have no rebuttal to this, as this is more than likely a fair point. Usually I’ll respond with “surely you don’t need any more clothes or shoes?” Stale mate.
She puts up with my bizarre references to video games she has never played and would never dream of playing. I have, on several occasions told her “the cake is a lie” or asked her “would you kindly?” only to be met with a blank stare. Trying to understand either of those references out of context is near impossible. “So, there is this super computer A.I called GlaDos and she tries to kill you during experiments but you have a gun that can fire portals that is like a teleportation device and she makes you do all these experiments for cake, but there is no cake...” Yep I definitely sound stupid.
Often I will tell her about a concept of a videogame, the fundamental story or game play that sets it apart. I know she tries her hardest to stay with it but let’s be fair, games have some pretty bizarre concepts. Mass Effect more colloquially became called “the game where you talk lots”. Which is actually a pretty fair summation of that game when I think about it.
At the end of it all I think my partner understands. Through all the years I’d like to think I’ve found a happy medium. Everybody has to have a passion and the few gamers who read this article will understand.
For all my weird behaviour, obscure quotes, library of games, numerous gaming consoles, excessively big computers and meaningless information, she still loves me.