"Love and marriage, love and marriage... they go together like a horse and carriage. This I tell ya, brother, you can't have one without the other..." Ah, Married With Children's opening theme song indeed tells a true tale. If you are in love with someone truly and plan to spend your life with them, chances are you're going to have to buy that rock. However, the song fails to talk about the relationship between gaming and marriage. In certain situations, games can interfere with marriage.
Can marriage and gaming coexist? Hit the jump to see an engaged man's point of view.
Marriage is by far one of the craziest things out there. The sheer planning and time it takes to even get to the church and say "I do" is ridiculous. But without a doubt, it is worth it. But here's where things get a little sticky... clashing ideas or beliefs on gaming. Gamers of the utmost hardcore variety may find it difficult to compromise with their mate about their
hobby lifestyle. When you're married, there's a lot more on your plate than before, and sometimes you don't get as much time to sit down and grind out those extra few levels. Perhaps you've been working hard all week at your job, and your day(s) off have finally come. You're thinking "I'm going to sit down this weekend, and play my entire NES collection, back-to-back." But your mate has other plans, or perhaps even an entire "Honey-Do list" compiled for reference. Guess that rockin' NES retro-thon has got to wait until next week, huh? Sometimes, that's how it is.
So will it be "GAME OVER" if you take the plunge? Not neccesarily. Throughout my relationship, I achieved a male gamer's dream; I actually got my future-wife into gaming... somewhat. For the record, Animal Crossing is a hell of a drug. When I was dating the love of my life, she bought me a GameCube for Christmas one year. I stumbled upon Animal Crossing and thought to myself "Hm... maybe she'd like this?" I brought it over to her house, hooked it up, showed her how to play and the rest is history. Since then, she has beaten Eternal Darkness, The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker, and more. Basically what I'm trying to say is, if you are a gamer currently in a relationship or perhaps looking to get into one, even if your other half doesn't play games, there is still hope!
Perhaps that is the true key to keeping both your married-side and gamer-side happy. Get your mate involved or introduce them to gaming slowly. Don't be an absolute idiot and shove the controller in their hand and say "Here, beat Ikaruga on Hard for me." Start off slow with Animal Crossing, Tetris, Nintendogs, Viva Piñata, and the like. Or if you want to start old-school, try Bubble Bobble, Ms. Pac-Man, or even Super Mario Bros.
The main point I'm trying to make here is that a lot of future conflict can be avoided if two things are done. The first is attempting to get your other half into gaming so that they will understand a little more about why you enjoy playing games so much. The second is to control your hobby and know what your true priorities are. Trust me, the denizens of Azeroth can be saved by a thirteen-year old without a job better than a married person with a family to care for.
Games are a wonderful form of entertainment. Marriage is an ever-lasting form of love. Both can coexist peacefully or even thrive together if the conditions are just right. As for me, my loving better half has promised me that I will have my own "game room" in the future to call my own. Needless to say, I am looking forward to moving into my game room no bigger than a closet, sitting on my five dollar chair I picked up at the local thrift shop, abd playing my old NES on a 13 inch TV. Just kidding, of course. I love her dearly and I know she'll always be my P2. (Man, is that romantic, or dorky?)
Well wishes from everyone here at Destructoid to those of you out there who are married (Lark Ohiya, we're talking to you), or are getting married.