Wednesday, June 22, 2005

The Girlfriend Effect

O.K. You lady gamers talk amongst yourselves for a bit. This one is directed almost entirely at the men folk. You get the whole Game thing. This one is about ladies who don't.

There comes a time in a man's life where he starts to think about love. It may be in a hearts and flowers way. It may be a hentai tentacle rape sort of fashion. Different strokes for different folks I guess. The only problem is that it seems that having a girlfriend and being able to game regularly can sometimes be mutually exclusive things.

Is this always the case? No. Some times you luck out and find a girl who is either into gaming or at least understands the hobby and your love for it. Such women are as good as gold. They also understand that dating a gamer is a lot like dating a heterosexual transvestite, There is such gratitude at being understood.

Are the womenfolk always wrong to want to reign in the gaming? No. If you're gaming 5 nights a week, and your woman is not a gamer then you might be avoiding her for some reason and you might want to examine your relationship. You also might consider the fact that your woman might want to spend some time alone with JUST you.

But these situations are not the sort of situations that I'm talking about. I'm talking about a situation where the woman in your life has decided that you aren't going to game anymore and that is that.

Either she doesn't understand the hobby or it's appeal. Or she thinks it's childish and immature, or more likely, she just doesn't like your friends. Not to worry. There are some things you can do.

Role playing games have many parallels to other forms of basic entertainment. Putting the hobby into perspective for her might help. If she reads trashy romances try telling her that playing in a game is like getting lost in a novel. a novel that you and other people are writing. If you can relate it to something that she grooves on, perhaps you can ease her into the possibility of trying it out.

Do not however throw a dozen books at her and expect her to read them. Do not expect her to sit down and thrash a character. Do not expect her to sit still for a whole bunch of charts,tables, mechanics and mysterious acronyms. Do not expect her to leap in with you regular seasoned gamers and hold her own. (she'll be lost at sea from the tangents and the in-jokes.)

Take some time. Give her a grossly simplified sheet. Play with her alone. Allow her to get feet wet. Give her the most basic game concepts to play with and above all be PATIENT. Show her that there is a whole world to discover and she'll be hooked worse than you.

A Decent Hobby
Your woman may have decided that gaming is some goofy phase that you are going through. You'll settle out of that phase soon enough if properly motivated. (I.E. the sex is withheld.)

Gaming is a lot of things but immature it is not. Drinking and driving is immature. shooting heroin and smoking crack is immature. Fucking everything with two legs without a care in the world for the consequences is immature.Beating the shit out of your woman because you're drunk or have poor impulse control is immature. Gaming is incredibly fucking enlightened compared to that bullshit even if it does lead to such horrors as Ren-Faires.

The Yoko Effect
Gamers can be a snobby lot. We tend to remember old slights and elitism that was pointed at us and point it back at those that we feel we can get away with. We also tend to be an elitist bunch. (gaming does take a certain amount of native intelligence after all.) gamers can also be fairly insular, and they tend to look at new people with a certain amount of reserve if not outright hostility.

As such, you may be having problems with your woman because she flat doesn't like your friends. And maybe that's mutual. If so, keeping those two segregated is the best plan as long as you make it clear to both parties that you don't intend to give the other up. It also should be made clear that neither group should schedule things against the other side. (A good warning sign is when your woman keeps scheduling you to do things on a game night, claiming that she'd forgotten that you play that night.)

If possible, seek some sort of compromise between the two camps. Your woman may not dig your friends because she perceives them as grubby or foul mouthed or whatever. On the other hand, your friends might not dig your woman because they perceive her as a stuck up controlling bitch.A little public relations on both sides can work wonders. Clean the friends up and enjoin both sides to be polite and if it sticks, then maybe the problem is solved. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's never that simple, but sometimes you gotta be Switzerland.

You may have to choose between your woman and your friends. If you do, I feel for you. If your woman is intractable and your friends are being real shit heels about it. I recommend you choose neither. You might be better served to fake your own death, move away and start over.

My friend Jim, leans toward the side of taking your friends part in these sorts of things. Especially if all of them are of the opinion that she's pure concentrated evil. One friend you could maybe discount, All of them, is a big red warning flag. He also say that they are the ones more likely to stick with you. Maybe he's right. So far I haven't had to test it.

The Ripcord
Okay, you've been over the steps above. And nothing has come of it. Further, you may have divined that it's not about your friends. She just flat want you to give up gaming period.

Kick her to the curb.

Oh yeah. I know the siren song of regular sex is a hard one to resist, but any woman that wants you to give up something fun that isn't hurting anybody, well she just doing that to salve her ego. She wants you to give up your dreams for her personal convenience.

Forget the specious idea of earning "Points" with her. These mythical "Points" don't exist. They never have.

Sure you may make her happy by going to visit her mother on a game night but the next game night is going to roll around and she'll find some other thing for you to do. Either that or she'll pick a fight and then no matter what happens you won't have fun at the game. A woman like that, needs to be gone from you.

Sono Finito


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