People have been playing video games for centuries (ish) for fun, friendly competition, and as a cure for boredom. (I am sure there are other reasons, but since I wasn’t even allowed to have a Gameboy when I was little, I am incredibly unamused/unknowledgable about video games.) But they didn’t know they were also learning important lessons and skills about marriage, I bet.

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Even though I don’t like video games, this piece on Kotaku directly comparing video games and marriage is interesting, and it makes me want to go out and get a controller and console. (Those are video game words.) In the piece, he discusses Fable, Skyrim and The Simes (the one I’ve heard of!) — games that test the waters (the first two using swords, the second engaging in real-life situations).

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Broadly speaking, there are two main reasons we do anything in narrative games (as opposed to games that are primarily about mastering a specific skill, or raking up a score). One is to realize some kind of in-game benefit for the characters we play: we want to receive an item, to remove a threat, to gain experience points, or to take some kind of action that will result in some kind of reward. The other, though, is much more, well, human: we do stuff just to see what happens. We explore to see what we can find, we undertake quests just to find out more about their stories, and we talk to NPCs just to find out what they’re like.

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So what I’m saying is, when your boyfriend spends the entire day playing video games instead of massaging you with oils and rubbing you feet and feeding you chocolates, THANK HIM. He’s just thinking about how much he loves you.


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