One of the biggest cliches in video games is that if a gamer is in a relationship, that significant other is tolerant, rather than outright accepting, of a gamer’s favorite hobby.
While there are a lot of accessible games, such as Rock Band and LittleBigPlanet, cliches are cliches for a reason: there’s usually an underlying truth to them. Unlike movies, games are a much more time-consuming endeavor, and one that usually demands a lot of focus from the player. It’s not always conducive to interacting with people in your immediate vicinity.
Not to mention that the look of someone hunched over, leering at a screen, and precisely twitching their thumbs for several hours doesn’t exactly exude “sexy”. But I digress.
With that in mind, here are some games that you might want to be careful around if you plan on keeping your sweetie in the long run.
World of Warcraft
This far and away the most obvious entry on the list, so let’s just get it out of the way now.
It’s usually the go-to example when people start talking about video game addiction, and it’s also the centerpiece for one of the most talked-about episodes of South Park ever produced.
Despite the fact that the game can be run on just about any computer and surely has some rock-solid game mechanics, I refuse to play it. Its reputation is the core reason that the copy that Blizzard gifted me a while back sits uninstalled from my Battle.net games library. I’ve let a game sink its claws into me before, and I’d like to keep my soul if I can help it.
Call of Duty
While it’s not nearly as prolific as WoW is on the home-wrecking front, that doesn’t keep Call of Duty from trying. There’s no point in trying to single out any game in the franchise — they’re all capable of tearing lovers apart in the wrong hands.
I don’t personally play a lot of CoD, but it’s always fun to see my friend struggle with it every time we hang out at his place:
1) His girlfriend calls him to pick her up from work and he says he’ll be right over.
2) 30 minutes later and 2-3 matches later he gets a call back.
3) Yelling ensues.
EA might have marketed Dead Space 2 as the game your mom hates, but Call of Duty is quickly becoming the game that girlfriends hate. You know she fills with just a tiny bit more murderous rage every time your UAV goes online, right?
The Elder Scrolls
Of course, a game doesn’t have to be online to suck you in. The way that CoD consumes the multiplayer landscape when it drops every year, The Elder Scrolls does the same for single-player adventurers whenever a new entry comes out.
The most recent game to come out, Oblivion, was no joke. It goes without saying that the game was amazing, especially when we were just getting acclimated to the HD era of console gaming. That’s without even getting into the downright epic scope of the game — well over 100 hours played for many, many players.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is expected to drop on 11/11/11, so hopefully that’s enough time for you to research online dating sites for when TES shatters yet another one of your relationships.
Before Call of Duty came and took its thunder, Madden was the premier annual franchise here in the US. Whether you’re one of the people that looks forward to the game every year or not, there’s no denying the grip that the turducken-loving old coot has on the sports game industry.
And just like everything else on this list, it holds a special place in the hate-zone of your significant other’s heart. Take a guess at who doesn’t give a hairy rat’s ass that you just stomped Carl the Intern 56-21in your office league? Or that the Heisman-winning running back you imported from NCAA Football is killing it for your team in franchise mode?
On the plus side, the game comes out every year, so you two have either learned how to cope with it … or you’ve learned how to rebound come August.
Final Fantasy XI
Because no one wants to hang out with that guy that plays FFXI.
Yea, that’s right.
Don’t let the cute exterior fool you — there’s an extremely deep, nuanced game in there. Sure, it’s accessible enough for your 10-year-old nephew, but some of the hardest-of-core gamers out there devote their free time to catching ‘em all.
Don’t believe me about how crazy this shit gets? What if I told you that my dumb ass picked playing Pokemon Blue with my buddies over “hanging out” with a girl in her hotel room, alone, during an 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C.? MY BLASTOISE NEEDED VENGEANCE.
Needless to say, I got made fun of a lot going into high school. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go preorder White to ensure me some exclusive Pokemon.
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