There’s a new breed of women these days that didn’t exist when I was growing up. We’re the gamer’s wives, women married to men who spend countless hours playing video or online games. Most gamer’s wives are younger than I am. Some, like our daughter Melaina, married their husbands knowing that they would be sharing them with their games. A few even play the games themselves.
Richard used to make disparaging remarks about men who wasted hours on end playing games. Then he joined their ranks. Most men get hooked on MMORPGs, massively multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft, but Richard’s game of choice is Farmville, a social networking game favoured by women in their forties! When he started playing 20 months ago, I wasn’t surprised that it quickly consumed him. That’s the kind of person he is. When he gets into something, he’s in 110%. I am surprised, however, that it’s lasted this long. I guess that’s because I just don’t see the game’s appeal. From what I’ve observed, it looks about as engaging as watching paint dry or grass grow!
I’m glad this latest obsession of Richard’s didn’t start until after our kids were grown. The dad they grew up with started every morning reading his Bible. Now, he turns on his computer the minute he crawls out of bed and spends an hour exchanging virtual gifts with total strangers before breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that he neglects his spiritual life but it does irk me that he who claimed for many years that first thing in the morning was the best time for personal devotions, now gives that time to Farmville!
Richard doesn’t like me using words like obsession or addiction to describe his passion for Farmville but I don’t know how else to describe it and there are certainly plenty of self-described Farmville addicts out there who don’t play anymore than he does. Richard has offered to quit playing because he knows it bugs me but most of the time, I don’t actually object to him playing the game. After all, it’s pretty harmless and there are a lot worse things he could be doing but I do object to the nine or ten hour days when he only emerges from the computer room when he’s called to the table for a meal. The blogger who calls herself the gamer’s wife, who is also a certified counsellor, agrees that this is unacceptable. Fortunately, there aren’t too many days like that at our house.
I also object to the fact that when he’s absorbed in his game, he’s oblivious to whatever else might be going on. When I go into his ‘cave’ to tell him something that I think is interesting or important, I’m often met with silence or a blank look that tells me that he hasn’t heard a word I said. He didn’t even respond when I mentioned that a growing issue in divorce and estate settlements is who gets the deceased person’s online assets. I think he already knew that I’d have absolutely no interest in inheriting his pink cows!
At first, I also resented the fact that our schedule had to accommodate him being home at the right time to harvest his virtual crops. I didn’t think that that was part of our retirement plan! Apparently, either he’s much better at planning these days or that isn’t as big a part of the game anymore as we haven’t had to come home on time to harvest in a long time. I suspect it’s the latter as I know that the game has grown to include much more than simply planting and harvesting. I noticed this morning, that he even has what appears to be a marina and a lighthouse now. They sure don’t have those on the real farms around here! I’m also thinking that it’s too bad that I can’t visit his ‘farm’. I’m pretty sure it also has a spa and after spending so many hours on an actual combine over the past several days, I could sure use a deep muscle massage!
Oh well, out on the real farm Richard finished swathing today but I have many days of combining left. Now he’ll have plenty of time to overdose on Farmville while I’m not here to be bothered by it!