Many years ago, when Megalodons walked the earth and I was in the key 13-year-old nerd demographic, our video games were 8-bit simple. You had big red shapes shooting tiny white squares at big blue shapes. Or pixelated Indiana Jones rip-offs jumping on the heads of crocodiles to … fetch gold and silver? Meet enormous scorpions? I don’t remember, but unlike the games of today, which can be “finished” or “beaten,” my childhood Atari 2600 games went on until your little avatars died.
Or went blind from eyestrain.
Now, however, video games look realistic, involve A.I. that would put 2001’s HAL to shame, and can be “solved,” “beaten,” or whatever else you call it when you have finished the narrative of the game. (Also, today’s video games have narratives.)
There could be games involving WhatsYourPrice.com-type virtual hookups; there may already be games in which you time travel using your family’s old home movies; and there could even someday be a game in which you steal cars, listen to a 6-hour radio stream on the cars’ radios, or even bang hookers in the back seat.
The InvisiCar is not recommended for hooker-banging.
In theory, this is awesome, of course. Who wouldn’t want an immersive video game, especially a completely immersive one with headphones and microphones you can play in real time against other remote human players? Games where you can lose hours and hours in this fantasy land?
Who wouldn’t? How about Sugar Babies, girlfriends, wives, and small children? They see Daddy/daddy mentally absent from the time he gets home from work to the time he falls asleep on the couch, then wakes up in time to get a few more hours in before work. In extreme (but by no means unusual) cases, he loses or never gets one of these “jobs” his significant other is always on about and just plays video games pretty much all day, pretty much every day.
The question for these ladies becomes “How do I get my gentleman back from the land of Los Santos or Hyrule or New Vegas or wherever? The garbage is piling up and my vibrator battery budget is gone just five days into the month.” Fortunately, there are a few ways in which you can overcome the tyranny of the game console and bring your boyfriend, husband, or random-hookup-who-won’t-leave back into his life here in the meatworld.
Irony, thy name is “pew! pew!”
This, admittedly, is the “going nuclear” option of ending the video game madness. He might break up with you because you just killed all of his friends. He might leave you and the children to live in a motel with his new PS4. In either of these cases, you have ripped the Band-Aid off quickly, even fatally. You’re alone now, but is that what you wanted? (Also, he might not leave, but instead just buy a new game console with that money put aside for the car repairs or engagement ring. Awkwaaard.)
This may sound a little like treating your man like a little kid, but don’t forget that men are essentially little kids. As in you’re trying to get him to stop playing freaking video games all day. There are many good timers and such that will shut the console down after an hour or however long he can remain in the World of Warcraft before you want him back in the World of, y’know, the actual world.
Limiting his video game time let Timmy discover fun new activities.
What, you can’t put on a Zelda costume every now and then to help your relationship? Let him see what happens after he saves the princess (spoiler alert: it’s sex). Maybe have a male friend join in and they put on fake moustaches, take ’shrooms, jump over your pet tortoise, then see what happens after they save the princess (again, it’s sex). Get him an Assassin’s Creed hoodie and let him murder some people you invited over to a “tricornered hat party.” In other words, have fun with your man.
There may be some resistance at first.
And by “extra lives,” I mean, “Lives where you don’t have to watch a man-boy rot his brain during what should be your quality relationship time.”