Is Gaming as Bad as Cheating?
Some compare video game addiction to infidelity.
We all have our vices, and when you hear that cliché, you typically think of someone's penchant for alcohol, their soft spot for gambling, or something equally addictive that causes one to lose control. But for millions of people, that vice is gaming, and some believe the addiction may even be detrimental to relationships.
A Harris Interactive Poll released in 2007 showed that 8.5 percent of youth in the United States are addicted to video games. While the statistics aren't out on adult video game addiction, I think it's safe to assume it's not just restricted to kids. Overall, people spend three billion hours a week gaming.
It seems like an innocent enough hobby, but renowned therapist Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil believes gaming can be dangerous to relationships.
"Anytime someone spends more time with something or someone else than with their loved one, that's an affair," Dr. Bonnie said in a statement. "In this sense, gaming can be an affair—it can take the place of love and romance."
I'm not sure about the spending more time argument, just because that would mean we're all cheating on our spouses with work, but Dr. Bonnie says the idea behind addictive gaming is escapism.
"This escapism can easily take the form of a video game; the alternate worlds and experiences lend themselves to thrill-seeking behavior. The problem is that it's a vicious cycle."
She encourages people not to sacrifice their personal relationships for a hobby. Her solution? Couples need to have more fun together—exercise together, have sex more instead of gaming, and cuddle. According to the statement, these things apparently cause the same adrenaline release people get from gaming. I, for one, can't wait for Playstation to release Xtreme Cuddling.
On a related note, one study found that people who cheat in gaming might be more likely to cheat in a relationship. Earlier this year, North Dakota State University polled over 1,200 adults in the US and UK and found that about half of those who admitted to cheating in a game admitted to cheating in a relationship, too. They also found that cheating in gaming can result in being 3.5 times more likely to cheat at everyday things in the real world.
“It’s not surprising that online cheating parallels real-world cheating, even if people are just experimenting with the possibilities,” said Dr. Mia Consalvo of Concordia University.
But as one commenter put it:
"They make it sound as if the in game cheating leads to real life cheating. The most likely scenario is that these people were already cheaters, and the in game cheating comes easy to them because they're used to it."
Back to the addiction issue. For adults, some signs of video game addiction include neglecting to eat, sleep or bathe; calling in sick to stay home and play games; and lying about video game use.
"The key to avoiding such destructive behavior is communication," Dr. Bonnie says. She also advises couples to set boundaries with the gaming.
Not to say that I don't think gaming can cause issues in relationships, but I think I'd be a bit more hurt if my spouse cheated than if he took up a video gaming hobby. What do you think—have you argued with your spouse about gaming? Can gaming "be an affair"?
Photo: Jamie Grill/Getty Images
More on love & sex from MSN Living:
Do we ban books, TV, art just because we enjoy a little/ lot of time with these mediums of escapism?
Yes there will always be those who do become addicted to things, But it's not fair to single out games. How about you write an article on addictive personalities instead of fear mongering and gossip.
love: friendships, dating, sex & marriage
Revealr is a new iPhone app that allows those looking for love to hear their possible matches before they see them.
A new poll reveals 59 percent of the country supports same-sex marriage.
Celebrity engagements are so much fun to follow because every detail is bound to be over-the-top — from the proposal (like when Kanye rented out an entire stadium to propose to Kim) to the huge, sparkly engagement ring and, of course, the wedding. Plus, as trendsetters, celebs can be a source of inspiration even if you can't afford a million dollar ring. Here are our celebrity wedding predictions for 2014.
If you’ve ever been to a club—like, ever, even once—you are not going to be shocked to hear that women get a lot of unwanted, aggressive attention. But when you read the findings of this study on how often and why it happens, it might make you feel downright sick to your stomach.
Hopeless romantics and cringe-worthy chick flicks would tell you that it doesn’t matter what you do on the date, as long as you’re together. But they’re wrong. Dead wrong. Women use your date ideas to size you up, says matchmaker Rachel DeAlto, author of "Flirt Fearlessly." “You absolutely will be judged based on the date you plan. There are so many subconscious impressions that we take in while dating.” Gulp. Here are 10 terrible ideas that can land you on the no-lay list—and simple swaps to keep her happy. By K. Aleisha Fetters
No matter your current relationship status or past relationship fails, get a fresh start this month, with these tips for spring cleaning your love life.
Forget the rules you've always heard—it's time to start making your own.
Are you in an affair without knowing it? Unless you’re a swinger, having sex with someone else counts as cheating. But then there’s the fuzzy area between friendship and infidelity—and chances are, your girlfriend sees those shades of gray as more black and white than you do. “Men aren’t as attuned to identifying ambiguous behaviors as cheating as women are,” says Daniel Kruger, Ph.D., a University of Michigan psychologist, who’s studied gender differences in definitions of infidelity. In other words, what you consider totally innocent could be her deal breaker.
We spoke with relationship therapist Rachel A. Sussman, author of "The Breakup Bible," for her tips on how regular girls can survive a split like an A-lister.
A researcher from Texas Tech University has found that people who use the same kind of "function words" are more likely to get together.
Check out these five celebrity stunners.
And by weird, we really mean friggin' awesome.