A group of researchers has produced some timely Valentine’s Day advice – playing online computer games could soon have a divorce lawyer on your case. That is unless you can persuade your partner to get in on the action with you.
Some say that a bit of role play can spice up a marriage, however this does not seem to cover assuming the identity of a level 12 dwarven warrior mage.
That is the conclusion of research into the adverse effects of playing RPG games such as World of Warcraft anyway, which has taken place at Brigham Young University.
Researchers claim that 75 percent of those married to an online RPG game player would rather their other half spent less time slaying goblins in a world populated by the avatars of American teens, and more time cultivating a state of domestic bliss.
The study involving 349 couples, came to the not too surprising conclusion that in many cases husbands – and it was predominantly men playing RPGs – can seriously annoy their wives, creating a “negative impact” on marital relations.
Not surprisingly, with blokes intent on playing games into the wee hours of the morning, this often sparked arguments with their other half. This could lead to “less time spent together in shared activities and less serious conversation” and other such symptoms of a normal dysfunctional married life.
One married game player admitted to TechEye that he would be on the receiving end of a bollocking from his missus from time to time. “Sometimes I get told off as it means I spend less time with kids, and it annoys her massively. Every now and again she will have a go at me as I am spending less time with the kids.”
Another said that online RPG playing causes problems with his partner “only to the extent that she thinks I am ignorant and hard to talk to while playing”.
There were however some more unexpected findings than men avoiding their wives. The study found that there are many women who will join their husbands for a bout of elf-bashing, and this can apparently lead to greater happiness in their marriage.
Of those that played online RPGs together 76 percent found that it had a “positive effect” on their marriage, with fighting hordes of undead seemingly preferable to a trip to Ikea.
However the team pointed out that levels of marital satisfaction do not increase if you continual cajole you spouse into a marathon Morrowind session, with mutual interest in participation key.