As part of a new Gaming with Spouses series for the GameCritics.com podcast, I thought it would be interesting to pose the following question to to several of my women friends: "If on a first date, a guy reveals that he's a "gamer" (meaning he plays a lot of video games), is this a good or bad thing?"
Here are some of the responses that I got back:
Definitely a bad thing. Sorry. This means that he will be spending more time on the couch for hours playing a game to get through it rather than spending time with me. Casual gaming is ok but those diehard gamers are very consumed with getting through the game. My brother in law's marriage went down the tubes and the reasoning by his ex-wife was that all he did was sit on the couch and play his play station and gain weight and his health deteriorated (due to inactivity and weight gain). So I would definitely say BAD THING.
—Vicky, Art Director
I think overall, unless female also likes gaming, it would be a bad thing. I would think the guy is like a kid, not mature, and wants to play games all the time. If playing games is one of his hobbies, amongst others, I would be ok with that.
—Amy, Corporate Trainer
I don't think it's a bad nor good thing to reveal on the first date. It's how he handles his gaming that would affect other parts of his life. Like playing video games instead of engaging in conversation. Or playing video games and asking your date to join. It may also depend on how competitive the gamer is too.
—Sophie, Production Manager
If I really liked someone, of course it wouldn't matter what their hobbies were. But just by itself, hearing that someone is a gamer would not be attractive. I think because of the stereotype that video games are addictive. I dated a guy a while ago who worked from home. When I would come over after working long hours at an office job, he would be rushing to make a deadline for work, and I would often end up reading a book or talking on the phone waiting for him to finish. Then I realized that he spent half the day playing video games, procrastinating. It wasn't the video games' fault. It was his fault for using the games as a procrastination tool. So basically - if someone is staying up until 3 am playing video games, or playing games in an addictive way, that is not attractive. But if someone is playing video games for a couple of hours or so here and there - just as much as someone else might be watching football, or some other activity I don't really enjoy, I don't think it would be a problem.
—Mara, Communications Specialist
The answer to your question is: neither good nor bad, a person is a whole package and I would connsider the person as whole before jumping to any conclusions. Of course, I know what the stereo type is, but if you buy into stereo types, then you are bound to be a lonely and limited person.
—Annie, PR Consultant
It's not necessarily a bad thing, but not exactly an appealing thing to me either. Reason, I don't play games myself and don't understand why people would spend so much time doing it. :-)
I probably won't date him if he revealed that on the first date. I met a guy once who would play video games with my little brother all day!!! At first I thought it was cool, but then it got annoying!
I guess for me it was okay when my yet-be-husband told me he played games. I played a little games, but I don't admitted to people. So it was nice to know that he did too so I wouldn't be uncomfortable.
—Susan, School Teacher
This is by no means a scientific study, but after hearing the responses, it's hard to shake the feeling that despite how far video games have come in terms of production and popularity, the same old sterotypes haven't changed. So I pose the same question to our readers: When you're dating someone, are you in or out of the gaming closet?