We've all heard of videogame addiction before, with many stories of teens giving up their hobbies and becoming reclusive for the sake of a virtual world. But can this apply to adults as well? More importantly, can an addiction to gaming ruin one's sex life? There are many who think so.
A French sex toys company Absoloo earned itself a fair bit of infamy recently with a campaign inspired by the release of Diablo 3. The massively popular game (best known for the almost compulsive levels of play it promotes in gamers) has many a man vegetating behind his keyboard for hours on end, leaving their girlfriend sexually frustrated. Absoloo offered to send out free vibrators to any woman who posted a picture of themselves with proof that their man had purchased the game, giving them something to "play with" as he was too busy playing games.
As tongue-in-cheek as this particular campaign may be, it just goes to show how obsessive gaming can have an impact on one's love life. A study by the Journal of Youth and Adolescence has shown that video gaming can put strain on relationships. A well-known Youtube video blogger who devoted his time to gaming on an impressive scale concluded his posts with a sorrowful video detailing how his wife had left him as a result of his "selfish habit". A simple Google search yields a wealth of stories of relationships falling apart over World of Warcraft. What's more, avatar-based sites such as Second Life have gamers leading entirely virtual existences, often at the expense of real world relationships.
These stories may sound ridiculous and many gamers will protest that they enjoy a healthy love life and their favourite pastime too, but gaming addiction is a growing phenomenon. Hobby can turn to addiction when one's thoughts turn to the game world even during other activities. Surveys on the topic have shown that, in the case of girls who date gamers, as powerful as the allure of curves may be, the call of the control pad is often stronger. Many women have complained that the console or PC can feel like a third person in the relationship. Though cases of gaming ruining relationships remain exceptional, the bottom line is that a hobby should never come between lovers.
An easy way to test if you're a bit too into your virtual world? If you ever catch yourself feeling reluctant to spend time with a loved one as you'd rather be gaming, you may have a problem.
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