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. 🙂

—Selina, Entrepreneur

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!

—Tamara

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?

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers GameCritics.com his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that GameCritics.com will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui

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4 Comments on "In or out of the gaming closet on a first date?"

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Robyn
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Robyn
7 years 10 months ago
Well, good luck with that, I hope you find her. Just a word of warning, however. I have a guy friend who was a gamer, but didn’t have an addiction, yet the girl he married, it ended up that she did. She played 40+ hours a week and the marriage deteriorated and now they are divorced. I think it really makes sense to look into whether or not you just love gaming for a “side” thing, or if it is your LIFE where you do pretty much nothing else, work your social schedule around it and give up other things… Read more »
Brad Gallaway
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Brad Gallaway
7 years 10 months ago

amen, brother.

I went through three relationships where playing games was “an issue” with the female half, and although it was never the deciding factor, when the last one went south I decided for good that I wasn’t going to get together with anyone else unless she was a gamer, or at least didn’t have a problem with gaming.

…been married for almost four years now, my wife has her own 360, she asks me when we’re going to play some co-op, and i’ve never been happier.

ethereal.wolf
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ethereal.wolf
7 years 10 months ago

After dating a few women, and getting alot of grief for playing games (i didn’t disclose up front that I was a gamer), i’ve decided my next gf will be a gamer, and until i find her i won’t bother dating regular chicks who don’t try to understand that i love gaming.

Dale Weir
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Dale Weir
7 years 10 months ago

What is the age range for this sample of ladies? I know a few of them are our age, but what about the rest? Are there as many women younger than us as there are older on the list?

Also, most of the women you asked seemed to be corporate types or professionals. I wonder what the response would be from women with different professions.

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