20 Oct 2006

Lament of the Video Game Widow

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Kate, better known for her Electric Venom blog, is attracting lots of hits today at her more domestically-oriented second blog for her amusing rendition of the only too familiar complaint of the wife who finds she can’t compete with her husband’s favorite

video game that pushes the player to spend more, More, MORE time being better, bigger, badder, more brilliant than they were just a few minutes ago, a few days ago… better than anyone else ever has been. For some, there is something insidiously sexy about outdoing one’s self as well as any other lesser beings… and these games pander precisely to that weak spot. It is a frightening, yet oh-so-modern thing to sacrifice a dream for one’s real future to the reality of something that is not and never will be truly real. I will not have another baby by the time I’m 40 because a computer game eats up those precious hours that real, live ova wait in my body for a man who is not there.

I’ve lost count of the nights I’ve lain upstairs waiting because he said he’d “be right up.” At first I was grateful: I like to read a bit before bed, and this guaranteed me the chance to do it. But over and over that “right up” turned into one, two, three hours. Sometimes he’d wake me up as he climbed into bed and, rolling over, I’d see dawn’s light seeping through our windows, light as weak and watery and ineffective as the tears I’d ceased to shed.

Before you ask: it was never another woman. I’ve always known that. If you could see the way my husband’s face lights up when he looks at me, the way he dotes on me when there’s no computer nearby, the way his voice sinks into a velvet-chocolate register when he speaks my name or talks of me, well, then you’d know as I do that there is no other woman. I am it for him, as he is for me. Forever and ever, amen.

Except for that video game. And, damn, she is a harsh mistress. In reality, I am his and I have no question that he is, and always will be, mine. But these games tread on the thin edges of reality, and in that realm I have no power. I have no identity within that realm, I am without reference, without meaning. There, within his game, there is only him and, the truth be told, there is no us.

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

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