Not every woman likes me……(not even close to be accurate)but I have three things that can usually keep me off of the undateable pre-screening list for most women.  Straight teeth…no effeminate gestures…and absolutely no passion for video games.  As a matter of fact the last video game console that I owned was a Nintendo and that was like 2 decades ago.  Sure… I remember really wanting them when I was young, but when we finally got them I never got overly attached.  As a matter of fact, having my father take it away from me as punishment was really not too much of a punishment at all when I was a kid.  I had plenty of other things to do.  Run outside…..play outside…..fix myself a grilled cheese sandwich….that I would eventually take it outside and eat.  (Clearly I was more of an outside kid growing up.)  But this adolescent distance from the joystick, which is like and extra appendage for a lot for guys today, saved me from forming a habit that women seem to deplore.  And I sincerely use that word deplore as a Euphemism!  I have heard women proclaim to anyone who will listen, how much they despise video games and are disgusted with grown ass men who play them.  Couples have knock down, drag out arguments and even eventually break-ups.  All because he cannot pry his fingers off the sticks.  And with the latest installment of the Call of Duty………looks like some of you ladies are about to have some lonely nights and weekends for the next couple months…or however long it takes your boo to master the game!

Now there are certain aspects of the video game phenomena that I absolutely cannot explain.  Or defend for that matter.  I would never co-sign a grown man waiting in line at midnight the night before the game comes out.  I cannot defend some sort of obsessive behavior that has a guy glued to a television for 7 hours straight after work for a month  while his lady paces back and forth making loud noises as  a way to distract his attention away from the screen.  (women are masters at being silent objectors.  Rattling pots and pans in the kitchen…walking indiscriminately back and forth in front of the television….bringing you phone calls from people that she knows you don’t want to interrupt the game for.  Doing all that she can to break the concentration but never actually saying…..Turn off that damn game you over grown Peter Pan!)  I have to admit.  I am not totally oblivious when women toss around that immaturity word as it pertains to men who play video games.  I can see where that would be the immediate sentiment.  After all….just like girls played with dolls when they were children, they grew up!  (Granted, they advanced on to miniature rat dogs that guys can’t seem to understand their connection to.) Why can’t guys do the same?!

Well…there is a simple explanation that certainly doesn’t encompass all guys, but it definitely explains the infatuation that a lot of guys have with the latest and greatest PS2, XBox, Game Cube or whatever the hell else is out on the market.  Whether you ladies want to believe it or not, your man has this nagging competitive streak that lives within him that he has to find some way to feed.  And since every male being on this planet that is under the age of 40 has had video games marketed towards them since they were kids, it is just an easy option to go to when he gets too fat and lazy to still play pick-up basketball.  When his feet get too worn out to keep playing flag football on Saturdays or double-header softball games in the summer.  I know, I know….you would much prefer to see his fat sloppy ass be more competitive with seeing which one of you could most likely fit into last years jeans.  Maybe he could be competitive about who can go the longest time without dropping their socks on the floor.  But this is what you got.  Grand Theft Auto….John Madden Football……Call of Duty.  And even the marketers of the game themselves are aware that these games appeal to the competitive streak in grown men.  That’s why they used a man who is arguable the most obsessively competitive guy in professional sports today to market it.  Kobe Bryant.  They didn’t get some 10-12 year old pre-teens standing around the bus stop to sell the product.  Because the game is not made for them.  It is made exclusively for grown men who are super competitive and like to release that competitive juice by blowing stuff up and beating some anonymous person on the other end of the head set.  I’m sorry but this is not a sign of immaturity.  Would you call your boyfriend immature because he likes to play monopoly or scrabble after dinner every night?  I dare say that such indulgences may not garner the same amount of criticism.  Because generally that is something that a lady might feel more comfortable participating in.  Who doesn’t yearn for the day that they can land that triple-word score by pulling CONUNDRUM out of their mental Rolodex of SAT words?!  (Guys love it when girl get competitive by the way)

The game is not the problem.  It is the obsessiveness that the game draws a man’s competitive spirit into.  And obsessiveness can be bad with anything that we do.  Here’s a quick test to gauge whether or not your man is obsessing over a computer game.  Walk around the room in the skimpiest of underwear.  I mean the type of underwear that are so sexy and trashy at the same time that you feel a little dirty even putting them on.  If he stops the game and uncontrollably jumps your bones then you man is A-Okay.  If he just pauses the game and just asks you what you are doing walking around with that on…..then he is a little bit out of control with his game consumption, but not beyond help.  A seductive conversation about you feeling neglected and a quick spill on compromise while you sit on his lap in your freaky undies should make the point very clear to him.  But if you are walking around half-naked in front of him and he doesn’t even blink to look at you, then you either need to call a therapist for some sort of help or either cut the lights off when you get naked.  I will let you be the judge of which one accurately fits your situation. 

We all need outlets.  And as much as it pains us sometimes to accept other people’s outlets we have to try to be somewhat understanding.  Just because it doesn’t resonate with us doesn’t mean that it is some sort of bad thing.  I don’t know too many guys who see any sort of merit in a woman taking salsa classes, belly dancing or pole dancing classes.  But for a lot of women this is an outlet that makes them feel sexy.  Feeds their more sensual and artistic side.  But guys knock it because we cannot relate.  We are quick to fire off the comments about how silly that sort fo stuff is.  And how, I don’t need you to dance around on a pole for me to find you sexy.  Well of course you don’t dumbass!  It is really more about a lady feeling sexy about herself.  Video games are very much the same.  Guys need to feel competitive with something.  It gets the testosterone going.  Flowing at a high level.  And physically we can be good at video games a lot longer than we can at an actual sport.  Because once we lose our edge in the physical arena we are not so keen on playing ball all day with a bunch of younger, faster high school kids who can run for days and run circles around us.  That is more an example of a massacre than a competition.  But when we sit at the television and put on that dorky head set we can compete and talk shit with the best of them.  Because while my knees may have failed me, my thumbs are as fast as ever! 

Here’s a thought.  Try one of the games.  You might like it.  I have never seen a happier moment between a couple than when I used to go to my barber’s house to get weekend haircuts and I would walk in to see the two of them playing John Madden.  A game that she often times whipped us all at.  The look of joy on my barbers face was priceless.  He was as happy as a pig in a pen!  Having his wife do with him what he most enjoyed.  Of course, she did beat him so much that he became so obsessive over getting better that he stayed up til 1 Am on the regular trying to plan out game plans to beat her…….  On second thought…….don’t play with him.  Just ask him to chill out for a few hours a week to accompany you to salsa class.  It’ll all work out.  ( I better shut up now)

@JacksonBracey

Jackson.Bracey@gmail.com

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