Sharing is a core concept in our marriage that has been extremely necessary in resolving some of the problems that arise with two gamers in a household. Since husband and I are both fairly relaxed about gaming, being willing to share resolves the majority of our problems. We’re willing to share TV time, take turns with games we both want to play, and we’re particularly understanding of each other when each of us receives a new game. That said, one of few things we haven’t struck a balance with is sharing time and attention with each other – which all came to a head last week during the Google Maps Pokemon challenge.
Problem: Google Maps Pokemon Challenge
On March 31, Google announced that you could catch Pokemon using the Google Maps app on Smartphones and tablets. Needless to say, I was fucking psyched. I got wind of this information about thirty minutes after my husband came home from work, and by the time he got home he found me deep in my Pokemon catching journey. It’s not the first time he’s dealt with my Pokemon obsession, but the time restraints (only 48 hours) on the Google Maps challenge added an intensity to my fervor that was unusual even for me. I clearly didn’t read the disclaimer.
I managed a quick hello when he poked his head into my office, and even moved my operation into the living room so it would appear as if we were hanging out, but I was completely focused on becoming a Pokemon master. This was my chance to finally capture all 150 in a single game! I was going to catch ’em all, even if it meant losing sleep and sanity. I basically ignored my husband for the few hours he was home before bedtime, even as he put background noise on for me, and cooked me dinner. At the time, I knew I was being a bit of a brat, but I also figured that I could be a brat just this once.
Unfortunately the next day, April Fools itself, I realized that I had missed one Pokemon in my hunt the night before. I had not caught Mew, and I proceeded to hunt the elusive critter down on and off all day between work assignments. No matter how long I searched for Mew, or how many reddit threads I read, I still never got to this screen:
By the time Husband got home, I was completely distraught over my lack of Mew. One of my friends from graduate school had found Mew in 30 minutes, what was wrong with me? I shared some of these feelings with my husband (let’s be honest, I was pretty histrionic) and finally annoyed him to the point of exclaiming “IT’S JUST A GAME. WHO CARES”. For those of you who have met my husband, you know what an accomplishment it is to get him to raise his voice.
Solution: Snap Out of It
At that moment, I finally popped out of my Pokemon Playing Bubble. Sort of. Let’s be honest, I was still completely beside myself over Mew. However, the rational part of my brain kicked in enough for me to realize that my obsession with Mew was not worth upsetting my husband over.
I stopped my search for Mew that night, despite the fact that I still had 5-8 hours left to find the mythical creature, and despite the fact that I have never owned a Mew in my life, and this was my best/easiest chance to catch one. A tiny image of a cute felinesque furball is not worth alienating my husband for any reason. By the end of the night, I managed to have him smiling again as I sang “Everything is Awesome” on repeat.
I’m not going to lie, as someone who is prone to playing video games for 6-10 hours stretches, this problem is going to re-surface again in the future. I may disappear from the world when Dragon Age: Inquisition releases, and dont’ even get me started on Kingdom Hearts 3. But when my full brain is firing, my relationship comes before gaming. I just have to continue considering myself lucky to be with someone who understands my obsessions…most of the time.