Alex Rivera | July 22, 2019
32-Bit Love: Does Gaming Affect Romantic Relationships?
Is Gaming a Love Language? We Surveyed 1,000 People
Who would’ve thought that wishing your partner ill will on a colorful road would bring you closer together? Or that getting a vantage point on your partner to take them out would make your relationship stronger? This is all metaphorical of course, but it turns out video games like Mario Kart and Call of Duty can be catalysts to building relationships.
We surveyed more than 1000 people and asked tough gaming and relationship questions to see if PC and console gaming has had a positive or negative influence on their romantic relationships. The landscape of online dating has shifted from dating apps to Xbox Live. So go AFK and check out some key findings from our research.
There is joy—and romance—in competition. Overall, nearly 1 in 3 18-24 year old respondents reported gaming having a positive impact on their romantic relationships. Also in the 18-24 age range, over half the people who said they played video games themselves said their gaming life has had a positive influence on their romantic relationships. So keep throwing those banana peels on the road—someone will eventually fall for you.
Based on our survey, Mario Kart has most positively affected relationships. Weird but true: the game where you toss shells and banana peels to make your opponents crash is the game most people report having a positive influence on their relationships. Call of Duty, a first-person shooter, and Skyrim, an open world, role-playing game, round out the top three.
Bonus Level: Interesting Findings
- Females who responded to our survey play more on PC than console, while the results were flipped for male respondents.
- More than 9% of respondents said they had experienced both positive and negative influences in their romantic relationships as a result of gaming. Talk about dual-wielding!
- Nearly 52% of 18-24-year old gamers say video games have had a positive influence on their relationships. This favorable view trends downward as respondents get older; not even 10% of the 55+ had the same positive view. According to Dr. James Gaskin, video game developer and professor at Brigham Young University, “Romantic partners from the millennial generation grew up with video games as a large part of their lives. Therefore, gaming is simply more natural and accepted. Whereas with older generations, a partner who played video games was perceived as juvenile and irresponsible.”
- Of the 1000 respondents, only 42 said gaming led to a breakup. So even if you’re arguing about gaming in your relationship today, never fear—there‘s still a 96% chance you’ll make it to the next level.
Gaming can be therapeutic for couples. Ryan M. Earl, senior associate therapist at the Chicago Center for Relationship Counseling, says, “Video games can help people work together for a common goal, share challenges, compete, joint problem-solve, and more. Video games, like anything else, can be a shared activity, and shared activities can foster intimacy between people.”
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