MMORPGs can affect marital happiness - Study

Brigham Young University study shows 76 percent of respondents who play MMORPGs with their spouse reported positive effect on marriage.

A study from Brigham Young University (BYU) has revealed online role-playing games like World of Warcraft both negatively and positively impact marital satisfaction.

The study looked at 349 heterosexual couples, dividing the respondents into two groups: one in which both spouses gamed, and the other in which only one spouse gamed.

World of Warcraft: keeping couples together or breaking them apart?

For couples in which both spouses play, the study found 76 percent said that gaming had a positive effect on their marital relationship, particularly couples who interacted in-game.

The average age of the respondents in the nationwide survey was 33 years, while the average marriage length was seven years. Of those couples in which only one spouse gamed, 84 percent were the husbands; of those couples where both gamed, 73 percent of those who gamed more were husbands.

"It's common knowledge that many couples experience challenges around gaming," re-creation management professor at BYU Neil Lundberg said. "Particularly when husbands are heavy gamers, it clearly has a negative impact on their marriages."

In the group where only one spouse gamed, 75 percent of couples said gaming had hurt their marriage, particularly in the disruption of bedtime routines. The study reports these couples struggled with issues such as less time spent together in shared activities and less serious conversation.

Interestingly, similar issues were reported in the gaming couples. Of the couples in the group who reported low marital satisfaction, arguments centered on gaming and the interruption of bedtime rituals.

"It's not the [gaming] hours that make a difference," Lundberg said. "It's really what it does to the relationship--whether or not it creates conflict and quarrelling over the game."

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Discussion

49 comments
OldKye
OldKye

@sortajan although I'd agree with you in spirit I've had girl friends that get mad if they find out you spent time playing video games like "at all" and then if it's cause your caught or feel games are a good enough reason to break up with her lol it's affected your real life without you having to play them much at all your thinking addiction levels like 10 hours a day min

durdensbuddy
durdensbuddy

I am a lucky guy in that I picked up gaming after getting married and my wife is at best casual. But the kicker is she LOVES to watch me play, it helps her to sleep. She enjoys how into things I get and it's something that we do as a unit. Hell, she even watches out for new games/trailers and alerts me. (just last week she texts me at work to tell me AC3 cover art had been leaked). All in all, as has been said much more eloquently than I have, for any relationship to work there has to be a balance that both are happy with.

sortajan
sortajan

Gaming is a hobby. When it begins to affect your real life relationships, you need to cut back. It's called being responsible.

dkdk999
dkdk999

Me and a girl that doesn't play video games simply would not work.

Evenios
Evenios

well duh!!! thats because your interacting together your sharing something you both like (or seem to like) and your spending actual time together. I mean this is a no brainer. do things you like together even playing games as a married couple and you'll be happier. anyone who has a wife who loves games too is lucky as i imagine "most" women just dont get into them though the younger generation i think are being brought up with games so they are more into them. :-p

McDog3
McDog3

I would imagine that this study would have similar results given any time intensive hobby. It all depends on how well the couple can balance their singular activities with their time together.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@Blackheart_RE You need to spend some time out of your house.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

@ebrezzy1 With the amount of funding your government gives to post secondary education, I think it's safe to say that your tax dollars are definitely NOT going to BYU.

Akijo
Akijo

I'm impressed how many closed minded video games stereotype peoples has on a web site that is 100% ABOUT video games. Personally I play video games a lot and I am not fat, know why? Because I train! Yes, training is not something only accessible for douche bags. And I also had 2 girlfriends, know why? Because I am SOCIABLE! Yeah! Because you game doesnt mean you're going to be an hermit in his basement that do nothing in his life.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

This is standard if both husband and wife. Play the game together they will get along. If only one person in the relationship plays videogames then there could be trouble. A study was needed to deterimine this?

nate1222
nate1222

Well, if they're BOTH into it...DUH. If not? Well...

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

Only bad scientists use correlation to imply causation.... Want to know why? Because if we put all the video game correlation studies together we find that we gamers would be the single dumbest genius happy depressed sane crazy spousal abusing violent peaceful people with a great marriage ever...

ebrezzy1
ebrezzy1

is this what my tax dollars are going to ? what a stupid study...

Davhut
Davhut

Folks i'm coming up for my 25th wedding anniversary, and i have been a serious heavy gamer for as many years. My wife and I manage to juggle our intense working lives and freetime as best as we can, and though my gaming is very dominating of my time, she allows for that most of the time. She will let me know in no uncertain fashion when my gaming impinges on time she feels should be spent with her, mostly dog walking, days out, family events etc. I may feel annoyed but I also know that certain times in a marriage require unselfish behaviour and empathy. So if your spouse doesn't have time for gaming, then spare a thought that it might be due to concerns that they feel are more important, and lets face it real life is more important. Love your gaming but not at the expense of your relationship. Golfers and Footballers etc have managed the deal, so can we gamers, peace out :D

GuilhermeHQ
GuilhermeHQ

Exchange the gaming for watching TV or playing cards and you'll see that it doesn't make much difference. To have a happy marriage you need to share activities with your spouse, gaming or not.

supertom221
supertom221

MMORPGs can affect. . . . - STUDY. Stopped reading. Good day.

starduke
starduke

Oh, Wow, there's gamers out there who have wives, and not only that, there are also female gamers! Now, that's NEWS!

godsend1989
godsend1989

Didnt know gamers have wives at all in the first place.

sune_Gem
sune_Gem

In other news, gaming stereotypes around the world are stunned at the fact that gamers can and actually do have relationships.

001011000101101
001011000101101

So spending time doing stuff with your wife affects your marriage in a positive way? Wow, the people behind this study must be geniuses! What would we do without them?

LordOfTragedy
LordOfTragedy

@VonHauperburger Was that even a true story? How is it that your mother was supposedly contemplating the imminent divorce over Everquest in 1977? Aside from that I found the story hilarious. I will be the first to admit that if the girl that I am with cannot appreciate that my stress relief from working full-time, going to college full-time, and take care of my son on my two days off, then I am most likely going to ignore her a good bit, but not to the extent that I believe someone should find it offensive. I think a lot of times some people just don't know how to sit down and relax and watch a movie or do something that interests them while I'm doing what interests me (gaming). Now if I can get her into the game as well, then high five all the way. I am glad that this review was done because I was interested in this topic, but one thing I have noticed with couple that play together in games such as WoW is that they never really get anything done in the game, for the most part, I am competitive by nature and have been ever since I can remember, no matter if it's sports, school, work, or video games. This may not be the case for every MMO couple but it seems that way for the majority, but as long as you can have patience with one another then it's a perfect combination.

abbasreza
abbasreza

Well this doesn't really need study does it? It's common knowledge and pretty obvious... what a waste.

keyb0red
keyb0red

Really? Excessive gaming can do that to you? Wow!

wolfbm
wolfbm

@Leir_Bag obviously you aren't married and are just basing your opinion on teenage girls habits. No grown woman I know sits around doing their hair for 6 hours or talking on the phone all night. As an adult your time suddenly becomes precious unless you are rich. Anyway on topic my wife and I are gamers but have no issues in our marriage. Now I could see people in a relationship that one games constantly ignoring the other having problems. The only issue we have ever had is when we had FB accounts people started trying to cause problems for us so to date we no longer use FB...simple resolve. IMO if you are going to divorce over a game you probably shouldn't have gotten married in the first place seing as how many problems can be fixed by a little thing called "communication".

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

@Leir_Bag 6hrs? Serious issues of that's the case. Kim Kardashian? I don't know of anyone who spends hours each night on the phone. Lindsay Lohan? Also this is about MMORPG's that gamers spends hours each day playing with little room for anything else. You won't find many games from other genres causing relationship problems.

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

In other news over eating while not doing enough excercse can make you fat.

YEPEE00
YEPEE00

arent pandas going extinct...lol

Leir_Bag
Leir_Bag

What about how wifes spending six hours doig their hair and plus the whole night talking to the phone with some problematic friend can ruin a relationship? We all have passion that get in the way of our relationships, just don't forget about life and breathe through you console or PC and you will have a nice relationship. My dad loves games, basically he is the one who made me like games from the begining (we finished MGS on the playstation 1 together, that was the first game I ever finished). He and my Mom have the most harmonic romantic relationship I have ever seen, and my Mother doesn't stand games. I'm not being blind, I have seen other families with poor comunication, which created problems my family never had. Sometimes we fight for silly things, but we talk about EVERYTHING and with a lot of good sence. And I game. My dad games.

barnold81
barnold81

This seems kind of obvious to me. What about the negative affects of playing MMORPGs? I can back those up from personal experience.

hemoleech
hemoleech

My dad was a gamer, my mom is not, so there was a lot of conflict there.

Snaptrap
Snaptrap

It's a problem when you spend 16hrs a day on the game. Marry the MMO or someone who plays MMO's. After all, don't people get married because they share the same passions?

Vaanelo99
Vaanelo99

The problem is GETTING your spouse to play with you. If he/she has no interest in gaming you're screwed lol.

jedediahpelland
jedediahpelland

I love my wife and I know she loves me, but oh how I wished she had an interest in gaming. I will admit I get sucked into a game and completly ignore her, If only I could convince her that games are like movies or listening to music and that we could share a special experience together. Its all good though I have my interests and she has her interests and interests that we share, all in all I would say we have a pretty good understaning of who we each are. Every individual human is different from the other and as soon as we all accept that and learn to live with it there will always be some kind of conflict.

VonHauperburger
VonHauperburger

Hmm... My parents actually divorced over a game. I remember... Everquest I think it was. They played online together all the time. But my mother's account got hacked by my father's resentful ex-girlfriend. She started fighting with him in the game, under my mother's name. - Things spiraled out of control. Eventually my mother stayed at a hotel, unable to remain with her husband. It was the winter of... '77, I believe... Isabel (her name) took a long walk through the city, contemplating the imminent divorce, and the unfairness of it all. She happened across a stray cat... and it followed her. She kept walking, not wanting to return to the hotel, and it didn't stop following. My dear mother realized she was exhausted, freezing cold, and too far from her hotel to make it back... As she lay collapsed on the ground, the cat walked up to her and dropped a dead mouse in front of her (clearly to offer food). That cat, she realized, was all she had in the world now. With new-found strength from the food, she took him back to the hotel and named him "Sebastion". (This is the cat in my avatar) Eventually this cat was passed on to me, twenty years later. I have loved Sebastion ever since... - So yes, I would say these types of games can be very dangerous in a relationship.

Manji14
Manji14

Some of you could read the article before commenting you know. I'm just SAIYAN.

juliano001
juliano001

@Syk0_k03r dont assume things you dont know a bit. I love my marriage and i would never lose her for pixels. I just made a choice. I like wow, but between my love and wow i stay with my love.

salvucci91
salvucci91

This is why you look for common interest ! Wouldn't that be insane; dating someone for something more than looks ?!

theace43
theace43

So does Farmville. Big deal.

Syk0_k03r
Syk0_k03r

since marriage has a negative effect on your mental health, MMO's ARE bad for you

Courtawulf
Courtawulf

@juliano001 I have to disagree to an extent. While I will agree that those addicted to MMO's will always have negative side-effects (marriage or otherwise). In this way it is no different than any addiction, and probably comes with a host of other issues. However, not all MMO players are addicts. In fact, by the very nature of MMO's the mass populous that plays them are casual gamers. In this aspect I could see it being a positive aspect in a relationship as it allows couples who may otherwise fall into the rut of day-to-day routine the ability to find something new and interesting to talk about, and a new and interesting way to interact with one another. In this way it is no different than sharing a favorite band/tv program/hobby

Daian
Daian

All i read was "blablabla, studies say stuff that probably is highly inaccurate,blablabla". Basically the usual article about gaming studies.

juliano001
juliano001

Wow. What bulls@it. I played World of Warcraft and my wife almost quit our marriage. MMORPGS dont combine with couples. If you are a teenager or a loner, ok, but if you have a partner he/she will want attention in the same amount or more. I wonder how much money the party interested put in the pocket of this university for this "study". HAHA. Big lie.