WHEN IT COMES to video games and marriages, it’s usually not good news. Pop culture, books, and movies are littered with anecdotes or comedy sketches about a scorned, frazzled wife being dumped by her husband for the latest video game.
I can picture it now: Usually the wife comes into her husband’s dark, dank gaming den in some wildly uncomfortable lingerie in an effort to seduce the bleary-eyed, caffeine-laden husband off some game or another. It ends in screams and rough and tumble—but not the good kind.
Not in my case, though. I swear that playing video games with my husband of two years, Jethro, now 27, has actually made our marriage stronger—and now I feel closer to him than ever.
When the coronavirus pandemic shut down the world as we knew it in March 2020, Jethro and I hadn’t even been married a year. We spent our first wedding anniversary that summer locked in our small two-bed flat in London, lamenting what could have been. We exhausted everything: running, cookbooks, redecorating, our record collection, and the coffee. It got tense at times—this wasn’t a life for a newlywed couple, surely?
In all honesty, we’d never really gamed together before. Jethro liked difficult adventure games with impossible puzzles, logic, fighting, and big-ass weapons. I didn’t. I liked games with bright colors, friendships, and “doing good.” The closest I ever got to fighting and big-ass weapons was in Fallout 3, and even then I ran away from rabid dogs.