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Xbox vs. Blogging  June 13, 2005

Miranda PJ — June 13 @ 5:03pm

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop, and no hands are idler than those clutching the joystick of an Xbox or any other game console. In my home, the Xbox represents the last and most immersive in a long line of electronic time killers.

It started when we were students, and we’d only bought a computer for schoolwork. Soon my husband Eric was spending time and money on computer games like Civilization and Sim City. Then it followed with sequels that we could ill afford. Then it was EverQuest, which had a monthly subscription fee. Then my husband Eric sprang for an Xbox with part of the money that I had set aside for little Park’s school clothing. Eric dislikes spending money at brand name stores, and he decided we’d set aside too much money. So I reconciled myself to purchasing Park’s school outfits on eBay. But things only got worse. Within just a few weeks, the Xbox began to dominate our lives. He spent more and more un-budgeted money on games. He’d come home from his night shift at the toilet paper mill at 4:00 AM and play frighteningly violent games like Splinter Cell or Close Combat until noon. And if this wasn’t bad enough, he had the nerve to ask permission to have his coworkers over to play with him. I can only imagine the noise and the mess and the cigarette butts on the front porch. I just don’t know what I can do to make him get it.

Never mind that I could use some help getting our 7 year old son and 5 year old daugter up and off to school if he’s going to be awake anyway. I’d rather that he went to sleep so that he could be up by noon and actually help me out around the house a little or provide some company. A few years back, we read Brad Bushman’s Ensign article about violence in television, movies, and video games and it all seemed so quaint. Now Eric’s primary sources of entertainment are saturated with grotesque violence. I wonder if I should begin to fear its long term impact on Eric. To what degree does this influence his ability to serve worthily in the the Elder’s Quorum presidency? How can he get ahead at work if all he does is play video games on his spare time? Shouldn’t he be spending this time improving himself? How can we accumulate a savings when he spends money on stuff like that? What kind of example is he setting for our children?

Last week I made my stand. I sold the Xbox on craigslist so that I could buy a bread maker and get some really fun MAC lip glass. The result: a change in venue. A single man on the shift named Ralph bought an Xbox, and the whole crew goes to his place after work. Now Eric returns home smelling like their smoke and their spilled beer. I cannot imagine anything that would make him less attractive to me. And this last part is of no small frustration to Eric as well, but not so much that it prompts him to change.

Eric is fond of pointing out that Nolan Bushnell, the inventor of video games, is a Mormons—as if that matters. We all know that idleness is bad, but why don’t we share for it the same zealous aversion that we have for other transgressions? I’m often concerned that we as Mormons do not recognize the gravity of idleness as a sin. Listen to Ezekiel 16:49, which describes the sin of Sodom before it was destroyed by a storm of fire and brimstone:

Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her. (emphasis added)

Eric claims that my blogging is equivalent to his video games, and I just don’t agree. I feel like I share in the fellowship of the participants in this and other blogs. I often find the practice of writing and reading comments and posts to be edifying and uplifting in character. I have no problem picturing Christ blogging. Can anyone really picture Christ on an Xbox 8 hours a day?

So that’s my answer. I don’t believe that blogging is of a piece with video game playing. But I want to know what the opinion is in general, and I’d love to hear some people playing devil’s advocate. Are we here in the bloggernacle doing the same thing as video gamers minus the gory violence? Is the kind of blogging that I do as destructive to my personal relationships as Eric’s compulsive video gaming is to his?

53 Comments

  1. I feel like I’ve been invited over for dinner and the couple has started arguing in the kitchen.

    NFlanders — June 13, 2005 @ 6:05pm
  2. I’ve got the best of both worlds. I’m a big blogger AND a Halo 2 addict. Needless to say, my wife isn’t entirely impressed. Nevertheless, I sincerely believe Halo to be better than most TV shows which I would consider watching on TV. Here is how I usually respond:
    “Halo is about saving the human race from a bunch of alien religious zealots who consider our very existence to be heresey. How can such a goal be bad? Indeed, shouldn’t you be thanking me instead for my concern for the well being of the human race by practicing just in case? Isn’t that, in fact, commendable or even honorable?”
    I’ve never entirely persuaded anybody with that one.

    While I wouldn’t call X Box good for you, I certainly would not go along with most adults who out of a fear of cultural change consider video games to be bad for you, even frying brain cells. The games really do develop very quick thinking, and in my opinion teach me to deal with stressful situations better. Now this might be due to my taking the games to an unhealthy extreme, yet my feelings remain unchanged.

    Blogging, is not really that same at all. Both could be considered electronic wastes of time, but I think blogging is probably less unhealthy is that it requires interpersonal relations and is a wonderful source of information and different points of view. X box, tends towards quick thinking and adrenaline (I don’t think that violence is that big of a deal for adults.)

    Of course the real problems develop when either one is taken to an extreme where other duties and healthy activities are avoided so as to facilitate the hobbies. Othere than that, I consider X box to be a great unwinding tool (by winding me up in a whole other way) and blogging to be a great source of edification and learning.

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 13, 2005 @ 6:06pm
  3. Both are a waste of time. I think they are both addicting. Blogging can be a way to gain knowledge, express thoughts for the betterment of society. But mostly, people like to argue, which is healthy, but moderation in all things, including Blogging. I am sure I will be smacked by many for saying that, but truth be told, I get less done when I am blogging and wish I used the time more wisely. The same feeling when I play to many video games. This wasted time takes away time with my wife, kids, and work. Anything that takes time away from that is probably an evil practice.

    But - the bloggernacle is a better place to blog than other places. At least it keeps your mind in the right direction:)

    N Miller — June 13, 2005 @ 6:07pm
  4. Miranda, I don’t know all the details of your situation, but I strongly believe everyone should be able to have some sort of hobby or way to unwind. Nobody should have to be productive all the time. If blogging gives you an outlet, great. I think most of the people here understand that. I think the same goes for your husband, though. He might need some downtime as much as you do. Maybe you could think about something you could both do together to relax and blow off steam.

    Mari — June 13, 2005 @ 6:25pm
  5. Videogames can be even more of a social activity that blogging, if you’re playing multiple-player games. My son is part of a clan that plays in a league and they have headsets and talk to each other all throughout the games.

    It sounds like your husband could learn a little moderation, but it could be worse. You could be married to a snowboarder. Like me.

    Susan M — June 13, 2005 @ 7:16pm
  6. When I was in grad school I was addicted to Quake. Our lab had a T1 line and I was an LPB, I wasted so many hours on it I am ashamed of it. One day, leaving the lab after playing Quake and driving to class, I was cut off at an intersection, and I got so angry I wanted to ram my truck into the guy’s car. I couldnt believe it. The anger and adrenaline from playing Quake was spilling over into my real life. Wake up call. Reality check. I started weaning myself off it and when I left school I stopped playing altogether. No video games at all anymore. Wife and kids and real life are more important.

    These video games are why the male 18-35 demographic dont watch much TV anymore. Viewership is declining rapidly across the country.

    Blogging really is kind of a waste of time. It can be somewhat therapeutic for the writer, giving them an outlet. But, it mostly is just ephemera. Think about it, how much of the bloggernacle will be read a year from now? 10 years from now? Its a wierd kind of detached social interaction, connected electronically but thats it.

    Kurt — June 14, 2005 @ 6:42am
  7. NFlanders, I’m sorry to make you feel a little embarrassed. I don’t mean to make anybody blush. I suppose that I’m just making a big deal out of nothing.

    Jeffrey, N Miller, Mari, and Susan M certainly think so anyway. Though I’m glad you don’t generally see blogging as being a big a waste of time as game playing.

    Kurt, I think that your standard of remembering a year from now what’s written is not a good standard. I also do not remember most talks or testimonies in sacrament meetings Should I skip those? But you bring up an interesting point about what purpose blogging serves. I know I blog because I feel like I need an outlet for expressing my ideas and my creativity. Why do you blog, Kurt, if you feel that it is an activity of such low value?

    Miranda PJ — June 14, 2005 @ 10:14am
  8. nohting like a good video game to expand your imagination…

    lyle — June 14, 2005 @ 10:47am
  9. I say a hobby is a hobby. Blogging, Videogaming, making cute little crafts, whaterver. I don’t think That videogaming is somehow worse than any other hobby.

    However, the original post here is talking about an obsession… it sounds like the husband does nothing at home ecxept play games and sleep. After selling the xbox, the husband does nothing but sleep at home, spending no time with wife and children? That’s a problem.

    I expect if I spent every waking moment on my xbox, my wife would leave me. (which is too bad, because I’m getting GTA: San Andreas in the mail soon, and I’m looking forward to mowing down cops and innocent civillians at an incredible pace.)

    Where was I? oh yeah… so, I’d say the Xbox isn’t the problem, the lack of time spent with the family is the problem. Your husband could replace his Xbox hobby with say, bowling or playing poker, and you’d still have the same negative effects at home.

    kudos on selling the xbox, by the way. That was a nice move.

    Karl Butcher — June 14, 2005 @ 11:54am
  10. I blog to learn how to create better, more persuasive arguments! The more practice I have, the better I become which can be really good for my career.

    Also, from time to time, I hope to learn something.

    But mostly, it’s just an addiction I struggle to give up.

    N Miller — June 14, 2005 @ 12:01pm
  11. So Jeffery G., what do you say to your wife when you are playing as the Arbiter rather than Master Chief? By the way, what’s your online handle? Mine’s Rusty Mac if anyone’s interested…

    Miranda,
    First of all I’m sorry your husband is addicted to the Xbox. Yes, it could be worse, but any addiction sucks. And I’d also say that you could compare blogging and xbox only if he’s playing the new xbox game Coriantumr vs. Shiz: The Last Battle.

    I think what those above have said is right, that hobbies are fine, but when one begins to obsese about it, that’s when it becomes problematic. If you are sacrificing time that you should be with your kids so that you can blog, then sure, you should probably reassess your situation. But if it’s something that you spend spare time on throughout the day, big deal. Plus, if you are edified by blogging, fantastic, more power to you. I find myself constantly edified blogging, the Bloggernacle is a great place for understanding and knowledge.

    A few months ago I posted some thoughts about video games here. Click on the comments (even though it says their are zero comments) to see what other people have to say as well. It’s an interesting conversation.

    Good luck, Miranda. And please tell your husband that I’d like to play Halo2 with him.

    Rusty — June 14, 2005 @ 1:00pm
  12. I must say there was some discomfort when I first became the arbiter, however my fears were calmed when the arbiter and Master Cheif joined forces to fight the threat to both species. In other words, I help save not only humans, but an endangered species as well. Double brownie points! ;-)

    I might also suggest that whether Miranda’s husband is obsessed or not probably differs depending on who you ask. Having a friend over to play every once in a while is not really obsessed. Being late to work might be. My wife is convinced that I’m addicted when really I only play about twice a month.

    Jeffrey Giliam — June 14, 2005 @ 1:22pm
  13. I guess I was the only one who felt uncomfortable. I apologize for bringing it up.

    I just think your husband comes off really bad in this post. I mean, he’s dipping into the kids’ clothing fund to buy videogames and spending most of his free time away from home. I’m sure you heightened and compressed the details for dramatic effect (or at least I hope so), but it still sounds like you two need to work some stuff out.

    I think blogging can be just as time-consuming and destructive in personal relationships as gaming if you allow it to take up all your time. Some people like to relax reading about Mormon issues, and some like to relax by blowing things up. Based on the comments above, it seems like there are a fair amount of people who like to do both.

    NFlanders — June 14, 2005 @ 1:27pm
  14. Miranda,

    What was your husband’s reaction to coming home to no xbox? Did this result in marital strife? I can’t imagine this going over well. Sounds like you have a lot going on at home.

    Having had my spouse spend too much time (IMHO) on both video games and blogging I have to say I prefer blogging. But moderation would definitely be my preference.

    I wonder what the response would be if I pawned the new Mac… hmmmm.

    diet coke — June 14, 2005 @ 3:07pm
  15. Oh, No! Now my thread arguing against video games is leading people to exchange video game information.

    Thanks for all the well wishing, guys. You’re great support. I agree that blogging sharpens the mind.

    NFlanders, no offense taken. Now that I reread my post, I did give Eric a rather hard time in my post. He’ll appreciate that someone stood up for him.

    diet coke, Eric was pretty unhappy when he found out that I’d sold the Xbox. Things really flew. That’s basically why he started going to his friend’s house. If I can get him to stop doing that, then we’ll have real progress. I hope things go well for you. Unless you’re worried that he’d go to a friend’s house to blog or play games, I’d advise you to sell the Mac. It sounds like, with your husband’s behavior, it’s nothing but trouble.

    Miranda PJ — June 14, 2005 @ 6:08pm
  16. Man oh man, you’re a hard woman to please, Miranda.

    Greg Fox — June 15, 2005 @ 1:21pm
  17. Miranda,

    I dont have my own blog, I just post comments to other people’s blogs. I do it mostly to kill idle time at work.

    As far as the comments on the depth of personal information in your post, if there was a weekly Bloggernacle TMI Award, you would have gotten it on this statement, “Now Eric returns home smelling like their smoke and their spilled beer. I cannot imagine anything that would make him less attractive to me. And this last part is of no small frustration to Eric as well”. I dont know exactly what you intended to say here, but I think I can read between the lines and guess at Eric’s frustration all too quick to censor my own thoughts, and the reaction is “Whoa, I didnt need to know that”.

    Which leads me to believe someone ought to create a weekly Bloggernacle Crimes blog that hands out dubious awards, but keeps it light-hearted, amiable, and amusing.

    Kurt — June 16, 2005 @ 11:25am
  18. I feel your pain. My husband and I have been married for 20 years. He plays Halo constantly. My house sounds like a war zone (large screen TV with surround sound). He constantly yells profanity at the screen–even with our children around. He sits on the couch with headphones on for hours on end. We have no relationship anymore. I am miserable.

    cs — June 28, 2005 @ 3:00am
  19. I should also point out to you, Miranda, the most recent issue of scientific american which has an interesting article in it on how many video games are healthy in many of the ways I mentioned above and then some.

    Jeffrey Giliam — July 1, 2005 @ 2:03pm
  20. CS,

    That is sad. My wife doesn’t like me playing at all either. She insists that I be doing whatever she is doing, or at least be in the same room with her. Since she works days and I work nights, I kindly oblige. But I would be lying if I said that I didn’t occasionally try to lure her to sleep while watching TV so as to turn on my precious halo.

    Jeffrey Giliam — July 1, 2005 @ 2:06pm
  21. Among my other skills I failed to mention Halo rocket skills…

    Hermey — July 1, 2005 @ 3:19pm
  22. Dude, Hermey, rocket skills aren’t worth a damn. It’s sniper skills that dominate a game.

    Rusty — July 1, 2005 @ 3:31pm
  23. “Unless you’re worried that he’d go to a friend’s house to blog or play games, I’d advise you to sell the Mac. It sounds like, with your husband’s behavior, it’s nothing but trouble.”

    What gives her the right to sell his Mac? Have you ever considered that your husbands game playing may be to to internal and relational conflict as opposed to him just throwing his time away on something meaningless? He’s esaping from you, Miranda. And you’re tightening the grip more and more. The fact that you sold his x-box and how you are trying to control him is madening. You’re not his mother. You’re his partner! Does he sell your computer because you blog too much?

    Dill — July 1, 2005 @ 3:40pm
  24. Dill Boo-Ya! Good point.

    Better to waste time with games than with internet porn. Everyone wastes time doing something. If you have no time to waste then it’s because of choices made…

    Lurch — July 2, 2005 @ 2:26am
  25. OK, first I have to say that Kurt’s idea is a brilliant one, and I’d start that up if I had time to actually always keep up with everything going on in LDS blogland. But I don’t.

    However I am obsessive and I keep thinking about your situation, Miranda. I just can’t believe that you sold your husband’s Xbox without him knowing it. I would be seriously pissed if I came home and my husband had sold my computer or my books or my cds or my camera or anything, actually, that belonged to me. And he would be if he came home and found I’d sold his skateboards or snowboards or surfboards. (Well actually, the surfboards are borrowed ones, and the snowboards he can get for free from work, so if I sold one he’d be stoked. Anyone want to buy a snowboard?)

    I hate to presume but I’m guessing the real issue you’re having is one of free agency. You want your husband to behave a certain way and it seems like you’re trying to manipulate him into it. Doesn’t work. The whole thing about idleness–people have different standards and there’s no forcing your standards onto them. I have a different definition of clean than my husband does. If I can push the clutter into a heap and it looks somewhat organized, I’m good. He has to throw everything out or put it away. You can’t expect your husband to suddenly adopt your standards because you sold his XBox. He obviously needs a wake up call but I can’t help but think your method of delivering it is only making the problem worse.

    And I also can’t help but think that blogging about it is going to make him anything but more resentful.

    Maybe I’m way off base with your situation but I think you need to reevaluate a bit on how you’re handling things.

    Susan M — July 3, 2005 @ 12:24pm
  26. I think Susan is right on.

    My husband likes to play video games and sometimes the noise of it gets to me (when it does, he turns it down), but we all have things we like to do for downtime. There’s nothing wrong with that. I actually think it’s cool when he plays in the middle of the day (he works at home). He usually doesn’t, but to be able to shows that he’s running his life, his work doesn’t run it.

    I don’t know how much time your husband spends on it, but I think you have to be careful so that you don’t find yourself feeling more like his mom instead of his wife. A mom will make a unilateral decision and the kid has to live with it (or sneak around), a wife will discuss it and be willing to compromise.

    I think we all need idle time. The idea of every minute of every day having to be useful or meaningful makes me feel very cranky.

    Laura — July 3, 2005 @ 5:12pm
  27. As I write, my 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son are trying to lasso horses while playing Barbie Horse Adventures on X-Box. After that they will play Disney Skate Adventures. I am about to buy them Lego Star Wars. They play X-box every few weeks, but play outside every day… including Sunday : 0 .

    They understand that there are limits to video games.

    The funny thing is that while many Moms won’t let their kids play video games, they will let them watch movies all the time.

    Lurch — July 4, 2005 @ 3:19am
  28. Miranda,

    As a recovering game-aholic I aplaud you for attempting to help your husband with (what you deem as) his addiction. Now granted, 8 hours is a bit much. Okay it’s way too much. But some of the others have said some good things about when to say enough is enough. The problem with this addiction, as with any, is that the individual has to come to that realization for themselves. There are HEALTHY ways to help them to that point.

    Selling the Xbox wasn’t one of them.

    Instead of having the system in your home, where you could monitor both your husband’s and your children’s activities, you have gotten rid of it and forced your husband to seek out other ways to get the same stimuli. The addiction doesn’t stop just because the “source” is gone. In fact it gets heightened. And since “the guys” are now offering an environment where your husband can go without the effect of immediate disapproval and nagging, which you give him, he then has the urge to stay longer. Also “the guys” don’t have his best interest in mind and will encourage him. They’ll say, ” Just one more game, one more level, etc.” They’ll make the situation worse.

    There was a time that you could have seriously helped your husband. You said that he had asked you if he could have “the guys” over. There was your opportunity. In it’s own way it was a plea for help. However, you went overboard.

    In the Gospel we are taught to “reprove with sharpness, showing an increase of love after, lest he esteem thee as thine enemy.” I’d like to state that sharpness doesn’t neccessarily mean harshness. In fact in this case it has more to do with “exactness”. Selling the Xbox was harsh. And where has been the increase of love, sister? Please know that I don’t hold this against you. You were doing what you thought was right. However, Sometimes in the heat of strong emotion our sense of what is right can be greatly hindered.

    To anyone suffering, or who has family members suffering, from video game or anyother kind of addiction: This is NOT the best way to handle things!! It can very easily drive a wedge that is difficult to get out. Turn to the Lord. Pray. Only then can you know the correct course of action.

    Dave J. — July 5, 2005 @ 10:31am
  29. We’ve gotten off topic, and now the conversation has turned to how I put my foot down with the XBox. Things seem to have come down decidedly in Eric’s favor, and I’m now viewed as a control freak who can’t handle her relationship with her husband. Selling the XBox without his permission was not the nicest thing to do, but it was no worse than his buying it without my permission. At any rate, Eric and I have resolved this for now. We’re simply not going to allow video games in the home, and I will continue to blog in moderation.

    I think that some interesting points have been raised about permissiveness and watching movies and TV.

    Miranda PJ — July 5, 2005 @ 11:48am
  30. “We’re simply not going to allow video games in the home, and I will continue to blog in moderation.”

    Yes, that sounds for equal, Miranda: blogging, yes; video games, no.

    Dill — July 5, 2005 @ 12:24pm
  31. Here is a great link which would be good for most on this thread to read.

    Jeffrey Giliam — July 11, 2005 @ 11:05am
  32. Don’t you find it odd that the scripture that you choose to damn your husband for excessive idleness also spoke of a “fullness of bread” and you used the money that you stole from him to by a breadmaker? Instead of condemning the Xbox as pure evil, you should take issue with your husband and his want to spend time apart from you. There is nothing wrong with a grown man playing video games, but he has forgotten that he has a duty to his family that he is neglecting. He must learn to pay more attention to his family, just as you need to learn how to not overact. Everything in moderation.

    -So sayeth the King

    King Drewsky — August 20, 2005 @ 6:25pm
  33. As a good church going woman shouldn’t you be thinking of some of the other lords lessons too. Like “he with out sin cast the first stone”. You say that it’s bad for your husband to play xbox while you type on a blog about it?!?! You get your tech fix but he doesn’t? Then you sell something he enjoys to buy yourself something you want? I could see if you sold it to buy your kids the clothes that it was going to buy with the money, but you didn’t do that. You bought your self something, that’s a little case of the pot calling the kettle black in my opinion. With this kind of stuff going on in your house it seems to me that the xbox is not so much the problem in your relationship but more of a center piece that you hope to blame all of your problems on…..if I were you I would take a long look in the mirrow before you start throwing stones from YOUR glass house.

    Supimp — August 21, 2005 @ 9:03am
  34. So you can blog in moderation but he can’t game in moderation??? I’d put money down that he already has a deposit at his local EB for the xbox 360

    Sha — August 21, 2005 @ 11:19am
  35. There are times to which a person should spend time with their families, but a person needs to unwind and relax. Some husbands or wives don’t realize that we could be out in the strip clubs or with someone else. Now a days some husbands are cheating on there wives with another man. At least we are home and not anywhere else.

    Armedzero — August 22, 2005 @ 1:45pm
  36. Miranda,
    I wont bother to repeat the moderation bit since it has been beaten. However, respect of each others feelings (which is a requirement in any relationship) is being ignored by both parties here. I for one, wonder where it started. Did it start with your husband, whose video game play became such an addiction that it is ruining your lives, or did his play turn that way to escpae what he felt was an stifling presence (you) in his “off time”.

    Do the research. Today’s statistics and demographics show that the days of calling video games as “childs play” are far gone. Today’s 30-40 year old bracket realistcally are the “video game” generation having grown up with it from the days of PONG.

    If your husband can moderate, you should come to some sort of compromise. If he cannot, you are within your rights to seek other options. However, not respecting his viewpoints, or property for that matter, may end up with a result you wont like. Dont force someone to choose, unless it really is a matter of marriage vs divorce. You may not like the answer.

    Jeromie FIB — August 22, 2005 @ 2:34pm
  37. So, if you are looking for input, here is what I notice. Blaming the XBox is tantamount to blaming a car driven by a drunk driver for the inevitable destruction brought about by the driver. As your post details, the problems in your marriage- your lack of communication with each other and lack of satisfaction with each other seem to be a bigger problem. I would view his excessive video game playing and various other issues you have with his character as symptoms of an overall problem. Neither one of you seem to provide much support for each other- and you’ve both withdrawn. I’d suggest marriage counseling.

    Amy — August 25, 2005 @ 2:04pm
  38. I’m pleased to see that this thread has taken on a second life.

    King Drewsky, Sha, and Jeromie FIB, I agree with you that the problem is with the extant of his playing. But once he’s stepped over the boundaries of appropriate playing, I don’t trust him to keep the playing to a minimum.

    Jeromie FIB, I’m suspect of your contention that the demographics of video games include that many adults. Surely there are some. In the absence of more information, I believe that children are the primary target market for video game makers.

    Supimp, please save your cocktail party marriage counseling for the game message boards.

    Amy, there’s no bigger problem with my marriage. My husband just cannot be trusted to play video games.

    Armedzero, I don’t see video games as an alternative to unfaithfulness at all. And I take an active interest in what my husband does at home. I’m not just happy that “at least” my husband is there.

    Miranda PJ — August 25, 2005 @ 3:10pm
  39. Adults are the targeted demographic of video game companies, not children. Many of the hottest selling games are those that require proof of at least 17 years of age to purchase. You may doubt me since you don’t know me, but these three sources took me exactly 3 minutes, 22 seconds to locate and post here.

    Different linked categories (with sources) from a national advertiser
    http://www.games-advertising.com/demographics.html

    From 2001, but showing historical data and growth prior. You can extrapolate the data to provide you own 2005 information based on raes of growth.
    http://www.alexassoc.com/games/GDmemo.shtml

    Data from ESA (Entertainment Software Association)
    http://www.theesa.com/facts/top_10_facts.php

    You address the boundaries of appropriate playing, but I’m not exactly sure who agreed that YOUR boundaries were the only relevant ones. You asked for opinions, yet the last ones offered are immediately pooh poohed by you because they question rather than provide your desired response. Act the ostrich if you like, but video games aren’t going anywhere…in fact they are going everywhere. Whether you are a supporter or not, finding validation in things your husband enjoys was my attempt to help. I stated all along, moderation is key. If you can’t trust him with something so insignificant as this, trust is your problem, not his.

    Jeromie FIB — August 26, 2005 @ 10:52pm
  40. Jeromie, my boundaries with my husband are appropriate, because it’s my marriage. And if you consider time away from family for a father of two to be trivial, then you’ve got issues of your own.

    Miranda PJ — August 27, 2005 @ 2:16am
  41. You once again misinterpret what is said to you. When I say boundaries, I am referring to his say being valid as well. Making this egocentric is what you have done.

    I wont respond to the attack on me….I’m above that. You shouldn’t ask for opinions if you can’t handle the “outside looking in” insight.

    Jeromie FIB — August 28, 2005 @ 6:16pm
  42. Eric bought a new Xbox behind my back. He’s still looking for a job, but I worry that it will interfere.

    Miranda PJ — October 8, 2005 @ 10:07pm
  43. Maybe he can get a job with Microsoft testing new X-Box games. That way, everyone is happy and you can get out of Idaho and move to Washington.

    NFlanders — October 8, 2005 @ 10:09pm
  44. I don’t think that he’s really qualified to do technology jobs, NFlanders. Testing an Xbox can’t be as easy as playing it or they wouldn’t need to pay anybody.

    Miranda PJ — October 9, 2005 @ 4:08am
  45. Miranda, I don’t wish to be insulting or mean, but I am continually surprised by the amount of information that you publish online about the inner workings of your marriage. Surely, your husband does not read this blog. Does the rest of your familiy? Are any of them concerned?

    DKL — October 9, 2005 @ 8:35pm
  46. Miranda, I don’t think fighting with your husband over the xbox is too personal. I have a double standard about those things. I think blogging is an adult habit. I think playing video games is childish and time wasting. Especially if he doesn’t have a job. I would not put up with that for one minute.

    Men should not be lazy. Women can be a little lazy. Because even a lazy woman works her butt off.

    Your husband’s first priority should be a job supporting his family. I would smack him really hard up the side of the head. I don’t even like my husband watching TV except at night. But he’s hyper, so no problem. Lazy men just bother me.

    You have a really legitimate concern. If you were my daughter, I would so be on your side.

    annegb — October 12, 2005 @ 10:23am
  47. Thanks, annegb. We can disagree about your double standard and still share in the frustration I feel toward my husband. What else do I need to do to get him to get back in line? Smacking him hasn’t really proven effective.

    If I draw a line in the sand, he may just disregard it and it will force the marriage into a crisis.

    Miranda PJ — October 12, 2005 @ 11:40am
  48. Nobody else read this except Miranda, it’s personal.

    Miranda, my marriage went through a crisis about six months ago, it actually saved our marriage. I put my foot down about my husband’s attitude toward money and I was ready to walk. I was simply not going to tolerate it any longer. He changed.

    Now I’m not advising this for you, it is, as we say in Al-Anon, my experience, strength, and hope. I actually put up with it for almost 24 years before I threw a fit. We’d fought about it for years, but this time, Buttgold was moving out, I felt more freedom, and I was ready to sell the house, split the profit and move on with my life. I meant business, and he loves me enough to make the change.

    Now we’re not out of the woods yet. But you know, hon, I wouldn’t have tolerated my husband being out of work as long as you have.

    Or perhaps I have misunderstood everything, since that’s my cognitive difficulty these days.

    annegb — October 12, 2005 @ 12:33pm
  49. I think your problem is the definition of the question. “what do I need to do to get him back in line?”

    It sounds like there may be a passive agressive situation going on. Perhaps you could have a discussion about priorities? Helping to discuss what is important to each other would go along way.

    As far as distracting from work, Xbox can be a wonderful (horrible) escape tool. That said, finding a job is stressful. I had to set a daily goal for myself when looking for a job (spend 1 hour looking for new jobs, research those new jobs and then write 10 application letters each day). Perhaps you could encourage eric to do the same. Also, it was super helpful for my wife to assist me. I would type all the letters and then she would help by compiling the packets and addressing envelopes. Working together really helped.

    The problem is taking sides! It shouldn’t be “my husband is not supporting me” but we are not making enough money as a family. But then I also think husband and wife should work together on parenting, housework etc.

    Jay S — October 12, 2005 @ 12:47pm
  50. Thanks for the encouragement, annegb. What you’ve said is both relevant and helpful.

    Miranda PJ — October 12, 2005 @ 10:25pm
  51. Jay S., that teamwork in finding a job sounds like it worked quite well. I’ve tried to work with my husband on this, but he gets quite defensive about needing help to find employment. When I push the issue, he lashes out. annegb’s advice to induce some crisis may be the only solution.

    Miranda PJ — October 12, 2005 @ 10:27pm
  52. I totally understand. I felt the same way. All our lives we have been trained that we should provide. Even for the most liberated men, there is still that naggging of failure.

    I think you should be strong, cause your husband needs it. But it would be wise to figure out what is really important for you. Video games have their negatives (waste of time, desensitize, avoidance) and depending on your priorities you may come to a solution.

    I still stick with my suggestion. It is the difference between fixing him and coming to a solution. My 2 cents

    jay s — October 13, 2005 @ 12:30am
  53. Thanks for the input, jay s. There may yet be hope, and I appreciate your concern.

    Miranda PJ — October 19, 2005 @ 4:16am

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