There’s an interesting, first-person essay type article on Kotaku OZ by a female gamer entitled, “How Diablo III Told Me My Marriage Was Over.” It’s not the “he played 12 hours a day and ignored me” thing I was expecting either. It’s much more of a personal and heart-felt essay about the dying dregs of a marriage, and how they used to game together but not any more, and their last chance was with Diablo III, and then launch night came, and… well, here’s the quote:

    I made my gal a Demon Hunter named Ariadne (named after my similarly classed WoW toon), he got started with a Barbarian, and off we went.

    Since I’d already done all of this before, I was directing things pretty well, but trying not to be too overbearing about it. It was, in my opinion, so, so cute to see my husband so excited about exploring New Tristram. We went on for about an hour, and then it happened.

    He let me die.

    In co-op, enemies scale with you and the size of your group. When I had played before, there wasn’t much of a problem (with the exception of that damn Skeleton King) because my enemies were scaled for a singleplayer game.

    So, here we are, fighting our way through the very beginning of Act I and we separate and all of a sudden I manage to aggro everything in a pretty large radius and I don’t know how that happened and they’re attacking and oh my god sweetie I don’t wanna die hey can you help me they’re killing me um seriously can you help because I can’t get range and I’m mostly good for range attacks and… dead.

    He let me die. In a room where we would often simultaneously play our respective MMOs with chairs sitting literally next to one another and desks that were touching, he let me die.

    With me verbally asking for help, he still let me die.

    Yes, it’s just a game. Yes, I could come right back to life and keep going (and I did). But I still cried that night before I went to bed because he. Let. Me. Die.

    That’s just a tiny piece of the whole article, which is worth a read. That said, I’m more curious about the larger issue of gaming with a significant other. How many of you guys/girls have gamed with your partner? Diablo III? Do you feel it works in your relationship?

    Basic Instructions source.

    Personally, I’d say not really. Years ago I played Diablo II with a girlfriend who was a gamer, and our co-op was never a very good fit. I’d played tons more D2 than she had so I tended to just fly through everything, while she wanted to go more slowly and appreciate the experience. So when we played at my pace she felt pressured and hurried, and at her pace I felt bored. In the years since then, none of my GFs have been gamers (though one in late 2009 was delighted when I showed her the Flux NPC in TL1), and that’s actually fine with me. It’s good to have some separate hobbies.

    Playing together seems a good idea in theory, but in practice it’s often a great way to focus awkward and uncomfortable attention on the differences in your personality types, rather than bridging you with a shared experience. (Which is basically what happened in the article quoted above.)

    That said, I know a lot of people who met their partners via online gaming, or who enjoy gaming together in the same WoW party. How about it? Any tips or advice for those of us who have had less delightful co-op experiences? Is a party-dependent game like WoW better for couples to play together than a more free-for-all type experience like D3?

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