Ask Marvin

I love online gaming. My wife thinks it’s dangerous, pathetic, and I should stop. What should I do?

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I have always liked online gaming. I play on the Xbox. FIFA mainly, but I have been known to indulge in a bit of COD or Minecraft . However my wife thinks I’m too old to be playing silly games, and could get myself in trouble by playing against young children. Should I stop this hobby and head to the bowls club, in case someone gets the wrong impression?

XP

Marvin’s Answer:

XP, for a start you must have an unusual name for it to begin with an ‘X’. Let me guess, Xavier? No? Then does it refer to eXperience Points (you see I know my gaming too).

So that’s part of my answer. If you do online gaming, you don’t have to share all your details with other players, or indeed get theirs. Take off your headphones. Ditch the microphone. Ignore the fact you might be playing a 14 year old and just focus on the game. It might not be as rewarding not being able to shout “loser” at some unfortunate, but it does at least keep your integrity intact.

Obviously there are other hobbies you could pursue that might be more age-appropriate. You could start with a model railway like Rod Stewart. People think he’s cool, I think. Well at least he’s managed to amass a fortune, young wife and still tours with a rock band. I guess that beats my powerpoint slide production.

And there are other things. Lego has now got complicated and Meccano still exists, so you could go back to your childhood, away from the screens and online gaming.

meccano alternative to online gaming

Meccano showing it’s age

Obviously if you want something more sociable, there’s bowls (careful with your back and bending), bridge (so I’m told) or pretending you have a problem and going to a self help group (probably not recommended).

Online gaming is at least done behind closed doors

That said, your wife should be pleased you’re at least at home where she can see you. You could be snorting coke in a lap-dancing joint, or strutting your stuff in a dodgy night-club. Your Xbox hobby can be done safely from your settee sat in your cardigan and slippers. You could even grab yourself a sherry if you want to be really wild. If that’s not a good midlife activity I don’t know what is.

In fact, video games are good for the ageing mind and co-ordination. At some point you’ll get arthritis and struggle to get out of your chair and walk into town. Having something to fill your days when that happens can only be a good thing.

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