Love is Like Playing Video Games

Is love like playing video games? What an absurd question you might say, and you’re probably right. But one day I jotted down some cutesy similarities between loving someone and playing video games. These similarities include faithfulness (not cheating), joy, and spending time with others. Let me tell you more.

First, what is love? Love, the type I will discuss here, is a joyous state, an all-encompassing desire to care for another, to help them be at their best, and to make sacrifices to love them. And video games are something like interactive entertainment played alone or with others. Sometimes they encourage one to overcome challenges, win the game and experience joy. So, playing video games and loving others are quite different, and it’s not clear what they have in common.

Let us start with cheating. Cheating is wrong. It’s wrong, most would say, to cheat on a partner when you’re in a loving relationship. It would likely hurt that person’s feelings and generally make you a jerk. Yet some people still do it. Nice job by the way.

By contrast, cheating in video games doesn’t always hurt others. If you play alone and enable cheat codes, you’re not exactly hurting anyone, though you may “cheat yourself” or miss an exciting challenge. But there is an exception: it would ruin a person’s good time if you cheat in a competitive multiplayer match. In addition, when you cheat on your loving partner or in a video game, you might experience some awful guilt.

When you finish a challenging video game without cheating, you might feel joy–an overwhelming sense that lasts much longer than mere fun or pleasure. You’ve accomplished something that took effort and could leave you with good memories. Similarly, when you love someone, you can feel joyous, and you want to tell everyone about it. In both video games and in life, these joyous moments are probably preceded by ups and downs, mistakes and progress.

For some, sharing ups and downs with another person is a beloved part of loving others. You might want someone to come home to after a tough day at the office. And you might want to take photographs of your young family when you bring your baby home for the first time. You might also sacrifice your spare time to help a stranger shivering in the cold on an icy day.

Video games can also be great way to spend time with others. That might mean playing split screen Mario Kart with friends on the couch, or blowing up your strangers online, or helping another person to beat a game. You could help by writing a guide for them or showing them how to beat part of a game. So, spending time with others, and even helping them, is part of love and playing video games. Of course, not everyone will want to partner up in life or when playing video games.

You might want to play a video game by yourself, without any contact with others. You might choose to live your life as a single person. And, of course, you can still experience joy and have loving relationships if you play a game alone or live your life alone.

In sum, we can find some simple similarities between love and playing video games, including not cheating, joy and spending quality time with others. Maybe I see these similarities because I love video games so much and that colours all of my thinking.  But I know that playing video games, for obvious reasons, is still mostly different from loving others; this is not an earth-shattering conclusion.

I suggest that playing video games is one way to share joy and love others. It could also be a great way to show your love of life–your desire to celebrate all that life has to offer–even if you play alone. And loving others, by itself, is a beautiful thing; go out and do it. Then, maybe, come back home and play.

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