Nigeria is football country (if you’re in the US then Soccer Country). People here are absolutely fanatical about the old, leather ball and not just on a local level either. My country is home to some of the International leagues most manic fans. As a result, football culture is far from exotic here and almost any one would know what you meant if you brought up the catch phrase: “Football Widow.”
It’s not that there are no female football fans here because there are. Lots of them. It’s just that for every one of them you could probably count 50 women who are only mildly interested in the game (“I only like to watch our boys”) and maybe 20 who are left cold by it (“I’d rather be watching old episodes of Law&Order. Mmmm, Benjamin Bratt.”).
Since the majority of football fans are male and a substantial number of them are married or involved in a relationship, it is quite inevitable that the phenomenon of the football widow would arise. Wives who are thrown to the side during all important footy events. It’s a problem that female culture has been trying to come to terms with for years. What to do? Fight? Revenge? Compromise?
The whole thing got me thinking. Is there an equivalent situation for the wives and girl friends of gamers? Especially here, in football country?
If one thinks about it, the situations are somewhat similar. People who are far enough into the vast world of gaming to be considered gamers have just as much a passion for their consoles, handhelds, and desktop platforms as any rabid football fan. Even though female gamers exist, they are way fewer and further between than female football fans in Nigeria. It stands to chance, therefore, that most Nigerian, male gamers that are in relationships are not in the happy position of being able to share their passion for the joystick with their significant others. Logic, therefore, suggests that Nigeria as a country must be sprinkled with it’s fair share of Gamer Widows.
And how do you know you are a Gamer Widow? Do you spend a lot of your visits to his place on the couch watching him defeat vast hordes of enemy orcs? Is it like pulling teeth to get him to spend time with you in your cold, console bereft home? Does he fight for possession of the TV set with the kids on Saturday morning? Does he have a Halo night (an entire day and night to be spent with his buddies drinking beer and shooting each other)? Are you forced to use Mario allegories when trying to explain your feelings to him? (okay, that last one was a cheesy joke!) Then don’t kid your self because you are indeed a Gamer Widow.
We don’t hear that much about it here but I assume that this is because adult gaming (er – not pornography) is still barely one step above a dirty little secret in Nigeria. Overseas one hears much more about this sort of thing. I have heard the story of a girl whose boyfriend was so deeply involved in his Massively Multiplayer Online Role Player Game (MMORPG) world that their relationship melted down. This despite the fact that she was actually a gamer too and also involved in that particular world too. But cases like these are pretty drastic and Gaming culture is rife with similar sensational stories!
I ask out of the curiosity of a girl who is indeed in a relationship with a gamer. Unfortunately I can’t truly bring my experience to bear here because I myself am a casual gamer. In fact at this point in my life I have realised that not only do I have a predilection for games, but I also have a taste for the guys that love them. Why? I will have to explore that in another post as I think there’s something there that perhaps I can get some feed back on.
Anyway, apart from that I think I may be lucky as my gamer boy falls in a category that I would like to call “the considerate gamer.” What this means is he always tries to get me involved, going out of his way to find out what games might interest me and seek them out. He also makes sure Halo night will be okay with me and has an open door policy as far as it’s concerned. Finally, he actually makes out time from his work and gaming schedule to be my bf. Putting it all down like this is my way of saying I noticed and thank you.
Meanwhile I will try and investigate by asking the gfs of the gamers I know here what they think of their gamer boys and if any of them have been widowed. Who knows, Nigeria might have a better track record as far as this is concerned than the rest of the world!
Anyway here’s a funny I stole from somewhere about gamer relationships.