“Warfield Widows” Say This Game Is Ruining Their Marriages

Golder Games (WAR FIELD)
7 min readAug 28, 2018

A small but vocal group are mad, sad, and taking to the internet to vent about the game they say makes their husbands neglect their duties. But science says it may be that women just don’t get it because their brains work differently.

They’re calling themselves “Warfield Widows” and they are protesting the game they say is causing their husbands to disappear into a nightly fog of shoot-outs for money.

“I like the idea of him earning money by playing video games, but it’s like this game has become a second job for him,” writes “Ammy”, who says her husband found out about WAR FIELD from some friends and has been playing the game like it’s a second career, neglecting her needs in the process. “It’s gotten to the point where I came into his game room in a sexy cheerleader outfit on roller-skates and he didn’t even notice because he was too busy playing. HELP!”

“He just comes out to eat and sleep (less and less). Needless to say, our bedroom has become a lonely place.”

“When my husband told me about it, he made it sound like something positive he can make extra income on,” writes another “Warfield Widow” named “Kate” in the discussion forum. “He’s very good at shooter games and I let him have his playtime (I set a timer with a buzzer to make sure he doesn’t go longer than two hours per evening). But there’s some new one out there called Warfield that lets you win money from other players. Now I can’t get him off it….He just comes out to eat and sleep (less and less). Needless to say, our bedroom has become a lonely place.” She believes it is WAR FIELD’s “combination of gambling and video gaming from hell” that is destroying her marriage and that she is writing to raise awareness before “WAR FIELD addiction” ruins more marriages.

“Warfield Widows” discussion forum

“It’s like we have a generation of men who will never grow up,” laments “Viola”. “Men need to learn life is not about shoot-outs and car racing. It’s about taking care of their woman’s needs and helping out around the house. I’m not married yet, but I can see this is exactly what is waiting for me if I do. I live with my boyfriend and ever since he found out about this Warfield game, he totally ignores the list of chores I made for him to do and then when he finishes playing late at night he complains that he’s too tired for sex.”

A World-Wide Epidemic?

As video games have grown from what was seen as a niche activity for children and socially-awkward types into a $100+ billion annual industry with more than 2 billion players — more than one-quarter of the Earth’s population — so, too, have complaints about video game addiction like the above.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently added a “gaming disorder” diagnosis to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Gaming disorder is defined in the draft 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) as “a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterised by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences” — something that sounds a lot like what “Warfield Widows” describe.

Is WAR FIELD ruining marriages?

But neuroscientist Marc Lewis thinks this reaction is overblown and the WHO’s definition too broad.

“Video game-playing is rarely addictive,” he says. “Experts estimate that problematic play is exhibited by 0.5% of the general population and less than 1.0% of adult gamers. For these few, the ‘addiction’ label may apply. But a similar fraction can get addicted to almost anything that’s attractive or fun, including shopping and sports. Is it meaningful to invent a ‘disorder’ to fit that fringe? Might it even cause more harm than good?”

“Gaming disorder” has “no adverse effects on health, socialising, or physical activity,” he continues, adding “there has been an outcry from researchers and scholars, warning of the dangers of pathologising a normal behavioural outlet.”

“Video game addiction might be a real thing,” say psychologists Patrick M. Markey of Villanova University and Christopher J. Ferguson of Stetson University in a commentary that accompanies a 2017 study of internet gaming addiction published by the American Journal of Psychiatry. “But it is not the epidemic that some have made it out to be.”

Dylan Sharkey, a technology executive and member of the advisory board of Golder Games (the creators of WAR FIELD) thinks the urge to play such games may be something humans — especially men — are hard-wired for.

“Just what is the tremendous appeal of what, to casual viewer, can look like a platform for a young (and not so young), predominantly male demographic to engage in and watch what appears to be mindless simulated violence?

“Prehistoric humans,” says Sharkey, “evolved to compete in these cooperative, zero sum games, whether on a group hunt for large game or to attack or defend against an aggressive, neighboring tribe” and they “have not biologically changed much since the advent of agriculture and civilization, yet the opportunities for us to engage in the competitive struggles we are programmed for are now rare. Hence, the mass appeal of competitive field sports in the last century and the rise of competitive games like first-person shooters and the nascent e-sports industry, which provide an outlet for this hardwired part of human nature.”

Something Women “Just Don’t Understand”?

This “hunter-conqueror” hypothesis has scientific support. Recent research suggests men in particular are drawn to video games by certain natural neurological urges, including the urge to hunt and conquer, that women, in general, do not share to the same degree.

Professor Allan Reiss of the Centre for Interdisciplinary Brain Sciences Research at Stanford University, California led a recent study that used fMRI technology to scan men’s and women’s brains while they played video games. The study showed that men’s and women’s brains process the rewards differently.

“The part of the brain that generates rewarding feelings is more activated in men than women during video-game play,” notes the study. “These gender differences may help explain why males are more attracted to, and more likely to become ‘hooked’ on video games than females.” The study was recently published online in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.

The findings show that successfully acquiring territory in a computer game format is more rewarding for men than for women. “The females ‘got’ the game,” Reiss notes. “The males were just a lot more motivated to succeed.”

Reiss says he isn’t surprised.

“I think it’s fair to say that males tend to be more intrinsically territorial. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who historically are the conquerors and tyrants of our species — they’re the males.”

No Real-World Achievements?

According to dating and relationship expert Dan Bacon, the number one reason women don’t like it when men play video games is the sense that playing video games usually doesn’t achieve anything in the real world.

“With the exception of professional gamers who get paid to play or game developers, pretty much every other guy won’t achieve anything tangible in the real world by spending a lot of time playing games,” says Bacon. “If you want your girlfriend (fiance or wife) to accept the fact that you love gaming, what you need to do is show her that you’re achieving things in this world.”

A video game with real world achievements? That’s WAR FIELD, say its creators

The solution, says Andrius Mironovskis, creator of WAR FIELD and CEO of Golder Games, could be as simple as showing your spouse how much you have earned playing the game.

“The whole point of WAR FIELD and other games we are developing as part of the Golder Games line-up is to give ordinary players a shot at real-world achievements,” he notes. “Our GOLDER coins are a cryptocurrency that players can win from each other, then buy, sell, and exchange on cryptocurrency exchanges. That means you don’t have to be a professional to make money playing video games, and partners or significant others shouldn’t feel like gamers are doing something pointless. The real-world achievements are there to be had.”

WAR FIELD is the first-person shooter that lets you win REAL cryptocurrency

As for complaints that WAR FIELD takes spouses away from their duties, Mironovskis says it’s an issue he takes seriously, but believes that relationship problems are about more than a video game.

“Anything you take to an extreme can be bad for you. But the WHO definition of a video game addiction could include pretty much any hobby or activity someone really likes — stamp collecting, chess, surfing — you name it. Of course, we believe players should play responsibly. But playing WAR FIELD has multiple benefits in addition to the possibility of making money. First-person shooters, above other games, have been shown to relieve post-work stress better and have other cognitive benefits. Overall, I believe it’s about finding the proper balance in life and not blaming video games for relationship issues that science shows run a lot deeper.”

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Golder Games (WAR FIELD)

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