New Study Shows Mario Kart, Gaming Can Spice Up Your Love Life

posted on by Lynzee Loveridge

A survey of 1,000 people found that lovers that game together, stay together. One in three people between the ages of 18-24 credited gaming as a positive impact on their relationship. Of the games mentioned by participants, it was Nintendo's Mario Kart that positively affected gaming couples the most. The long-running racing game was joined by Call of Duty and Skyrim to round out the top three.

Why is gaming good for relationships? Ryan M. Earl, senior associate therapist at the Chicago Center for Relationship Counseling, said, "Video games can help people work together for a common goal, share challenges, compete, joint problem-solve, and more. Video games, like anything else, can be a shared activity, and shared activities can foster intimacy between people.”

The positive results appear to have a shelf-life. While the majority of the younger crowd said "yes" to gaming together, not even 10% of the 55+ had the same positive view.

“Romantic partners from the millennial generation grew up with video games as a large part of their lives. Therefore, gaming is simply more natural and accepted. Whereas with older generations, a partner who played video games was perceived as juvenile and irresponsible,” said Dr. James Gaskin, video game developer and professor at Brigham Young University. Gaskin added, "In my experience, gaming has only been healthy for a romantic relationship when both partners are motivated to play and when the gaming is non-competitive."

Like all things in a relationship, it comes down to each individual and their relationship dynamic. How much time is spent gaming and what kind of games are played make a difference.

"If one or both of the partners is fun-loving and easy-going, rather than competitive and easily offended, then competitive games are probably fine, and may even enhance the relationship," Dr. Gaskin explained.

Despite stereotypes associated with gaming, only 42 out of 1,000 survey participants said gaming led to a breakup. Dr. Gaskin's own research found that collaborative video games can improve more than just romantic relationships, they can increase office productivity.

Source: 32-Bit Love: Does Gaming Affect Romantic Relationships? (Alex Rivera )

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