I just found out that my husband has two adopted children, virtual children in the world of Skyrim. “How long have you had them?” I ask, perturbed. “A few years, they have a pet fox and I give them gold coins whenever they ask for an allowance.” He says like this is the most normal thing in the world.
“So these fake kids, is this how you cope?” I ask trying to decide if I’m being funny, sarcastic or mad.
“Yeah, you know that. When I’m bored or stressed I play video games, why are you acting so weird?”
“I mean, is this how you cope because we don’t have a kid, like if if this cycle doesn’t work and I don’t get pregnant, are you going to buy your virtual children an exotic animal and give them a gold coin? Or are you going to spend the rest of your life in the computer hanging out with them?” I say and now I’m owning my anger. I knew there was a reason I did not like him playing that game, I knew there was something that did not feel right but I wasn’t about to tell him to stop playing. Three Christmases ago I bought him Rocksmith, a music video game that teaches you to play guitar and bass.
I was happy when Rocksmith became the favorite and Skyrim was temporarily forgotten. He was spending a lot of time learning to play the bass but that didn’t bother me, it made me happy that he had a healthy way of dealing with the stress of his long commute. Rocksmith is still his favorite way to relax along with learning Spanish on Duolingo but since the miscarriage four months ago, I’ve noticed that Skyrim has made a comeback.
Matt thinks I’m blowing things out of proportion because making stuff up, especially things that you want in real life or things that don’t exist is part of the fun of video and role playing games.
I feel a little crazy for letting this get under my skin so much. I know that what bothers me about Skyrim is that it gives Matt an escape to something I haven’t been able to give him.