Games can be a powerful tool to bring people together—any avid gamer can tell you that. Whether it’s speedrunners raising money for cancer research or just your family’s weekly hangout, games are improving real people’s lives all over the world. That’s why I’m extremely humbled to share the story of how I met my wife in Bethesda’s smash hit Fallout 76, and how she and I are both deeply unhappy.
I still remember downloading the beta for the first time, the eager anticipation I felt as the meter ticked its way up to 100%, then back to 0%, then slowly back to 100% again. Finally, it was everything I’d ever dreamed. I was having a great time accomplishing absolutely nothing when I spotted her from across a nuclearized forest. She had the most beautiful digital avatar I’d ever laid eyes upon.
She abused the terrible PvP system to oneshot me, but soon, I became addicted to that feeling.
We started playing together more and more despite the game’s abysmal social features, and as luck would have it, it turned out we lived in the same area, were around the same age, and were both lonely! I’ll spare you the messy details, but to put a long story short: one thing led to another, and now we both feel trapped in a profoundly unsuccessful marriage.
We used to play Fallout 76 to escape from the world, but now, I need to escape from a world where we haven’t touched each other in ages and she’ll probably take the kids when this ship finally goes down. Games are supposed to bring people together, and a well-made game can have a huge impact on the world, so on the flip side, you can guess exactly what Fallout 76 did for me.
And in just two months, no less.
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