Gamer Widow: A Phenomenological Study of Spouses of Online Video Game Addicts

Gamer Widow: A Phenomenological Study of Spouses of Online Video Game Addicts

The aim of this study is to describe the lived experiences of the spouses of online game addicts. Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is a pathological and compulsive internet use that interferes with daily life. The research methodology used in this study is phenomenological approach, qualitative research methodology. There were ten (10) gamer widows participated in this study who are legally married to spouse addicted to Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG). Credibility of this study was achieved through member checking, peer debriefing, and methodological triangulation. On the other hand, dependability or the quality of the process of the documentation was attained through inquiry audit. Lastly, confirmability or the quality of the outcome of the documentation was achieved through internal and external inquiry audit.

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Three (3) categories were the focus of this study: Changes in My Husband, Changes in Me and Changes in the Marital Relationship. From these categories, seven (7) themes and ten (10) subthemes emerged. The seven themes were: Real World Isolation, Defensiveness, Personal Consequences, Emotions, Our Roles and Responsibilities, Distance, and Financial Losses while the subthemes were: Anger, Resentment, Stress, Frustration, Chores, Parenting, More conflict, No emotional intimacy, Rare physical intimacy, and No communication. Composite Textural-Structural Analysis of Gamer Widowhood was employed and this study suggested a family therapy for the online video game addicts which is appraisal-focused, problem-focused, and emotion-focused.

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This study is very interesting because it focuses on the perspectives of the game widow, which is a metaphor of having a husband who becomes irresponsible because of online game addition, and as a result, the load of family building becomes the sole burden of the wife. I am planning to take my PhD in the same university, and in the future, I want to create a theory and an effective therapy for the online game addicts and for their family which is appraisal-focused, problem-focused, and emotion-focused.

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Jennifer Francia P. Villanueva, RPm

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