May 24 2010

When Do You Find Time to Play Video Games?

Published by at 2:50 pm under Editorials,Video Games

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Playing video games is a beloved hobby of mine that I’m hoping I’ll never have to give up.  Unfortunately, I’m a pretty busy guy, and so I don’t get to play video games nearly as much as I would like.  Some people are lucky enough to play video games for hours upon hours each week, but once you’re done with school, those sessions of playing until the sun comes up are long gone.  And so, this question isn’t really relevant to the crowd who is still in college or graduate school – but once you’re in the real, working world and have a myriad of responsibilities and obligations to consider, when do you find substantive time to play video games?

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Like I mentioned above, playing video games while in college or high school doesn’t seem like much of a luxury.  Sure, maybe you’ve got a part time job, but for the most part, your responsibilities are really just attending class, doing homework, and taking exams.  And of course, going to class is pretty much optional to begin with.  When I was in college, I would spend hours playing Ocarina of Time; I thought nothing of battling through the Water Temple until 4:00 a.m.  My roommate and I had a chart posted on our living room wall with the number of Mario Kart wins tallied up for all to see.  It wasn’t uncommon for us to spend an entire night hurling turtle shells at one another and trying to time the lighting attack just as the other guy was going up the big ramp in Wario Stadium.  Class was an afterthought.

I didn’t game nearly as much in law school as I did in college, but it certainly wasn’t because I didn’t have enough time.  More or less, it was the same situation, though – responsibility was limited to attending an occasional class and making sure I knew my sh*t by the time finals came around.  If I wanted to spend an entire week playing video games – as some of my friends did – it would have been easy to do so.  After I graduated and started going to work, though, things changed significantly.

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I won’t go into too much detail about my daily life because 1) that’s not the point of this post and 2) it’s not terribly interesting.  But to give you an idea, I practice law in Manhattan, write for this website, and have to attend to the needs of my fiance.  I hardly have enough time to watch television or get to the gym, so balancing the hobby of video games with a career, a side job, and maintaining a meaningful relationship is not easy at all.  In fact, it’s almost impossible, unless you’re happy getting around only five hours of sleep a night – which is pretty much my norm.  At best, when I’ve finished working, finished writing a post for this website, done some physical exercise (which is becoming rarer and rarer), and spent quality time with my girl, I’ve got about an hour and a half to play video games.  And that’s if I have the energy for it and don’t want to do something else, like read or watch a movie or a west coast baseball game.  This isn’t a sob story by any means – I’m a really, really happy guy – but it just goes to show that in “adult life,” it’s really tough to find time for video games.

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Red Dead Redemption came out last week, and it looks like a pretty awesome game.  I’d love to play it sometime.  Sometime soon, too.  But here’s my problem: the game is obviously massive and very involved (which is a good thing, of course), but I feel like I won’t be able to totally immerse myself in it given my limited amount of time to play during the week.  I love RPGs, too – especially Japanese ones – but again, those are the types of games that often require hours of gameplay at any given time to be truly experienced properly.  Thus, I’ve kind of gravitated toward action games a bit more as I’ve gotten older, simply for the reason that I can pick them up and play them for a little bit here and there without feeling like I’m missing anything or rushing through it.

I plan to play video games for the rest of my life – why not? – but I’ve come to accept that my days of totally jumping into a game and spending hours playing it are probably long gone.  At least, not unless I want to take off a day from work and sit home and play all day (something I do probably twice a year; it’s unbelievably satisfying).  So my questions to our post-college readers is very simply: When do you find time to play video games throughout the course of your busy day?  And when you do play, how much time can you spend at one time?  Let me know, because it’ll be pretty comforting to know that I’m not alone in trying to find time to enjoy one of my favorite hobbies.





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45 responses so far

  • J5

    Fuck dude, are you sure you’re not me? Beside the whole practicing law part of the post you pretty much hit the nail on the head. I work 8-5 for the county, have a girlfriend and have 2 roommates who always want to go do something or watch something other than me playing video games (which I understand is kind of boring to watch).

    The girlfriend is the hardest part to get around, with my roommates I can usually try to convince them to play some video game (MW2, NHL 10, Red Dead), but with my girlfriend, she HAS to be preoccupied with something else, or I’m not playing shit. Sometimes I even go as desperate as to do some trade offs: “I’ll watch Housewives of _____ if I can play xbox afterwards.” (that shit’s brutal)

    The only problem is now she’s out of school so there’s no homework for her to do while I play games. I just realized how good I had it, until summer hit.

    Now dont get me wrong, I love spending time with girlfriend, but sometimes I just want to shoot some digital people……especially when I go online at work and see all the video game reviews, tips from random gamers, screenshots & such. I think I have an addiction.

  • NY not NYC

    When I was five my older brother and sister bought a nintendo. That was over 20 years ago. I’ve had at least one console and a PC in my household since.

    Video games, for me, isn’t an addiction, it is my way of life. It is who I am.

    I’m married and working now, and my single friends want to play Call of Duty when we all get home from work. But I can’t do that, my wife would kick my ass. And I like her more than getting shot in the face. So regular evenings aren’t really available.

    But!

    She volunteers to drive the ambulance Thursday nights until late late night. Friday she is exhausted after work, so nothing doing then. Then she sleeps in Saturday morning.

    That’s my time. Thursday nights I know I can make a quick dinner, see her off, and sit down till whenever with some xbox quality time. Friday night we hang out in the den, she zones out watching bad tv and I can PC it up. Saturday morning I can get in a last two or three hours before shes up and ready to do whatever were doing.

    This is, of course, winter time. Summer I am camping every weekend. It’s Upstate NY, got to get it while you can.

    It’s hard, finding the time, and I know (if and when) kids come along, it’s not going to happen at all.

    The thing is, though, a lot of games that have come out lately really suck, which makes it easy for me to not play. Final Fantasy was terrible, other RPGs have lost replay value (Dragon Age was booooooring), and I’ve become too angry at the DnD ruleset to really get back into the oldies and goodies. I don’t have enough time to get good at Call of Duty, so I die more often than not. As I push 30, it’s becoming a lot easier to simply not care as much about finding that time.

    Except for, of course, when we get three foot of snow and there is nothing better to do.

  • Bigdog

    Dude, I was reading your post thinking “This guy is talking straight to me”. I completely understand what you mean.

    I mostly play old school games, stuff that I can play in quick bursts. Stuff like NBA Jam. So, might give a 20-30 min round before I go to bed or something. Or maybe I’ll bust out WSR, or NSMBW with the lady and play for a few. That’s only once or twice a week at MOST.

    I leave the big games for an occasion (like a holiday or something) but I usually end up using that time to do other stuff. Or straight up just rest.

    Now, there are some games that I’ll try and bust my schedule for. But I’m talking about a once a year-or-two, type thing. And that’s only because I’m a lucky summabich that my girl ENJOYS watching me play certain, select games. Zelda TP was the last game to bust my schedule and even then, it stayed sitting there, waiting to be played, for a few months.

    I have MW, Okami, MPT, and TLoZ: ST sitting there right now, still on wrappers. I just don’t buy games (and friends don’t gift them) anymore because how large my queue is. Want to play them badly, but they are all games that you can’t just play for an hour at a time here and there so I keep putting it off.

  • Bigdog

    By the way, I think this post is going to become an instant “cult classic”. Should be a lot of us late-twenties-early-thirties in this one.

    Nice reading your thoughts “J5″ and “NC, not NYC”

  • Captain Awesome

    Dude, I can relate. I graduated from University last year, and I noticed my gaming time has taken a dive as well.
    Working a full time job now and a side job as well, which I usually do during the evenings (so gaming then it out as well, or maybe for just an hour or so).

    I totally get the switch from RPG’s and adventures to action games. Same here. Dropped World of Warcraft (I know, don’t say anything) and bought more games for my PS3.

    The plus side of having a job is having more money to buy games, and so I do. I just bought a game pack on Steam (like 12 games for just €60, including all the new Total Wars + expansions, go get it), but as soon as I did it hit me: when the hell am I going to play these games? I still have Assassin’s Creed 2 and Heavy Rain to play through.
    I also bought Dawn of War 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 to play with my friends, which seemed like an awesome idea at the time, but I just don’t seem to get around to it.

    Luckily (or well, not so much, but in this case) I don’t have a girlfriend or fiancé (or both :P), so that does give me some spare time, especially in the weekends. So usually I get my gaming fix when I just take the whole saturday or sunday to play.
    On the other hand, the summer is around the corner, the weather is getting awesome, and I get the feeling I should be outside. Not that I would know what to do there, but something tells me I should be.

    Anyone know of a solution to game and still be outside? Let me know.

  • J5

    @bigdog

    Lucky! The only game my girlfriend ever liked watching me play was Mass Effect, but when she’d watch I’d have to listen to “Dont be mean!” or “Are you trying to just fuck this girl?” The second one was meant as a joke, but it’s hard trying to have a character be a badass when your gf is sittin there naysaying your every selection.

    Oh and Assassin’s Creed, but I think that’s more because she’s a history major.

  • J5

    @ Captain Awesome

    My solution to that problem would be move your couch, tv, & console outside so you can play vidoe games & people watch at the same time. People watching is a competitive sport…. Especially if you live by the university/downtown like where I’m at.

  • JZ

    Amen. I have been an avid gamer since I was young. I knew I was out of my league when I graduated college and all my co-workers convinced me to buy an xbox to play halo. I was hesitant at first because it seemed like a frivolous investment for a college grad who owned a ps2. Plus it seemed like they spent ALOT of time on it. I did cave and my first venture on live was a 1 on 1 with KidCarson95. I will never forget the name or the day. After handling me 10 kills to nill, I asked the giggling gamer how old he was. “You see the 95 in my name? Thats the year I was born.” That made him 10 at the time. I dropped the controller and headset and walked away. From that point on I knew I didnt have the time to keep up with the current crop of up and coming gamers.

    To answer the question though, I have only a few hours a month lately at best. I have all the consoles but a FT job, a part time job, a wife, a house, a dog and our first baby on the way in Aug so if I can keep a few hours a month I will consider myself lucky. But like it was said in the article, I can’t complain.

    I am in the same boat with Red Dead and all games of that size. I loved GTA’s and the original Red Dead but I wont buy the game just because I know I cant put in the time to properly enjoy the game. Lately I tend to gravitate towards casual and old school games. The Final Fight and Techmo Bowl reboots are on the top of my list right now. Even Mario Galaxy 2 because you can do a few levels at a time.

    While I can’t complain about my life, I do miss being able to dedicate the hours to such a great escape.

  • rutkowskilives

    I seem to be in the same age group as everyone here, but I remember hitting some of these realizations in highschool. I had a super nintendo and the zelda game, and it was cool but it took sooooooooo long to play and gaming was never a priority after that.

    All I have is a PS2. My wife likes to do DDR or Guitar Hero when we have company. I play a college basketball game once in a while. And that’s about it, other than the occasional flash game on line.

    To me, the all time greatest system was the Sega Genesis, because the controls were simple but provided enough variety to do different things depending on the game, and the games were involving without being consuming.

  • Aaron Movie man

    You’re kinda wrong about the Kids thing. The first 6 months of a new baby the mother and baby are asleep by 8pm, if she is breast feeding. But you HAVE to be awake so that every few hours you can change the baby and get mom some water. If you don’t mind pausing, there are many hours in the night to game on. Being a parent means that you only need about 1.5 hours of sleep per night.(not continuous). I have a 2 year old and a 2 month old and me and my wife both work about 25 hours a week (switching days)(work is easier that watching kids(by FAR)). I get to game about 3-4 hour every night in between many changing and whatever else.

  • Alyx

    After briefly perusing through some of these comments I am now glad that I’m single, er, and female. I can’t imagine pleading to play a video game.

    I on the other hand try to make time after work to play shooters – it’s a good way to get out all that anger and frustration over a hard day’s work. Even if I play 1-2 hrs a day I still find the time to cook, eat, watch a movie, walk the dogs, get ready for the next day, then go to bed. But, when you’re in a “relationship” things change – it’s not just about you and I completely understand that – and that’s why I love being single and living alone!

  • SF

    I guess GOB Bluth does find time : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXI-Lr1bY5M
    I like the “I dated your mom” part.

  • KC

    (Only get married to someone that shares your interests. Otherwise, you have to babysit for an adult that can’t seem to find something else to do, while you allow your stresses to evaporate while playing games. But I digress…) I pretty much leave my wife to watching the nonsense TV she loves to dumb her mind down with (i.e., Ugly Betty, The Good Wife, etc), and I head to a small room with a TV and Xbox 360. It’s not often she takes a particular interest in my gaming, and although I’ve sat with her and watched her shows, it’s typically not reciprocated. So, I tend to find time to play when I want, regardless of how she feels about it. After all, relationships are a two-way street.

  • Boxcarwilly

    In my late 20′s, work tech support full time. Just married an awesome girl who not only doesn’t mind me playing video games she actually wants me to play them! The other night I suggested we watch a movie (cause I felt bad for playing Red Dead for 12 hours straight the night before) and my wife says “I would rather watch you play Red Dead Redemption.”

    So besides work, I can play video games whenever I please, And it is AWESOME! The other night I was playing Read Dead Redemption while she cut my hair. Lol, just thought i’d throw that in there.

    I feel for you guys having to sneak time in around your girls. Ill play some games in your honor while you watch Julie and Julia.

  • J5

    Guys, I would say we should start a support group, but that would seriously cut into my already precious gaming time.

  • JZ

    For the record, I dont have to plead or beg for time to do anything. While my wife and I have different tastes we compromise or leave each other alone. I cant get to video games because I have other priorities in my life. Of my free time I enjoy staying active in MMA. Which for me is great because I get to train and get paid to teach. So its fam first, FT job second, MMA, then trying to catch up on sleep and whatever else.

  • Madison

    It’s all about compromise, fellas. If your girl loves you and understands you, she’s going to want you to be happy, and that means letting you play video games from time to time. I sit through American Idol for her, so there’s definitely some give and take.

    I have to say it’s very, very good to know that I’m not alone in this whole trying to find time to play video games.

    As far as her watching me play – that’s very rare, and she usually has a magazine handy. And she likes the RPGs for some reason; has no tolerance for the action games.

    I suppose that, looking at the big picture, if our main complaint is not having a lot of time for video games, then our lives really can’t be too bad.

  • Bigdog

    Writing posts here have already decreased my play time 50%… crap.

  • Roy

    guys, i can totally relate to you, working now for 3 years. It’s really difficult to find some time in my busy daily schedule to play games. And like some of you said, it’s easier to just play shooters than RPG’s, i can’t bring it up, if i have less then 2 hours to play, to immerse myself in that other world.

    One thing i want to mention though: my girlfriend went on erasmus last year (the european universitystudent exchange program) and still has contact with a lot of those people she met over there. So when she visits them, most of the time for a whole weekend, i make plans with my gaming buddies to schedule a LAN-party that weekend (SO SATISFYING) to play modern warfare, left for dead 2, unreal tournament, dawn of war 2, even still starcraft en counterstrike. I just hate to see that more and more games come out without lan-possibilities, but that’s another subject (hint, hint :-)

  • Bigdog

    You know, there is a pattern here…

    I was chilling before yesterday’s Lost finale and the Wifey asked me about Little King’s Story, and if I finished it. So, I played it for a bit before the show and she tried to be engaged on the story. She was interested. Genuinely.

    Again, I know it’s possible my girl may be a little different but I tend to think that she’s not THAT far off the center. What I mean by that is that while she may be unique in wanting to watch me play certain games, a part of that HAS to be kinda normal.

    Basically, I think women/girls in general WANT to be involved in what their man want to do, including video games. But some of these games just make it too hard for them to do it.

    I mean, think about it. Just like it’s logical that I don’t want to sit in a theater and watch Sex and the City 2, my girl is just as justified in not wanting to sit there and watch me bang prostitutes in a game, or play with a half naked woman as my character.

    So, two ways to help in this regard would be to either:

    1) Give and Take. You watch the “G-Force/Tooth Fairy” stuff sometimes, they chill while you play God of War sometimes.

    2) You both try stay closer to center. You watch 50 First Dates, she chills/joins you while you play Mario Galaxy.

    I’m lucky my favorite games/movies are the ones she tends to enjoy too, so there’s no give and take for me in this subject. But this sort of thing happens all the times in other areas. Just have to be fair, and aware that it’s another human being there with you.

    But none of this deals with the issue of time. Even if your girl wants you to play all day long, if you only have an hour, you only have an hour.

    Can’t make time.

    It seems most of you here are like me with a TIME issue, not a girl one.

  • Ellie

    I usually try to play video games on the weekends, opting to forgo homework rather than prolong video games.

    I might start playing video games once school’s over and if I’m not busy with other stuff.
    Also, I might be more tempted to play if there was any video games I’m really excited about. Nothing yet, really.

  • Reese

    I’m usually an avid lurker on this site, but after reading this post and some of the comments, I just had to emerge from my cave for a second…

    My first point: I would just like to say how much I love this site. It’s probably one of the only websites (and oh boy do I look at a lot of internetz) where I read every single article. The writer’s interests in movies/games/pop-culture/etc. is so god damn close to my own that it’s borderline creepy.

    My second point: This article captures exactly what I’ve been feeling for the past few months…

    At 22 years old, I graduated last June and was lucky enough to obtain a half-decent job pretty quickly. The problem is that on top of my commute, job, and tutoring English on the side (I should be going into the Peace Corps in about 6 months), the amount of games and time I’ve had to play has ebbed to a drip.

    Now keep in mind, while I was always pretty good with maintaining a good social life, I had an ungodly amount of time for gaming in my childhood/high-school/college years. On any given day I could put in 2-7 hours of gaming without even breaking a sweat. I’ve killed more horde, flood, goombas, innocent civilians, criminal-masterminds, and noobs then I care to count.

    Fast forward to the present day where I’m not getting home until 7 or 8 and I’m too drained to much other then make a frozen pizza and take a shower, and I just feel like something is….missing. I think that one of the earlier comments put it best in saying (something along the lines of): “Gaming isn’t an addiction, but a way of life.”

    While certainly we all may be starting to change our priorities (jobs, wives, children), and slowly our gaming-time may be getting shorter and shorter, we will always be gamers at heart. It’s simply who we are.

    Plus, there’s always retirement where I plan to game long past the point of having functional non-arthritic hands.

  • Madison

    @ Reese

    Great comment – it *is* who we are.

    Glad you enjoy the site, and thanks for reading.

  • pblake

    I gotta say, I am a college student, but I totally know the feeling. At school, I have tons of free time. When MW2 and Mass Effect 2 came out, I just played straight. I think I beat Mass Effect in 38 hours played over the course of 72 hours, including class and sleep. MW2 was similar, but the multiplayer just completely stole my life for a couple months. Until the end of this year, NHL 10 and Just Cause 2 were my poison of choice, and I put Conviction off specifically for summer.

    When I got home from school, I rented Conviction but never hooked back up to Live. Still haven’t. Played through Conviction, beat it, and loved it. But never tried the mutliplayer. The thing is, I have been working a labor intensive 8+ hour day, 5 days a week since I got home. I just don’t have as much time to waste as I used to. Its a conscious decision to read a book, or watch a movie or a tv show, or to play games. Right now, the book is winning.

    So even though I am a college student, I understand the conundrum. I’ve just accepted that the weekends and occasional weeknight will contain some gaming, and the bigs stuff will have to wait for school.

  • Brent

    Wow. Reading this has given me some comfort!

    It is exactly like you are talking about me! Im not a lawyer, but I do work at a lawfirm.

    And basically everything you described is the same for me.

    I have beaten every single gta that had come out. So when GTA4 came out, I was ready as all hell to lose my life over it. However, time is just too much of an issue for a game that involved. I never got passed 25%, and that took about 6 months. By then I had fallen out of the loop of the story and I gave up.

    So many more games have come out since then, biut I dont even bother any more as I know I wont have the time to properly enjoy them. I really do feel as if I have lost something that is very important to me.

    And lets face it, girlfriends are actually quite limiting when it comes to games. When I got infamous I spent the whole day playing it. It was the first time I had spent more then 20 mins playing since we got together… Boy did she crack it. Apparently the noises were too annoying, so now if I play, I have to turn it right down.

    I feel you bro. We should add these games to a list and make sure we remind ourselves to play them when we retire…hehehe…he..he * cry*

  • Shiki

    Hello guys,
    well I’we been a fan of this site for some time now and this is the first time I felt like writing something. I have to say, as time goes by, that this is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. I’m acctually from Croatia, finished college and started to work like 3 years ago. Recently I bought a PS3 because I’m a big fan of MGS but i dont have the time to play it at all. The only time I play something is on weekends, holidays and when I have my friends over for a drink and a smoke,and we play soccer and Guitar Hero, bu thats it. In the last year I broke my leg and was 3 months off from work, so that was the only time I could play some things I wanted to like Dragon age and Mass Effect 2, but lately I barely have the time to play a match of HoN. I find that makes me very nervous and depressed because gaming was, and still is my passion…but what can we do?!
    I have to say that i cant wait to be retired and move to the coutryside and devote myself to playin all those games i didn’t have the time to play when I wanted to, and maybe grow some funny plants while im doing it, but who knows what will happen by then. This working world sucks!!!!

  • drink51

    Great post as always…..I have 2 jobs and 3 kids I only get to play about 2-3 hours a week and that is with my oldest son which is fun as hell but I do miss the long marathon sessions with my friends from years ago…. About every 6 weeks or so Ill stay up til 2 or 3 in the morning and play alone but it requires sacrificing my already limited sleep……Like the poster above said when I retire you better watch out cause I plan on making up for lost time…..LOVE THIS SITE

  • IcemanD

    @ Madison: From previous posts/comments I’m pretty sure we are the same age. I am in the exact same predicament when it comes to video game playing.

    Between work ,wife, house, kid, and dog the only time I play games is right before bed or when I take a day off (which I agree is quite satisfying).

    Luckily my wife is a big reader and goes to bed 90 minutes before I do. This is when I play games…90 minutes at a time.

    Oh, and if you have girl that doesn’t let you do the things that you want (within reason of course, there has to be compromise) then it may be time to find a new one.

    P.S. Red Dead Redemption is a ton of fun and can be played in this fashion.

  • IcemanD

    The girl comment was directed at everybody, not Madison.

  • Mumu

    I feel your pain. When I was in college and uni (UK education) I’d play Burnout or do one or two missions on Guild Wars before I left home for school or the hospital I did my clinical. Back home by six, play on the PS2 then and then move to my room for more GW or AO till the wee hours.
    Now I seem to have no time, even though I have less stuff to do. My PS3 is gathering dust still half way thru FF13, I still try to play PC games, but I can’t muster the strength for long hauls or the mental torture. All this ambiguous responsibilities weighting on one’s mind, have to wake up pointlessly early, run around after patients and colleagues, and do self-study nonsense. As for weekends, while the boyfriend is understanding of the fact that gaming is my god but he is not part of this generation of gaming addicts. He kindly built a nice game worthy pc for my birthday. I really don’t want to make him feel like an afterthought. Men need attention too ^^.

  • Megatron

    for all the guys out there wishing their girlfriends didn’t take so much time away from their gaming, and being the girlfriend of an avid gamer, here are some tips:

    If it’s complicated or has a storyline-explain it. It gets us more involved, and if you’re any good it’s kind of like watching a movie.

    If you like to play Call of Duty or Halo or anything along those lines on Live then at least change up the scenery. I have to admit that these aren’t much fun to watch but I do like to see the different maps at least

    Try having her try some easier games. I know that a lot of gamer’s girlfriends like to play Mario, Supersmash or MarioKart etc. oh and let HER play what she wants when she wants to if you can. There’s some give and take here, obviously you want to play as much or more, but don’t just kick her off the tv as soon as the urge to play calls you (A good solution to this problem: my bf and I simply set up a smaller tv on the floor so I get to play Super Mario 3 on that tv and listen to my ipod or whatever so he can have the HD big tv for his gaming endeavors and we can both play at the same time:).

    I’m sure there are other, better ways to remedy the situation with gaming time and your gf, but that’s about all I’ve got. Just don’t insult her by not bothering to explain it because you think she can’t understand it or isn’t interested. Good luck guys! Hope it helps a bit

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  • macbundy

    count me in to this ever-growing male (mostly) support group! im 27, work a lot of hours in web design and advertising, gf and i do enjoy going out to bars and seeing music a lot.

    for me i will attribute this to a few things:
    1. weed smoking. in HS, college and post for a cpl years i smoked copious amounts of pot. this goes hand-in-hand w/ sitting on your couch and gaming.
    2. cost. while i worked throughout college and paid for most of it, i just cant justify forking over $60 for a new game. not possible.
    3. when i’m at home i just want to relax. read, clean up, mindless stuff. which video games CAN be, but they can also own your world. i work in front of a computer all day long and i just dont find myself flipping on the PS3, NES or Sega too often.

    the one plus to not gaming too often is that i can and do wait for the new games to come out, then reduce drastically in price after a few months. they’re new to ME, so im happy!

  • TheTrophyOne

    macbundy, nice! I am the same way. My friends raved about games like “Max Payne” and “Red Faction” on ps2 about 7 years ago, and about 3 years ago, I rolled into Gamestop and picked up both of those games with the original case and manual included around $3 a piece! There were tons of them on the shelves because everyone and their cousin ran out to buy them and traded them in when the next big thing came out. WOW, TOO BAD I WAITED!!! I could have payed $60 plus tax for the same thing brand new years ago!!! I do that with tons of games, and it has led to me having a huge collection for a VERY small price.

    Also, yeah…With $60 being half of the monthly water and sewer bill, I just can’t rationalize why I’d throw that same amount out the window every month on a game that is almost guaranteed to get lower in price as time goes on.

    Lastly, to answer the authors question. I just came downstairs from playing “Nightmare on Elm street” on the YOBO. This was my day off, and I like to play after everything is done around the house. Also, I like games I can pick up and play for about half an hour. For instance, I can beat “Bad Dudes” on the YOBO in about 15 minutes.

    BUT Sometimes, you come across a game that does everything PERFECTLY like,”Odd World: Stranger’s Wrath” for the XBOX. I couldn’t put that thing down! That’s a good feeling right there! So sometimes, I get a bit into games…but I am still turned off by things like RED DEAD REDEMPTION that take about 100 hours to beat. Sorry, but that would probably take me the rest of my life to beat, and because I rarely play all the time, I would forget the story everytime I started playing again.

    Ahh yeah, the magic of gaming slipping away and being eaten by the grown up world…just another fail in the game of life.

  • ComfortablyDumb

    Read your article. Liked it. Agree with everything. Not only to the point of all the “This is my life he’s describing”-comments. But also because that’s the way it should be.

    I mean, come on, we can sit around for hours and days helping a paladin defeat the devil himself, we can help a protagonist save the princess and defeat a whole world of assholes like in Final Fantasy. But when it comes to the bottom line – what’s in it? I’ve read your other articles about games like WoW and Everquest. There you mention people actually dying from playing them for so long.
    My question is – what good are those people to the society? Being between 20 and 40, living with their parents and blowing all financial resources on hardware and gametime. Woo-freaking-hoo!

    Personally I aim for the following: by the time I die I should have left a mark upon this world. Done something. Something that matters. Being a vegetable in front of the screen is not an accomplishment of any caliber.

    Got a bit off topic though. You’re going in the right direction. I have the same situation. My cure is – PSP. It’s got a few advantages:
    1. Portable – I can play an hour before I go to sleep or while I’m on my way to uni. I can even play while I take a dump.

    2. Lots of games available but it doesn’t suck you in the same way a proper console does since the gameplay is mostly arcade.

    3. All the PSX games are playable. Hence you’ve got some serious nostalgic points. I’m currently playing Alundra and Gran Turismo 2. Screw the fact that the graphics suck lots of ass, those games are legendary.

    • Madison

      You bring up a good point, which is that we shouldn’t be playing games for hours on end. Not at our age at least. I remember when I switched jobs back in 2006 (went from doing commercial litigation to medical malpractice) and I had a couple weeks off in between. I figured I would love it – do nothing but play video games, get drunk and stoned, and go to the gym during the day. After about two days I felt like the biggest waste of life on Earth. Not everyone feels like this; many are completely content to ooze their way through life without any contribution whatsoever. Not me.

  • FarAway

    I find myself on the flip side of this. I cannot wait to graduate so I have time for games. I’m so sick of staying up until 4AM working on a project a few times a week in college. I’m a Computer Engineering student rocking 18 credit hours and a senior project, so that certainly plays a role.

    Last year my semester’s scheduling was swapped around thanks to planned study abroad. Which basically translated into 3-4 months of working full time with a defense contractor.

    It was fantastic. I worked 40 hours a week developing software, but the rest of the time I was free. I didn’t have homework to follow me home daily piling on the stress. I could even throw in a late night gaming session on some weekends, which is almost never possible during school.

  • Jeff

    One of the only solutions I have found that works in this scenario is buying a handheld (Nintendo 3ds, PSP, etc.) That way, you can spend time with the wife with the TV on watching Housewives or whatever, and you can be immersed in Zelda, Call of Duty whatever while you talk with them.

    I didn’t realize this immediately after I got married but I have now. It’s the only way.

  • http://www.somethingprofessional.com David

    I have the same situation. I’d say the biggest cut into my video game time is my girlfriend. When I get back from work at around 5:30, I could easily play until around 11 or midnight every day if I lived alone. But I get home, help cook dinner, do dishes, help with laundry, hang out / talk / watch a movie / mow the lawn / walk the dog / etc, etc, etc, etc. By the time I can actually settle down, it’s like 8 or 9. I can maybe play for an hour until gf ‘goes to bed’ at around 10. Like I’m going to miss that ;) So, yeah, I can play maybe an hour or two a night. It’s not like I’m complaining. I love my life, it’s just a huge change post college.

    I really think the issue is having a meaningful relationship, though, not necessarily the work / post college life. Video games used to be the most important thing. They were the most fun you could have on a consistent basis… then you meet someone you truly enjoy spending time with and, while still fun, video games get pushed to the backburner because you truly would rather spend quality time with your significant other.

  • ProudGamer

    Wow, many of these post, including the main entry, just comes to show the power of the p.u.s.s.y and how people conform to societies rules, this could be a possible downfall for our world… moving on, some people actually are close to having the right idea…

    examples…

    ——-(Only get married to someone that shares your interests. Otherwise, you have to babysit for an adult that can’t seem to find something else to do, while you allow your stresses to evaporate while playing games. But I digress…) I pretty much leave my wife to watching the nonsense TV she loves to dumb her mind down with (i.e., Ugly Betty, The Good Wife, etc), and I head to a small room with a TV and Xbox 360. It’s not often she takes a particular interest in my gaming, and although I’ve sat with her and watched her shows, it’s typically not reciprocated. So, I tend to find time to play when I want, regardless of how she feels about it. After all, relationships are a two-way street.—–

    This person seems to have figured out what a meaningful relationship is, as opposed to the many others who blatantly throw the phrase around…

    FIND SOMEONE WHO SHARES YOUR INTEREST

    NOW I do know, trust me I know, because I rarely even think about starting a relationship with a girl who has video game envy, because I know who I am, it’s understand that most girls cannot stand video games.

    I think this is your choice to make, I’ll repeat this again, but it all comes down to a simple choice, sex or video games, gosh, did I say that was simple? funny how a hobby could challenge an activity that humans have cherished and made the focal point of existence like insects instinctively do, very funny how thoughts changed, although a very slow process and its yet to reach even the beginning of its climax, the stray away from sheets

    I’ll leave that there…

    ———In my late 20′s, work tech support full time. Just married an awesome girl who not only doesn’t mind me playing video games she actually wants me to play them! The other night I suggested we watch a movie (cause I felt bad for playing Red Dead for 12 hours straight the night before) and my wife says “I would rather watch you play Red Dead Redemption.”
    So besides work, I can play video games whenever I please, And it is AWESOME! The other night I was playing Read Dead Redemption while she cut my hair. Lol, just thought i’d throw that in there.
    I feel for you guys having to sneak time in around your girls. Ill play some games in your honor while you watch Julie and Julia.—————-

    This is what I call a lucky guy, many of my friends or a lot of other gamers I’ve met all yearn to meet that girl who spends her free time playing video games, even games like little big planet(which I’ve often played with the girl of the moment) but yeah IT IS RARE and when you usually meet that girl, she’s either dating a fuck!ng idiot(this is for many reasons, a few common, she wants to fit in and date a hot guy who could care less about games, OR this guy only wants sex from whats usually an innocent(heh) girl who rarely dabbles in the social world)

    …so what then, if its rare? what do i do? you mean to tell me i have to make the choice of sex! or as the normal would put it “a video game”? wow intense hormones, and peer pressure would kick right about here… ”

    ——-It’s all about compromise, fellas. If your girl loves you and understands you, she’s going to want you to be happy, and that means letting you play video games from time to time. I sit through American Idol for her, so there’s definitely some give and take.
    I have to say it’s very, very good to know that I’m not alone in this whole trying to find time to play video games.
    As far as her watching me play – that’s very rare, and she usually has a magazine handy. And she likes the RPGs for some reason; has no tolerance for the action games.———-

    NOW I KNOW, the many non out of the box thinkers will jump to conclusions…

    …with that being said, this guy has somewhat of a point, no matter how hard you try, you will really have to be lucky after high school and college to find a girl that you have so much in common with, and even then its a pain, this can be combated by doing activities that allow you to meet the same girls(boy would we have a lot more nerd events if this was something people actually took advantage of, but its not that way so the choices are slim… at least where I live…)

    in my experience, going to the movies(which I enjoy) going to concerts(which I enjoy) I actually like watching shows that most girls enjoy, “i’m pretty open minded”(this is a key point) and a few other activities that aren’t that much of problem are part of the compromising, but as he said “If your girl loves you and understands you, she’s going to want you to be happy” this works both ways

    *These bits stood out…*

    ———–Try having her try some easier games. I know that a lot of gamer’s girlfriends like to play Mario, Supersmash or MarioKart etc. oh and let HER play what she wants when she wants to if you can. There’s some give and take here, obviously you want to play as much or more, but don’t just kick her off the tv as soon as the urge to play calls you (A good solution to this problem: my bf and I simply set up a smaller tv on the floor so I get to play Super Mario 3 on that tv and listen to my ipod or whatever so he can have the HD big tv for his gaming endeavors and we can both play at the same time:).————

    As I mention above, this is only a dream for many guys out there… its so easy for a girl to say these things, but in actuality you have a greater chance of being hit by a car than to find a girl who wants to play a game while you game… RARE go try for yourself do a tally… if your shocked, then maybe gaming is just something you should throw out all together

    ———I have the same situation. I’d say the biggest cut into my video game time is my girlfriend. When I get back from work at around 5:30, I could easily play until around 11 or midnight every day if I lived alone. But I get home, help cook dinner, do dishes, help with laundry, hang out / talk / watch a movie / mow the lawn / walk the dog / etc, etc, etc, etc. By the time I can actually settle down, it’s like 8 or 9. I can maybe play for an hour until gf ‘goes to bed’ at around 10. Like I’m going to miss that So, yeah, I can play maybe an hour or two a night. It’s not like I’m complaining. I love my life, it’s just a huge change post college.
    I really think the issue is having a meaningful relationship, though, not necessarily the work / post college life. Video games used to be the most important thing. They were the most fun you could have on a consistent basis… then you meet someone you truly enjoy spending time with and, while still fun, video games get pushed to the backburner because you truly would rather spend quality time with your significant other.————

    wtf is “talk”? what is this everybody loves Raymond? or you in a relationship with a girl who grew watching Debra? what? you mean to tell me you stop, do nothing and just talk… that’s not much of a relationship to begin with in the first place, if you have to stop, sit down and talk, all the shit you mentioned is just that bullsh1t… cooking and doing dishes shouldn’t take that much time out of your day, I could see if you had a big family, which would totally be your choice, which means you don’t care about gaming and shouldn’t even be thinking about it, let alone making a post about why you cant play them… help with the laundry…you mean you can’t start a load by yourself, game, change to the dryer, and if your a neat freak, when you fold or hang up, knock it out real quick in a time managing manner and go back enjoying life….last time I checked it doesn’t take two people to do laundry, unless your like apart of one of those shows for people who have 12 kids… and then again, gaming shouldn’t be a priority…

    you hang out huh, (lets look into this)not sure what you do, but(and this opens another door) but at a certain age, limiting the amount of friends you “hangout” with is an ideal life changing choice

    for one, if your guy going into a relationship, would you rather hang out with a bunch of guys are your girlfriend?

    I KNOW this is a lifestyle for many men, but there’s a reason for it, MOST MEN ARE UN-EVOLVED(later) AND DATE GIRLS BECAUSE THEY THINK SHES HOT… so you have nothing in common with her and would rather hangout with guys to have fun… or you become like Bruce Jenner…I’ll just use him as a reference, but irl I’ve met many men who are slaves to the p.u.s.s.y and basically have no control over their life, and have to build stupid shit like man caves or whatever, wtf is a man cave, my house is my cave

    secondly, do your friends not share the same interest? wtf hangout, LAWL and hell, if you meant hangout as in you and your girlfriend and a group of others, that’s acceptable, but as mentioned its a choice you make

    and hell, many games today are online so physically leaving your girlfriend usually isn’t necessary anymore, even games like street fighter make it easier for you to spend time at home

    what else did you mention… oh, you bought a house with a lawn, and you bought a dog… but now you complain on how they interfere with your life… next

    ———I find myself on the flip side of this. I cannot wait to graduate so I have time for games. I’m so sick of staying up until 4AM working on a project a few times a week in college. I’m a Computer Engineering student rocking 18 credit hours and a senior project, so that certainly plays a role.
    Last year my semester’s scheduling was swapped around thanks to planned study abroad. Which basically translated into 3-4 months of working full time with a defense contractor.
    It was fantastic. I worked 40 hours a week developing software, but the rest of the time I was free. I didn’t have homework to follow me home daily piling on the stress. I could even throw in a late night gaming session on some weekends, which is almost never possible during school.————

    this is how i feel, im still in school and school is important as in if you don’t have gil, you can’t buy games or have a safe place to play them or have a place to have sex LAWLAWLAWL

    and your career choice is your just that, your choice, if you become a lawyer…. i mean your a lawyer…what do you expect? its like buying the house with the lawn, and the dog, then saying i hate the fact that i have these things…

    if you become a paralegal, what do you expect?

    I could go on about career choices and how everyone can’t sit at home make money and play games, but im sure its a def. topic

    NOW THIS SH1T PISSES ME OFF…

    ———But also because that’s the way it should be.
    I mean, come on, we can sit around for hours and days helping a paladin defeat the devil himself, we can help a protagonist save the princess and defeat a whole world of assholes like in Final Fantasy. But when it comes to the bottom line – what’s in it? I’ve read your other articles about games like WoW and Everquest. There you mention people actually dying from playing them for so long.
    My question is – what good are those people to the society? Being between 20 and 40, living with their parents and blowing all financial resources on hardware and gametime. Woo-freaking-hoo!————-

    I’m gonna say your not a gamer, because gamers wouldn’t say sh1t like this… those people who died playing lolwow and everquest… made that choice for themselves, sh1t likes this creates a world where gamers have to defend their hobby…and your saying its a reason to stop gaming period…

    lets say im a golfer who blows financial resources on thousand dollar clubs?(i like golf btw) lets say lol im bruce jenner and spend thousands of dollars on mini helicopters, lets say anyone is any of the people enjoying their hard earned money on what they enjoy doing… then shit if were not bettering our fucked up government, economy, or what ever it is you think is contributing to the world then were all idiots, people that do things that matter such as scientist either put their life into their work and could care less about video games or hell id like to think they could understand time management and finding a relationship that doesn’t control their free time…. you sir are a fuck1ng idiot, i will continue to slay assholes, defeat devils until my nervous system cannot no longer function well enough to help me slay noobs like you, then and only then will i stop gaming…

    —–You bring up a good point, which is that we shouldn’t be playing games for hours on end. Not at our age at least. I remember when I switched jobs back in 2006 (went from doing commercial litigation to medical malpractice) and I had a couple weeks off in between. I figured I would love it – do nothing but play video games, get drunk and stoned, and go to the gym during the day. After about two days I felt like the biggest waste of life on Earth. Not everyone feels like this; many are completely content to ooze their way through life without any contribution whatsoever. Not me.—-

    your a lawyer, heh, you contribute, at least that’s what most of society thinks of lawyers, but what else do you take part in that’s so damned helpful, are you telling people not to litter or filthy streets in some anti littering campaign? or you trying to stop our girls from dating idiots, getting pregnant, and further ruining society? what do you do?

    contributing? hell, its best if many people don’t help otherwise they’ll fvck sh1t up, its best many people follow the laws, and enjoy life…

    as other things have evolved over time, why hasn’t humankind realized, noticed, or believed that we can to… some guys have evolved and don’t think that plowing a girl is the answer to a good life, sex is good, but it shouldn’t dictate your life, a meaningful relationship is great, but shouldn’t make you sacrifice things that make you happy in your only life(heh), and if your saying that i choose a relationship over games, then what are you doing complaining about not having time to do something you clearly could care less about… over course females don’t want a world were their biggest asset is no longer a desire, so the thought of a majority guys opting out of sex is a realization far off…

    as i mentioned above, these are all choices you make, there aren’t any rules to say you can’t game… you make these choices that your environment(as your environment affects the choices you make(another discussion)), elders, people around you influence… you don’t wanna seem like a loser gamer outcast do ya though…

    im 26, hardcore gamer, ive been with the reg. girl and been close to very few gamer girls, two to be exact, i’m currently a freelance writer, finishing school, in a fwb relationship and lovin every minute of it

    prob. didn’t complete a few ideas(to my satisfaction), but look at how long this post is already…

  • Kat

    Maybe this is a very dumb statement, but: don’t girlfriends have their own hobbies nowadays, like… go do girly stuff, like they did in past times?

    With regard to that, maybe you’ve got two types of women:

    - My girlfriend – She can occupy herself, with various activities, be it reading, watching some show on TV, internet on the tablet, or other things. I am not required to be around for those activities. When she wants to watch a 3 hour movie that I don’t want to see, then I don’t see it, and she doesn’t hate me for it. It’s the same the other way around. We do stuff together when we want to.

    - My sister – She cannot occupy herself even if her life depended on it. She can’t do ANYTHING alone, not even watch a show on TV. Her boyfriend HAS to be there, watching with her. She is one of those girls who needs to be entertained: she can’t keep herself busy. Also she does not have any hobbies. After work and household, there basically is “nothing” to do, and *if* she does anything, her boyfriend *must* do that too, with her.

    If my GF was like my sister, that relationship would have been over in week 2.

  • Malcolm X

    I’m in college and have no time to play my Xbox 360. Almost every week I have a quiz. I have committed myself to get A grades this semester. I get back home from college at 7 p.m. eat my dinner, have some rest, then go study watch TV till 12 p.m.

    If i get free time I just surf the net or watch youtube/TV coz i barely have more than 1.5 hours of free time for a real time gaming. I stay in my home with my family which is 20-30 mins from my college by car. In weekends I tend to play football with my friends than to play video games.

    The only games that I can play is quick games like PES and FIFA, Tekken, street fighter. I have only finished 2 games Gears of war 2 and Portal 2 and reached 65% in GTA IV in the last 3 months summer vacation and that is when I had real a free time. I have bought gears of war 3, crysis 2, dark souls, MGS HD collection (played them on my PS2) , halo 3 and red dead redemption but I haven’t touched them lol.

    I really have no time, I feel so pressurized with my studies. I wish I had an investment which could get me 2000$ a month, so I could stay alone in a one room apartment to play all the games I’ve wanted.

    I really miss the old times when I used to watch my bigger brothers play and finish all the great games of Sega, PS1, Dream Cast and PS2. And then when I grew up a little I used to do what they did. Ahhh good memories.

    But on the other side, I don’t want to be an extra person in this planet. I feel that I must to do something in Earth before dying. In fact we all must leave a legacy. No one want’s to die a video gamer lol. So in reality it’s not that we don’t have time to play video games, it is the video games that is wasting our time.

  • John Doe

    Stumbled upon this while browsing lol , what a sad link , people wanting to play a PC/console game a few hours a week and they are denied. Get a decent girlfriend / wife. Ya pathetic washcloths.

  • Jesus&Buda§

    @John Doe: what a c***. Clearly you haven’t read the original post, which was about trying to find time to play games when you lead a busy life. A problem I myself face and have had to sacrifice playing all games other than games on my iPhone that I can play on the bus to work. So if there was a system, a trick, or a way of living life (whatever that means for each of us) and still playing games I would have liked to know. I think what it comes down to is organisation and willing to sacrifice in life. Maybe make a pie chart of all your activities and rank them by importance?

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