Every day play

As a gamer, and an MMO enthusiast, I try to play a video game (an MMO if possible) every day, for at least half an hour. This is beyond games on my cell phone like Words with Friends, or Angry Birds, both of which are great games, but not what I consider “serious endeavors” in gaming time. There are days where this goals isn’t always possible, or where I have to sacrifice else-where to fit the time in. Thursdays are a good example of days where it’s more difficult for me to play around in my hobby.

Every-other Thursday my wife and I along with a small group of friends goes to a restaurant and play a hosted trivia. The Thursdays in between trivia, we have those same friends over for dinner and small-group faith discussions. Typically by the time that everything is said and done on either night, we’re not home and settled until 10:00pm or later,  which leaves precious little time for anything to be done after if I want to actually spend any time talking to my wife, watch a program together, or read a book in bed. Last night went particularly long, but I really wanted to get some Rift-time in, which I despaired of being able to do when I saw that the queue was an hour wait at 10-ish EST. I threw myself into the wait, and went to hang with the wife and watch some TV.

Around 11:45 or so, my wife went to bed, and I went back to check on the computer. There was my character select, and the temptation to just play for a short while was too much to resist. So, I sat down, jumped into the world of Telara, and got my Warrior to level 17 from a fresh 15, in just over an hour. My head hit the pillow at 1 am, and rose up from said pillow 5 hours later. 5 hours isn’t a lot of sleep for me, as I usually get about 7, to 7 and a half, and I’m feeling the difference, but I’ve also functioned off of FAR less (read: zero).

So here, I am, typing this post, while chugging down a Lo-carb Monster Energy drink, and eating some peanuts, and wondering, do other gamers play every day? What sacrifices do they make to do so? Do they consider it a worthwhile trade-of (as I do)? Habits of gamers vary I’m sure, but I don’t think I’m alone

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About Shadow
Making serious business out of internet spaceships.

12 Responses to Every day play

  1. Snafzg says:

    The last time I was an everyday gamer was when I was in college with a girlfriend and TWO part-time jobs (about 35 hrs per week). I felt like I had all kinds of time to play as the GF and I would usually hang 3-4 times per week and my schedule was so erratic that I could fit it in anywhere. I even had time to hang with friends 2-3 times per week.

    I married said girlfriend, traded two jobs for one (roughly the same hours), only hang with friends 1-2 times per week and yet my gaming time dropped dramatically! I went from 25+ hours of gaming per week to about 15. Now that I have a baby, I’m sitting around a cool 4, which I manage to sneak in when both baby and mom are napping.

    It’s strange really… my life is much more structured now but I just can’t find the time to game like I used to. There are times I miss it surely, but I can’t say I’m scratching my skin off like a crack addict or anything.

  2. Snafzg says:

    I guess I should say my life was much more structured BEFORE baby, haha. She’s on a wonky sleeping schedule atm (2-5 hours sleep breaks with 1-2 hour alert periods — totally random tho so it’s hard to commit to starting a game I might have to leave if her mom needs me to do anything). I can’t wait for the 12-week mark when she will hopefully get into a 9-12 hour sleeping schedule.

    • Shadow says:

      That 12-week mark is AWESOME. My wife and I were really lucky, in that she had 3 months of paid paid maternity leave, so it softened the blow tremendously.

      I don’t know if you read Rivs blog, but he posted a GREAT presentation from TED, by Jane McGonigal, a game developer. In it, she talks about how games are a big part of what people use to escape the negatives of life, to find positives and reassurances that they do not receive in the real world. The converse would seem to be a truism, that if you are happy, and content, then the “need” or desire to go to those worlds/games would become less.

      • Rikker says:

        I’ll have to check out that presentation, I’ve been noticing this myself a lot lately.

        As I become more active (I’ve gotten pretty heavily into rock-climbing of late), the “need” to game fluctuates, for sure. Some nights I’ll play for 3-4 hours, but many nights I won’t log in at all. My guild is starting to wonder where I’ve gone I think ;P.

        I agree though, sleep seems to generally be the area of greatest sacrifice, and probably is accompanied by “cleaning” or “things I really should do but don’t HAVE to be done right now…”.

        Ah well, such is life.

  3. Jestor says:

    Whatever game I am playing at the time I always try and get something in. Sometimes it’s a 10 minute crafting session or a 10 minute daily quest, other times it’s a 6 hour jam session getting some real progress in. That being said though real life takes priority and it’s always better to go hang with some friends instead of being stuck next to the computer.

    Earlier this week my league in DCUO was getting in some newer members and alts into the easier raids which ended up lasting until 2am. Lets just say that working the next day wasn’t as easy as it could have been 🙂 It was worth it though as it was a real good time.

  4. Mr. Meh says:

    RIFT’s launch has destroyed my sleep schedule as my work is increasing by the moment.

    I took the launch day of Thursday off, and ever since then been in the rankings of our guild’s top 6 ranks. And I happen to be the only Cleric of them. As a result I feel this obligation to run late night dungeons and pvp roams.

    But, I fell behind yesterday, and am now 3 ranks behind. So that’s a big stress relief. I can level on my own now. yeah.

    • Shadow says:

      I hear you on that. Part of why I’m not looking to join any guilds right now is that I don’t want to feel rushed to hit cap, or give the impression that I can keep to an intense leveling/raid schedule.

  5. Gankalicious says:

    I game almost daily and have been doing so for a very long time. There was a 6-month layoff when I moved back to North America and had to wait for the ship (literally) to leave with all my worldly possessions on it. That took 6-months.

    How do I make the time? No real-life friends, and no children makes it easy, and She Who Will Be Named Later (my wife) often works evenings and weekends leaving me to my own devices. I do not own a TV either so the internet is my only timesink.

    When you make the decision to become a social hermit you find your free-time absolutely rockets!

    Don’t think that I’m a crazy recluse (well, I’m not a recluse anyway)- I’m really quite functional 🙂 I tried the ‘reality’ MMO and it was too grindy, and all the character’s were samey and one-dimensional. I prefer the virtual world.

  6. Jomu says:

    i would try not to play every day, but its hard when a game *coughRiftcough* is so good. My other passion is photography and when i have photos to touch up, that can take me away from that. 🙂

    i normally sacrifice job searching, reading helpful books, or getting other important RL stuff done. I never forego spending time with friends to play a game though; the game can wait! Its good to have balance in life.

  7. Pre says:

    I try to get some interactive entertainment every day, but sometimes it’s just a quick game on my phone to scratch the itch. We have two babies under 3 y.o. and their sleep schedule now usually allows me to game later at night, but of course that keeps me from sleeping as much as I’d like to before having to get them ready for daycare and myself for work the next day (or “later that morning” to be more accurate).

    Some days when I can’t log in to WAR I’ll still hop on my guild vent server just to say hey and see what’s going on, even if it’s just general chit-chat. The social aspect of being able to hang out with people I like without leaving the comfort of my home (and my babies if they need me) keeps me looking forward to the next time I can log in for a couple of hours and get that extra stress relief of playing while we chat.

  8. theerivs says:

    Actually I got to give Bee credit cause she posted it, not I….I’m not that intellectual. I do game mostly everyday, except once in awhile when I get drunk. Sometimes it’s just an hour or so though. One time in my life I missed major gaming time was a week when I was in the hospital…and boy was I jonesing.

  9. chris says:

    I try to play every day, its my downtime. Last night we finally got our 7 month old to bed and played for a couple of hours, but it really dug into my sleeptime; I too am feeling it today. Rift has its hooks in me for sure.

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