O.k. I am a teacher, which means that on most days I am done with work at 3:40 and will be home sometime around 4:10 (depending on the bus). I then have to walk the dog and will be home by 4:30. I have two hours before my wife will usually come home from work. That is when I get to play games the way that I remember (spending continuous hours being engulfed by a game).
I still get to play games in other ways, and that has changed what I play. My number one game (based on time) right now is Left 4 Dead, but that is somewhat of an anomaly. The number 2 and 3 are currently Picross on my DS and Peggle on my phone (yes, I am now playing games on my phone). The only reason I've played so much Left 4 Dead is because a whole movie can be played online in ~45 minutes.
The lesson learned is that the style of games that I play now are games that can be fit into a tight space. That doesn't allow for great epics like Fallout (which I will finish soon) or Mass Effect. Heck, I'm having hard time getting through Chrono Tigger and that is portable. This is nothing new, but it is kind of sad. When I play games can fit into three categories: on the bus (Peggle/Picross), before my wife gets home (Fallout 3/Rock Band 2), and before I go to bed (Left 4 Dead). That has changed the game that I play as a result. I play games that can fit in bit-size, easy to pause chunks, and I don't buy games nearly as much as I used to because the games I buy last so long.
So, when do you play games, and how does that affect then games you buy?
After listening to the giant bobcast since its inception I have decided to join the site and start a small blog. Maybe I'll contribute to something else someday, but I doubt it.
The reason for my doubt is that like many other 30 year olds I find that the time I have for games has shrunk considerably. Getting married is a large part of this, but it really started when I left college. I don't think this in anyway unique, but as I have been listening to video game podcasts for the past 5 years I find that I am more and more out of touch with the community that those podcasts portray. The podcast I've listened to the most is 1up Yours and while I appreciate many of the contributors, John Davison is by far my favorite. I bring him up because his comments about getting older and playing games. The fact that his interests are changing as his kids get older, and playing the "All Play" brand of games for the Wii become more and more appealing since he can play with his son.
Anyway, the point of this post is to reiterate that Fallout 3 is fantastic. While I've had some problems with things like the lighting, the story has been solid, and the gameplay is good. I've heard complaints about wandering around a mostly brown and grey wasteland and spending hours not interacting with anything, and I understand where those complaints come from. Right now my only complaint is that I can devote at best 1-2 hours a day into this game that clearly needs more. It is a shame, but again my life has gotten in the way of my gaming. I'm sure I'll have more to say about that as time goes on, but it is increasingly more difficult to call myself a "gamer" because I simply don't have the time to game. Sigh.