By MMMman 28 Comments
I’ve played games for my whole life. I was playing 2600 games when I was very young and then had a SNES. After that came the three Playstations, then a Wii and finally a 360. I’ve lived and breathed gaming and its technological advances. Counter Strike in its heyday. My Uncle wiping my Gex 3 save on my Birthday. The excessive trouble needed to hook up a PS2 to the internet. The comparative ease of playing pirated games on that very same console. Playing GTA III for the first time at my cousin’s house. Playing Motorstorm and experiencing a PS3 for the first time at my friend’s house. Actually buying my own PS3, the first console I’d spent my own money on. Playing GTA IV for twenty-four hours straight on release day. Stabbing my Wii with a knife to cash in on the insurance to buy my 360. All are terribly cherished memories for one reason or another.
The last of these is playing through the Telltale Monkey Island with a friend almost two years ago. We played the entire season in a couple of sittings, both solving puzzles and looking at the game in different ways, ultimately bettering the challenges relatively quickly. Since then, however, life has taken its toll on my spare time for games. Work, which was always present, still eats up a large portion of my week. That I can justify, though all the other ancillary activities quickly pile up. The gym, every weekday after work eats up a couple of hours though is thoroughly necessary. Seeing friends takes up whole evenings thereafter. Being in a steady relationship also occupies time that could otherwise be given to games, though there is always a compromise to be made when considering two people and their time together. I like to write about video games as well. With all these other activities taken care of I maybe get to actually play games for about ten ours a week; not much by all accounts.
Through this constraint I’ve begun to admire and enjoy the shorter downloadable game much more. I like the ability to fully experience a game within my own diminished schedule. In the past I played Flower as just another game to play; one in a long line of others that I could experience at my leisure because I had LOTS of time to spend playing games. I loved that game regardless of this blasé approach and still consider it one of my all-time favourites. When it came to Journey, however, its importance was elevated because of my lack of free time. It was to be the only game that I would play that week, and so my time with it was infinitely more sacred. It proved to be delightful, rapturous even, and showed me that I can still enjoy games even if I can’t play as many as I would like to.
I pose this question to you, then. How much time do you actually have to play games and what proves to be the biggest obstacle between you and them?