How much time do you actually spend playing games?

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?

27 Comments
28 Comments
Posted by MMMman

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?

Posted by Video_Game_King

Too much.

Posted by FluxWaveZ

@Video_Game_King said:

Too much.

No such thing.

Posted by LTSmash

Maybe an hour per session, three or four times a week.

Edited by believer258

Depends on the week. There are some extremes - for instance, finals week? NO GAMING. At all. But the week after that consists solely of gaming, sleeping, Dorito's, and Pepsi.

On regular ass weeks, though, I usually post on Giantbomb do homework and study until circa 8:30, then play stuff until about 9:30/10:00. So an hour a night on weeknights, and then about four or five hours a night Friday and Saturday, and then pretty much all day Sunday. So, yeah, I do plenty of gaming, but I don't have a significant other at the moment and, because I'm a commuter student and don't participate in many college activities because I'm never on campus, and I'm fairly quiet, I don't have a ton of friends either. Which might sound unhealthy but I don't feel unhealthy - in fact, I feel pretty damn good most of the time.

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Posted by pyromagnestir

It fluctuates, sometimes wildly. For example, I haven't played much in the way of games at all this summer, whereas back in January and early February I beat Saints Row the Third, Modern Warfare 3, and put 140 hours into Skyrim and probably played other games I can't remember.

Posted by Cyrus_Saren

Far less than I used to. 10 hours, maybe. Things change with having a child.

Posted by MMMman

@pyromagnestir: Thanks fot the reminder. 120 into Oblivion and about 80 into Fallout 3, two other forgotten highlights. Skyrim had me for about 60, though time just got in the way. I simply don't have the hours any more. Part of me wishes I did because I doubt I'll ever get hooked by it again.

Posted by MMMman

@Cyrus_Saren: I can imagine. I know people who used to be 'hardXcore' PC guys who now have families and rarely have the time. The joys of fatherhood have changed their perception and they are now completely happy with a mobile game for the commute. It certainly seems to puts things into perspective.

Posted by DoctorDanger99

not as much as id like. when i get a new game i usually devote alot of time to it. but mostly it's whenever im in the mood which varies. sadly i have all these great single player games to finish yet im allways passing them up to play team fortress 2 on xbox live or a quick match in marvel vs capcom.ive been trying to beat RE4 for over a year lol

Posted by DarthOrange

It really does depend. As stated by @believer258 the week before and during finals I will maybe get a total of an hour of gaming during those two weeks. Sometimes there are no games that interest me and I just wont play at all for weeks at a time. Other times I get completely immersed and will play for an unhealthy amount of time through the night, be a zombie during the day, pass out early that next day without playing, and start the cycle again on the third day (Saints Row 2 and Gran Turismo 5 come to mind as examples). And other times (like with local co-op games or fighting games) I play a little every day. I don't live my life in a rut doing the same thing for too long, it drives me mad.

Posted by Coafi

I actually read more about games than actually play them, but when I do play them, I play a 5 hour session or so.

Edited by Kidavenger

10-15 hours a week according to Steam.

When I was playing WoW it was 30-40 hours a week, every week for 6 years and that was normal for the majority of the people in my guild, no idea how I did it or why I seem to have so little time to spare now.

Posted by NoobSauceG7

Never enough time but in seriousness I spend much more time than the average person.

Posted by iam3green

a lot! i remember like 4 years ago playing wow 17 hours on the weekend on my days off.

Posted by GoofyGoober

When ever i actually get some free time from work and my GF isn't hogging it lol.

Posted by fuzzypumpkin

Shit, it's gotten pretty bad for me, which really bums me out because I have ALWAYS been deeply vested in video games. I've been going to school for 3 or 4 hours a day on Monday through Thursday, working 30 to 40 hours a week, going to the gym 5 days a week and running on 3 or 4 of those days as well. Even when I do have a few hours to spare for video games, I feel as if I'm too tired and would just rather sit and watch a movie or some television. I got some hours in last week, however, due to it being my vacation week. Put in a good 10 or 15 hours into Valkyria Chronicles(which I have had since June and am almost done with! I will attempt to put up a review at some point to give that a try and see how I like it.) So to end this long answer I'll just say I hardly play games at all anymore and it honestly makes me kinda sad. That is life I guess...

Posted by Sploder

I don't play videogames I just complain about them on the internet.

Posted by Fattony12000

@MMMman said:

@pyromagnestir: Thanks fot the reminder. 120 into Oblivion and about 80 into Fallout 3, two other forgotten highlights. Skyrim had me for about 60, though time just got in the way. I simply don't have the hours any more. Part of me wishes I did because I doubt I'll ever get hooked by it again.

Oh wow, I went off the deep end when I played Morrowind, didn't I? The figure for my playtime across both the Xbox and PC was up in the quadruple digits. :( / :)

Edited by HH

if I'm into a game I'll play about six hours a day until I'm done with it, which might take a week or a month, but that only happens like twice a year. the rest of the time I'll shoot things for maybe an hour, but sometimes I go without and don't play anything at all for a few weeks, or even months.

Posted by MMMman

@fuzzypumpkin said:

Even when I do have a few hours to spare for video games, I feel as if I'm too tired and would just rather sit and watch a movie or some television.

I get that a lot too, especially on week nights. I really want to play something, even for an hour, but as soon an I slop down I often just stick something on to watch. Very lazy of me.

Posted by TobbRobb

It depends a lot. I'm unemployed so I do have the time, I just don't feel like it as much anymore. It really just boils down to a couple of DotA/LoL games every other day with friends. Though sometimes I'll get heavily invested in a singleplayer game and just play it until I can't play anymore. That only happens like, once every two years though.

Edited by Chop

I used to spend up 8 hours or more, a day, easily.

However, I can't really do more than 2 hours a day now and that's at the upper limit. I usually do no more than a half hour now...the only thing restricting my play is my own interests. Games can't enthrall me anymore like they used to.

Posted by Brodehouse

Depends if I have something that's motivating me. Since the second Persona 4 Arena tournament I've probably been playing that game 3-5 hours a night for four nights in a row.

Video games are my main leisure activity, they're what I'm interested in and what I do on my spare time. The time other people spend on television or movies, I spend on games. I'd say my tv or movie watching time is about equal to other people's video game time; which is to say about 2 hours a week.

Posted by Levius

I'll probably play about an hour or two every weekday, and little or none on weekends. Sometimes I'll fall into a hole with one game though, I must of played about 20 hours of Magic:DotP 2013 this week.

Posted by 8Bit_Archer

Maybe an hour or two every couple of days...when the kids are asleep and my wife is doing homework...larger chunks on the weekend late at night.

Posted by MMMman

@Chop: I'm finding myself becoming much more selective as I get older and have less time. I used to grab the CoD games on release day mainly for the spectacle of the campaign. I was into that brand of silly gung-ho action even if it was still mostly mindless. After Black Ops my interest dropped like a stone. I haven't bothered with MW3 and was curious about Battlefield's poorly received single player offering and got a couple of hours into it and gave up. I did do Homefront, but that is only about half an hour long and was a breeze. I simply haven't got the patience any more. I got a ways into Arkham City and stopped because of the constant traversal and unnecessary number of side quests popping up everywhere. Arkham Asylum was great, taking the deliberate pacing and structure away made City feel awkward and direction-less for me. It seems I need to be grabbed by the first couple of hours these days or I quickly change up.

Posted by amir90

These last 2 weeks:

Almost nothing, I blame pen and paper tabletop games :)