Does anyone still book time off work for a game release?

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stantongrouse

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With the recent kerfuffle around the Hitman 3 release (and countless other games since the growth of digital distribution and day 1 patches) do any of you peeps still book a day off work well in advance of the release of a game?

There were some very disgruntled UK residents who, after complaining that Hitman 3 didn't unlock until midday, then complained about the issues around the carry over site crashing but mostly attached to the fact that they'd booked a day off to play it and that day has been wasted.

Now, I've not done it myself, but I totally get the idea behind booking a day off for a game release but not since the early 360/PS3 era would I consider it a smart thing to do. Between large downloads, server crashes from too many players and the broken nature some big and small games suffer from on release it just seems folly to book time off way ahead to play a modern big game. It could be my cynical nature but I tend to lean towards most games, especially those with online dependencies, being worth a wait until they can be enjoyed.

FWIW, I got Hitman 3 as a pre-order present at Christmas and while I've downloaded it today (and I really would like to play it right now) I'm okay to hold off until the bottleneck of people trying to carry over their progression is over. Also, I can't find work for love nor money so I might also be harbouring jealousy of those that can book time off.

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inevpatoria

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#2  Edited By inevpatoria

Nah.

I think that's less about the game or the pipeline to download updates/necessary patches or whatever (even though that can definitely be a challenge) and more about the fact that I just have a harder time guaranteeing personal time will remain open, even if I request it off of work. Life's busy, man, and most of the time I have to work around what's going on.

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stantongrouse

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@inevpatoria: True - the fast filling personal time schedule is something that's definitely gotten worse as I've entered the older gamer territory.

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Justin258

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I had to work three days of Thanksgiving week. I asked for those off to play Cyberpunk 2077. The game didn't come out that week, which did bum me out a little bit but I played Fallout New Vegas instead. Considering what we actually got in mid-December, I think things turned out well for me.

Worth noting that CP2077 isn't the only reason I took that week off. By that point, I hadn't had an extended break for quite some time, nothing more than a three day weekend or so for a couple months, and I needed to just crash for a week.

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Efesell

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I'm not above it.

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tds418

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#6  Edited By tds418

I took time off to play the new Destiny expansion (Beyond Light). I was fully prepared for there to be server issues though, so I wouldn't have been salty if that had been the case. It launched on the same day as the Series S, so I still would have been able to mess around with that. Thankfully, the launch went off largely without a hitch, so I definitely put in a couple of 12 hour days...lol.

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stantongrouse

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@justin258: Ah, I'm totally behind the idea of using part of a period of time off to binge a game. Funnily enough, I was working in a prison when New Vegas came out and I remember that although I didn't take time of to play it I basically became a New Vegas hermit for the whole weekend. The type were I had to remind myself to eat.

Sounds like you dodged a bit of a bullet missing Cyberpunk release though. Not played it myself but seems like a lot of people got a pretty rough ride.

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stantongrouse

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@tds418: Destiny as a new DLC drops can be a bit strange. I like to log in a couple of days before to remind myself of how quiet the tower normally is before the population explosion.

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brian_

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I could never justify to myself taking time off from my job just to play a video game. But I'm the type of idiot that doesn't take off of work for anything unless I'm physically unable to do my job.

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LapsarianGiraff

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The last time I ever took time specifically off for a game was pretending to be sick in high school for the release of Mass Effect 3.

That... was a bummer of a day off. What made it worse was I was writing for a video game website that wanted a review in as timely a manner as possible (despite not having an early access review code, ha,) so I got to marathon through arguably the worst Mass Effect. That turned me off on the concept pretty quick.

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Rebel_Scum

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#11  Edited By Rebel_Scum

I've never done it. I've known some dudes who take a week or two off for a game release and I just think that's such a waste of annual leave.

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cikame

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The last time i did that was for Tekken Tag 2, then it was delayed a bit so that didn't work, but i wasn't really annoyed as i'm fully capable of enjoying my holidays otherwise.
I usually book the week of E3 off so i can catch some of the reactions live, that still worked last year as events and announcements happened that week even without it, not sure what's happening this year, i've already got a week booked off in June.

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navster15

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Maybe if I had European vacation time (4+ weeks) but as a lowly Canadian with 3 weeks, that shit mostly gets eaten up by family time, and in a different era, travel vacations.

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FinalDasa

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#14 FinalDasa  Moderator

I have taken time off for some bigger releases, especially when I had roommates who would be spending their day playing with me. And I have taken time off to just relax and that ends up being a day of video games.

But it happens less often than it used to.

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sombre

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Never, games aren't THAT important to me

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Slag

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I know a handful of people who really got screwed due to the Cyberpunk delay

I've never done this tho

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hatking

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#17 hatking  Online

I did when I was younger and working part time while going to school. I cared less about my hourly retail jobs than I did, say, the release of Halo 2. These days, even though I have PTO and a job that's flexible, I don't do that.

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Belegorm

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I have not. I have considered it previously though, for a new expansion or big patch drop for FFXI or FFXIV. But the timing never really worked out.

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Humanity

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I’ve never done it but I’m not opposed to it or anything. It’s your time off so use it as you wish. There were times when I had to use up vacation days that carried over and a game was just around the corner so by chance I did have one or two vacations during launch days. Ironically though most of the time when I get vacation days I barely play any games at all and simply sleep in real late and then veg out on the couch, read books or just savor the free time. There is something magical about just frivolously wasting an entire day on taking long naps and looking at the ceiling - then again maybe I’m just depressed and don’t realize it..

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fisk0

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#20 fisk0  Moderator

I've never done that. I've taken a week off for sanity reasons at times, and on most of those occasions I end up not playing any games whatsoever.

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Nodima

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#21  Edited By Nodima

I did for Red Dead Redemption 2, but it was the first time I'd asked for time off since starting at this restaurant in three years and I was feeling a bit burnt out anyway. I'm honestly not sure how I could've handled having to stretch that game across several months instead of a week and then intermittently the following three. I often think about giving it a second go but get so intimidated by my memory of it all.

I'm just not a vacation person, as a tipped-wage employee I hate the idea of leaving the comfort of my home/city to go somewhere different and spend money without any money coming back in, I find myself stressing about the money more than enjoying the meals and drinks. Video game vacations are more my speed, but even then I've only asked for it that one time.

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stantongrouse

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As I expected, the GB community is a rare example of sensible thought in the gaming social sphere. I get the hype, I get the feeling of really, really wanting to play a game - but getting massively pissy because you booked a day off work months before a game is launched and you have a bad time with it is out of my range of comprehension.

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SMTDante89

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#23  Edited By SMTDante89

I guess I "technically" did for Borderlands 3, but that was more because it was my birthday and not for the game itself. The more serious answer is I probably wouldn't do it now but I probably would have several years ago.

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isomeri

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I took a day off for the Xbox Series X release date, but can't remember the last time I did something similar. Why I did it now was mostly because I had to get rid of a bunch of banked overtime hours before the end of the year and I wasn't able to travel or do much else with a day off because of the pandemic

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jamesyfx

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I feel less excited about a release these days as the anticipation is often ruined as there's just so much content thrown at you so I'm happy to just wait until I'm available. I have sat there a couple of times in recent years waiting for a game to 'unlock' only to find it doesn't unlock until some weird specific time. And then it takes time to do.. something. Process? Just another reason not to bother setting time aside on release day.

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captubaplayer

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I have and I will continue to do so for games that release on Thursday or Fridays that I'm interested in. It gives me a long weekend that way. My company offers a very generous PTO program so even if the game 'doesnt work's on day one, I don't feel like the time is wasted and I still enjoy my time off. If I had access to less PTO time I definitely would save it.

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Panfoot

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I never have, but even if I did(which honestly, I wouldn't waste a vacation day on it either way), I feel like it's pretty impossible to do it these days anyway with day one patches and stuff like Cyberpunk. I don't play a lot of games on release anymore(I've long stopped caring about the release week zeitgeist), but even if I really, really want to play it I still give it a week or so to see how broken the game is before I start.

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CreepingDeath0

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Never have but I've known a few people that decided to. Almost every attempt resulted in a delay or a broken game to completely scupper their plans.

Just seems like far too big of a gamble, especially with the AAA games that have the biggest hype trains these days.

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BoyNukem

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All the time. Booked a week off when I got my new PC late last year to lose myself in VR, then a couple of days for Cyberpunk. Elite Dangerous Odyssey will probably be my next one. The benefits of having 5+ weeks of holiday a year.

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Judoboy

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#30  Edited By Judoboy

Oh boy, I don't use PTO for release days but I definitely use PTO days dedicated to binge playing a game. I'll wait until the game is stable and have it downloaded and ready to go and then do it. I will typically get a ton of junk food, caffeinated beverages, Dominos etc.. and indulge myself for that day. It makes me feel like a kid and I love it and honestly you could consider it a mental health day. It's all about personal context though - I'm in my 30s with a job that gives generous PTO, I have 2 little kids which means I can never play video games for more than an hour at a time even on weekends, I don't travel because my kids are too young to make travel worth it etc. So being able to have a whole day to play a video game is a real treat for me.

I can definitely see people that have lots of time during the evenings and weekends not using PTO to do that...at that point all you're gaining is being able to play during the peak hype cycle release window.

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flamingospit

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Still do it often and I am in a supervisory role in a corporation.. I work hard enough for them.. Sometimes it needs to be about me.

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BaneFireLord

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Never have, and don't really anticipate ever doing so. Maybe I will for Elder Scrolls VI in 15 years or whenever it comes out, but beyond that I can't think of any game that personally would be worth spending vacation time on as opposed to just waiting for the evening or the weekend.

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development

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Taking off work with my job means not getting money for that day, so unfortunately it's not a good option. If I had PTO I would do it constantly.

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damonkey64

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I have done it 3 times only, all of which were single player focused offline experiences. With that said I only took a single day each instance. I would never schedule a day off for an online only game due to the inevitable issues day 1. The 2 times that it worked out I had a great time removing the distraction of other things and getting into the game at hand. The 3rd was a day I took off for Cyberpunk last April. I had a backlog of stuff to play at that time anyways, so I still didn't regret it.

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geirr

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I came here expecting a poll. >:|
But yes, it can still happen.

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hansberg

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I haven't ever done it to my recollection (if I did it must have been taking a day off of school). If I were ever to take a day off that coincided with a game's release it's more likely that I just wanted a day off, didn't know which day off, and the fact that a game was coming out on a specific day seemed like reason enough to select one day over any other. Even that seems like a stretch, though.

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Pezen

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I have done it but not for some unknown. As in, I wouldn’t ask for a week off only to have the game pushed or otherwise. I’ll get the game first and get a feel for it and if it’s a type of game I want some extended time with I might consider putting in time off at that point. But never sight unseen.

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myniceicelife

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I did for the Series X launch and Cyberpunk 2077 this year, but that was just cause I had the PTO time and nothing really else to use it on. I don't usually anymore or if I do it will just be at the end of the week so it's a three day weekend.

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NameRedacted

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Intentionally taking time off just to play a video game or new release? Hell, no.

I like video games, and I enjoy playing them in my free time, but... I rank taking time off for a video game on the same level as the Star Wars wackadoos who camped outside theaters a week (or more) before The Phantom Menace or The Force Awakens.

I'd like to think I value my time more than that (I don't--that's my denial talking).

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MezZa

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#41  Edited By MezZa

Depends on the game. I'm kinda tempted to for Monster Hunter Rise because MH games are kind of a known quantity if you're a fan. Especially with the demo they put out. And there's little chance of server issues keeping me from playing the game because I like to play solo generally and I'd expect there to be an offline mode.

But just any big budget release in general? No. Too risky with delays and if it's an online game (for example i would never take off for diablo 4 when it releases) then you're almost guaranteed to spend more time dealing with issues than playing the game if its a big enough player base.

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glots

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Since I get several weeks worth of vacation time every year, I tend to time some of those with certain releases. If the game's great, then sweet, I have 1-2 weeks to focus on nothing but that. If it's not? I'll just do something else.

Aaand because it seems like this year will be spent under similar conditions to 2020, I will very likely do it this year too.

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peffy

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I've never done this. I barely even buy games on day one unless I have absolute confidence in the product, and even then, I have enough patience to wait a few hours to start playing it. I suppose it also helps that I don't have any gamer friends who would pressure me to play with them (or play the same stuff as them) or cause FOMO.

Actually I don't even get PTO. I mean, I do, but I'm the only person who can do my specific role(s), and if I took PTO I would have to work extra hard afterwards to catch up, so what's the point. I get extra pay for unused PTO so I might as well take the money.

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Onemanarmyy

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Nah. It's very unlikely a game completely blows my mind to the point where i need to be there at day 1. On top of that, you're paying a premium to play an inferior version of the game that will get patched and updated over time. And nowadays it's not even a guarantee that you'll be able to play it reasonably well at day 1. Waiting for a sale just makes complete sense to me.

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someoneproud

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I pretty much always book weeks off around game releases so I know I have something to play on my time off. I have to take the holidays anyway and if nothing more interesting comes up I can properly dig into a new game at least.

If it's something I've really been looking forward to playing I'll absolutely take the time off expressly to binge it and ignore everyone and everything close to me.

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Lanechanger

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Last time I took time off for a game was for SC2 (part 1)

Last time I pre-ordered a game was SFV

Haven't done either of this since nor do I see myself doing this again.

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GREASED_LTNG

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No, never booked time off to intentionally play games. I did have the last two weeks off of work this past December, so I played through Cyberpunk. I knew for damn sure I wasn't going to have time once the new year came in.

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asmo917

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Funnily enough, I took today and tomorrow off in large part due to Hitman’s release. It wasn’t the only reason I picked these days, but I looked what was going on at work, saw Hitman would be out, and figured it was the perfect time to give myself a four day weekend.

I don’t do this often, but thanks to the company “use it or lose it” policy with vacation time above a certain amount of hours. I lost nearly three weeks of vacation last year. It was never “the right time” for me take off (by my own logic - no one ever told me I couldn’t have time I requested) or I just never planned anything after the start of the pandemic, including my traditional week off o watch GB E3 streams. So this year I’ve vowed that ain’t happening again, and if video games releases can help me facilitate that, I’m not saying no. And if a game is delayed or has server issues, I have plenty of games in my backlog and other things I can do on those days off.

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bludgeonParagon

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I play videogames pretty religiously almost every day as part of my down-time but I've never found the need to go through the effort to take time off work to play through one. I find that I run the risk of losing interest a lot if I try and binge something - not out of boredom, but just out of habit.

Besides super short games like Call of Duty campaigns that amount to one sitting and a half, the only games I can think of that I actually marathon'd from start to finish would be Resident Evil 4 (Wiimote version, which sucked me in at a beach house during a post-high school graduation holiday), and Halo 4, which happened during a holiday of similar length - but neither of these I planned to explicitly take time off for, they were just games that I had happened upon during a holiday and was like "y'know what, sure".

The closest I probably would have gotten to actually planning time off would have probably been Mass Effect 3 since I would have been at a fever pitch to see the resolution of the trilogy at the time, but I don't think I was even employed that year. I liked taking a week off for E3s past, but that was just the vibe of a consumerist love of videogames always tied with a social gathering where all my videogame-lovin' buddies would lounge in one room, get hype for marketing and play related games simultaneously. Much less incentive without the social component.

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youeightit

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I wouldn't be opposed, but there's never been a game that I was so excited about that missing work made sense for it. I'm also having a little trouble thinking of the game that would excite me that much. But, I have taken time off for reasons unrelated to games and binged whatever game I might be playing all day. I remember a few years ago I had the time between Christmas and New Years Day off, and I spent those days watching GOTY content, playing FF6/3 with cheats on, and playing the first Hitman. That was a fun week.

I have taken time off work for some way more irresponsible reasons than playing video games in my life, though. Like when I was younger and was a walking disaster, I pretended I was sick a few times so I could stay home all day and party. Or, to recover from partying (which is probably suuuuper common, I would imagine). I'm glad that's all in my past though, it was quite the problem for a while.