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Games That Have Deprived Me of Study Time at the Worst Opportunities

Ordinarily, I'm a pretty studious person. I have my book-cramming and paper-writing schedule more or less set into stone so I can properly budget free time into my routine. This tends to work out pretty well. I get stuff done and usually still have enough surplus time to pursue any and all other pastimes I have, video games obviously included.
The thing is, sometimes I take a bit of a liking to really outstanding games. This in and of itself isn't a problem, but it certainly becomes one when it just so happens to take place during academic crunch time. This list serves as a chronicle of the games that managed to do that, taking an otherwise alright student and turning me into a zombified hollow shell of a human being, concerned with nothing else other than reaching the end of a game with which I've fallen in love.

List items

  • Persona 3 FES entered my life at a weird time. It was my last semester during senior year of high school, a time that had worn me down because of relationship troubles that just so happened to crop up at the same time. When FES had come out, most of that had finally come to an unfortunate end, but I still had finals, both AP and regular, on my plate, as well as graduation to deal with.

    So what did I do? I played the hell out of FES for nearly two weeks straight in six to eight-hour stretches at a time. I couldn't have been any happier with how I spent my time back then. After a grueling semester, I needed a serious break and while FES didn't take me away from my own reality at the end of the day, it did give me another one in which to immerse myself and influence for a while. It was a very special game to me for that very reason.

  • Persona 4 was released just as winter finals season was beginning in my freshman year at university. I probably should have been cramming things back into my brain one last time, especially since I was still a Japanese major who was new to everything. But instead, I let myself be whisked off to Inaba to solve the murders and hang out with the wonderful characters that are Chie and company. That lasted me for the entirety of my finals season and, in all, I only got in about an hour and a half's worth of studying for, what else, Japanese. I had gone into wondering how they could possibly make a better game than FES, but as I quickly found out, they pretty much made it THE Persona game that was truly worthwhile. No regrets spending so much time with it when I probably should have been off doing other things.

  • I was pretty late to get into Symphonia, what with actually reading up on it years before I got a copy and really latched onto what would become the first real RPG I enjoyed. But it happened freshman year of high school and ultimately wound up taking at least 150 hours of playtime over a few runs. I can't recall it seriously impeding any actual academic event, but freshman year is supposed to be one of the more influential ones when it comes to transcript, so take that for what it is.

  • Senior year of high school is a bit of an important time in one's academic life. College/uni applications. Essay writing. AP calculus homework. School newspaper writing. There were times where I should have been doing all that and more doing my three straight free periods that year. Sometimes I actually did them, but more often than not, I was playing Tetris on a library computer. You wanna know how much? Enough to to survive high-level play either solo or against other people. My stats on Tetris Friends are probably flattering as a result of all that practice. And I've been keeping it up to this day. Fantastic.

  • Team Fortress 2 is one of the lesser offenders, or at least as of this writing. Having gotten it with my copy of the Orange Box for my then-new Alienware rig, I had always meant to give it a serious whirl, but every time I had, it ended in frustration. That was unfortunate, since I loved the humor of everything around it. Then came (when else?) finals time spring semester of my sophomore year. While I was better about actually doing some studying that time, it was also when I decided to make a serious effort to find some TF2 servers that wouldn't completely obliterate me. So I did and while there have been days where it's cut into my normal study times (particularly in the summer when I should be reviewing Japanese), it's been an otherwise good ride with it.