REPLY TO ALL: Long Time Coming

Do you have 3-4 hours to block off with your gaming bros? Would you have to schedule it? Would it be worth it? If you wanted to go longer what sacrifices are you NOT willing to make now that you used to?

REPLY TO ALL – The Horrible Night contributors answer gaming questions and try to determine who has the right opinion.

How long is your typical game session these days?

Justin G – My typical game session during the week is about an hour long from a little after I get home from work until 7 or so. On the weekends, they’re longer, but actually scheduling a 3-4 hour raid is currently nigh-impossible because of the whole baby thing. There are sacrifices I will make and sacrifices I won’t and since, right now, sleep is like the most valuable thing in the world to me, saying, “Okay, let’s get this bad boy started at 10pm and I’ll crash at 2,” isn’t going to happen. Unfortunately. In short: I’m gaming less than I used to and I imagine that’s just the way things are.

Marathon

How long have we been playing?

Jason – True long gaming sessions for me seem to be a few and far between. I have managed to section off times during the week in which I’m able to game, but most of that time is dedicated to either record videos for my YouTube channel or preparing my worlds for recording. I have recently accepted an invite to join a Minecraft community, so I’m assuming any additional free time will be spent goofing off in that world (and probably recording those antics for my YT channel as well).

With enough notice… I can usually make play sessions work with friends, but I also have to work with my wife’s schedule to make sure we are still spending quality time together. She’s just as busy as I am, so if I’m home and she’s away doing something, I’m likely gaming. It’s good to have a conversation at some point with your significant other and help them understand your gaming habits, so long as they don’t get out of hand. So far we have made it work. Some weeks I’m closer to my computer than others, but she seems to understand.  It also doesn’t help that I don’t work typical 9-5 hours. My work day starts at 5:30am, so there’s that on top of all that I’ve mentioned.

Aaron – My need to game continues to outweigh the rest of my existence, but the hours are certainly starting to come and go. If I have evenings or weekends free, I like to sit down for 4+ hours and make progress on games like Destiny, Diablo 3 and more story-heavy items from my expansive backlog. This fall will be interesting as I currently have eyes on select releases and haven’t gone next gen with the Xbones and PS Quads. Expect a lot of Nintendo talk from this goon.

Destiny Lights

I’m getting sleepy, you ok if I leave?

When my time is more limited, I squeeze in as many sessions of Hearthstone, roguelikes and currently Theatrhythm Curtain Call as possible. Smash Bros 3DS also fits perfectly into this style of play. Scheduling the time is only essential to me when multiplayer is involved. I find myself needing to not be on the verge of sleep to fully engage with any gaming pals.

Kenny – Being a grown-ass adult is hard, so I too can’t usually find more than hour a day to spend gaming. My biggest obsession of the year has been Hearthstone simply because I can play a quick 15-minute match or sink a couple solid hours into it; that kind of versatility is pretty clutch for me nowadays.

And now here’s a morality tale about playing video games too much:

I once took the whole week off of work to just catch up on all of the new releases. The first day or two? It was fantastic. Aside from a quick sojourn to the nearest fast food place, I’d binge game all morning and afternoon. I was basically living the life of a stereotypical gamer: minimal grooming, terrible food, and little contact with the outside world. I could feel the judgment emanating from my girlfriend (understandably!), but what did I care? I was living every tween’s fantasy life.

After the second day, though, I began to feel like a slothful piece of shit. I could hear my Mom’s voice screaming in the back of my head: “What are you doing with your life? You just wasted three vacation days playing video games!” After the realization, I lost the motivation to find that last Jiggie in Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts and realized I should probably go take a walk or hang out with my family.

So yeah, moral of the story: long gaming sessions aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Too much of a good thing can quickly sour.

r2abanjo

What are you doing with your life, Kenny?

Justin G – Aaron, I assume you didn’t mean to include Destiny in the ‘story-heavy’ description?

I had weekend recently – my wife took our son to Ohio and I took Friday off and basically played video games and tested my liver’s ability to regenerate. It was glorious for two days, but by Sunday, I was cleaning the house and doing laundry and the consoles didn’t get turned on at all.

Jason – Dad mode… ACTIVATE!

Aaron – I technically DIDN’T include Destiny as a story-heavy game. That’s a separate list item, as I don’t consider Diablo 3 in the upper echelons of story either.

Justin L – I started messing around with the WoW Warlords of Draenor Beta. At the end of each session I find myself asking – what’s my end goal here? Do I want a max level character? Do I want to see all the content? What am I doing? Then, I think back to 10 years (!) ago when for 3 months straight I put in at least 8 hours a day into the game and STILL never got close to seeing what I wanted to. Last time I tried WoW I was only playing 2 nights a week, and I cut myself off after about 2 months, but I’ve realized a couple of things:

1) I don’t have it in me anymore to game for 20-30 hours a week. I care about too many other things, and like Kenny said, my fatigue and self-worth tolerance levels are much different now. I gotta mix it up. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss it, but I’m ok with it.

Draenor

He didn’t make it.

2) I gotta stop planning out my games. There are games I haven’t started solely because I don’t know when I’d finish them. I kind of resolved to just play what I want to play when I want to play. Not because it’s the newest thing or because I have to keep up with my gaming bros, but because I don’t have the time I used to so I’m not gonna waste any time doing something in a game that I don’t enjoy. Especially when I know I could be doing other things with my family or spending time thinking about how I could improve all of the WWE’s storylines.

Jordan – I can’t say my gaming habits have changed much. I’m not one of those responsibility ladened adults like the rest of you smucks. I marathon everything I do. When I sit down to play a game, I play it for no less than four hours. I don’t watch TV shows when they are on so I can wait a couple of years and just sit down and watch the entire thing over the course of a week. I’m a loner (Dottie, a rebel) so the need to share the experience with others as it’s happening hasn’t ever factored into it for me. It might be comparable to reading a book (and I just lost Justin L’s attention). I would never read a chapter then wait for a week or month for the next chapter to come out. I also can’t say I’ve ever felt the need to join a circle of ladies to read the book with so we can chat about it together. If you’ve ever met someone who has read the same book (or author), it doesn’t matter how long ago it was you can both enjoy a good conversation around it. I think I enjoy talking about the experience after the fact, than trying to cajole a bunch of friends in creating the experience with me.

The only multiplayer games that I’ve sunk months into, Mass Effect 3 and PlanetSide 2, had absolutely no story related or level gated barriers. I can’t fathom how someone would gather a group together of people who are playing a game that does without everyone starting over again from scratch. Or how you would then continue to play the game together from that point on.

Mass Effect 3

I refuse to bond with you.

All that said – I do enjoy our Co-op HoNights (Co-Ho?) together. We tend to grab a game that has just been released and play for a couple of hours, then never look back. So we all start at the same point and play without any kind of commitment to the game or each other. No one’s gonna tie me down!

Conclusion

We’ve all accepted that repeat marathon multiplayer sessions with the same group of friends may be thing of our gaming past. The desire is still strong but the priorities have shifted. Hell, even if we could, it doesn’t sound like Jordan is interested anyway. Right now the best option is to find multiplayer games where everyone starts out equally and can jump in/out at any point. The lengthy adventures that build upon previous play sessions are best saved for when we can squeeze in some good single player time in whatever form that happens to appear.

4 Comments REPLY TO ALL: Long Time Coming

  1. Nicole

    Finding time to play games is hard, but on the plus side I have a massive backlog of good (but old) games that I’ve picked up for $5-$10. So it is cheaper to have less time.

  2. Justin Lacey

    My brain just fried when your comment made me start to think of a formula of how much your game time is worth vs your available game budget.

    Because I’m thinking something like – a $60 game to me = a $10 game to you. Considering the size of my backlog and unplayed games, maybe I should reconsider my budget a bit.

  3. Nicole

    I’d say that’s fairly accurate. The only game I’ve paid full price for recently is Defiance, and I learned my lesson. (Not that it’s a bad game, but just not worth $60).

    It’s certainly playing a factor in the whole “when should I upgrade my console” plan. It’s hard to upgrade when I’m getting solid games for a bargain.

  4. Justin Gifford

    It was so, so not worth $60. I’m still mad about that.
    But: I am a big fan of the hour/dollar ratio. I mean, I have to LIKE the game, but if I kind of like it and it doesn’t have a lot of replay value, I’m going to be pissed paying full price. On the other hand, you sell me something that I’m going to plow tens if not hundreds of hours into? Gimme the ‘DLC’ up front and I’ll pay you $80 or $100.

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