Siliconera Speaks Up: Gaming as an Adult

By Louise Yang . June 28, 2009 . 7:00am

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Do you find yourself with less time for games now? How do you deal with it? How do you decide which games to play?

 

Jenni: I think I have about the same amount of time to play video games as I did before. I usually play around 10, maybe 12 hours a week. If it’s a slow period, where there aren’t a lot of games to cover and review, then of course that number is greatly reduced.

 

When it comes to deciding what games to play, I prioritize. If there’s a game I’m covering, I play that first and foremost, trying to get as clear and informed an opinion on the title. I could never see playing a game for less than 5 hours if I’m going to be writing articles on it.

 

If I have no games to cover, then I’m usually playing the latest RPG I was able to get my hands on and spending 10-15 minutes a day catching up with Animal Crossing: City Folk.

 

Louise: Now that I have a day job, I seem to go through spurts when it comes to game time. Split that up between the systems I own, and I definitely have less time to devote to each console. Of course, like Jenni, I also prioritize my games by if they’re games I need to play to write about, or if they’re personal non-work related games.

 

For personal games, I look at a variety of sources before deciding to purchase a game to play. First, I read reviews just to get the gist of the game, then I ask a few friends who’ve played the game for their opinions. Then I read forums to get a wider range of thoughts on the game. By then, I can judge if I *really* want to play the game, or if I can wait for a price drop.

 

I have a mental list of “must play” games for each console and most of them are in my backlog, so for the time being, I just pick games out of that list.

 

Spencer: Like Ishaan I play a lot of portable games. Fortunately, portables are where RPGs are at too! Carrying my DS or PSP and taking advantage of both system’s sleep modes works out pretty well.

 

I think I started to shy away from ridiculous side quests to save time too. Dodging a hundred lightning bolts for a part of an ultimate weapon? Sorry, Lulu. Also I don’t hunt for achievements or go out of my way to find e-tokens like trophies. I’d rather enjoy my games than boost an arbitrary number.

 

Ishaan: I cope by doing most of my gaming on the DS, and I’m actually glad it turned out that way. It’s often very easy to ignore handheld games if you have a lot of time to spend on gaming in general. The DS gets playtime absolutely everywhere…in bed, during long trips, in the loo…sometimes even at a food joint while I wait for my order! There was a time when the DS was the only system on which I actually played FPSes!

 

On the console side…my last job kept me very busy, so I barely had enough time to finish a game or two every six months. I recall Persona 3 took me about 4 months to beat…I’d play it every weekend for a few hours. Totally worth the effort though. Now that I’m in between jobs, I have a lot more time on my hands, which I’m using to catch up with a whole bunch of console games, based on developer or uniqueness. I just finished Persona 4 and now I’m back to working my way through Rune Factory Frontier while I wait for Wii Sports Resort.


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  • squall3031

    I too have casual job but I work 5 days a week, four hours a day. But I don’t play video games much. I own all next generation console with PSP and DS too. But I don’t play much. I usually sit in front of my computer and surf the net most of the time.

    I start to lose interest in new games. I usually try it for few minutes and then stop playing. If I really want to complete a game, I usually cheat my way through. I love RPGs but I only play for the story line. I don’t cheat for games like Metal Gear Solid. Damn, I miss those days.

  • Pichi

    Even though I have more time to play games, I don’t always play them. I have to get in the mood and that goes for other things as well. I also seem to be playing more handheld gaming as well, as its easier to do multiple tasks like watching tv while grinding in a RPG. Consoles, I’m at the mercy of others, so it’ll take me longer and harder to play through. Games with easy access to saving gets finished faster for me.

    For buying new games, its just has to interest me in some way. In simple things like the art style and I’ll give it a go. On the fence ones, I need to consider difficulty and gameplay.

  • Volcynika

    I’m working overtime every week, but I always find time to play my DS during lunch breaks! Usually stick to that for lunch breaks, and console / pc gaming when I’m actually home. Only go for extras if I’m enjoying playing the game post-completion.

  • Geosafari

    I find myself playing more fighting games, as they are more pick up and play, as opposed to an rpg. If I don’t play an rpg for a while I suddenly lose interest in it cuz I forget where I am in the story.

  • EvilAkito

    Between having a full time job and having other things to do besides gaming, I don’t find myself sitting in front of my game systems as much as I use to. I can find time for gaming if there are specific games that I really want to play, but I rarely find myself playing random games on my shelf just for the hell of it.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Haha, I’m the exact opposite. Sometimes, I won’t even want to open a new game even if I have it, just because I know it isn’t the right time to start playing (due to time constraints).

      Times like these, I usually go pick out an older game that I’ve completed and play through a few levels for fun. I’ve done that a lot with Twilight Princess, RE4 and Smash Bros. Brawl. Brawl in particular is just one of those games you can never get enough of…there’s always something new to unlock!

  • http://ACFTM.1up.com ACFTM

    Since I’m not the best with finishing games I’ve started, unless they’re games that I can easily pick up and play, I’ve decided that whenever I start a game, it stays in the console or handheld until it’s beaten. That way, I don’t have to worry about forgetting where I was and what I have to do and then I have to start the game over. x_x

    As for deciding what to play, at least for PS2 games, they’re placed in three separate drawers. When I’m done with one game, I go in the next drawer and pick out a game, and it just keeps going on like that (I cringe when I get to Fatal Frame… oh the nightmares I’ll have).

  • Nobitakun

    I think I play about 40 hours a week LOL. I have part time job and I didn’t get a life jaja. Well, not many good games out lately, and I spend 30 of those 40 hours playing old games, those are best.

  • MadMirko

    “Gaming as an Adult” = gaming despite having moved out of your parent’s basement and having a job? Lollerskates. If you find that difficult, try getting married and have some babies, too.

    Still works out, though. Sleep less, be more efficient at work, schedule / organize everything that is not fun to get it over with in the least possible amount of time. Include partner (never marry a non-gamer) / kid (if old enough) in your hobby.

    I may have less time for gaming than ever, but that makes it especially precious and strangely that much more enjoyable.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      Include partner (never marry a non-gamer) <- The truth. It took me half a year to get my girlfriend into games, and it was glorious the day it finally happened. Phantom Hourglass is what got her into it. She's got her own DS now and she's played the hell out of a bunch of games, including FF3 (which I couldn't bring myself to finish) and trying to get 100% completion in TWEWY.

      Seriously, sometimes I really wonder why Square don't capitalize on the fact that their FF games have a HUGE female audience. I plan to ease her into some PS2/Wii games that I think she'd like next. Probably Persona 3/4 and Okami.

      • WHUT

        Ugh. Seriously, what is it with you guys who feel the need to “get your girlfriend into gaming” and then brag about it afterward like it’s an accomplishment? If you were unsatisfied with the person that she was before she gamed, why were you with her? And if you were happy with who she was as a non-gamer, why are you so self-satisfied now that you’ve modified your girlfriend into someone who likes the same things you do?

        Just curious, what hobbies was she into before she met you and have you made a serious effort to adopt them for yourself?

        Oh and one more thing: “ease” her into other games? That sounds really patronizing, IMO. It’s attitudes like yours that keep the women who already do game away from male gamers and gaming communities, and reinforce the sexist stereotype that women don’t game and when they do, are inferior to men.

        And I do know how awesome it is to date a gamer and someone who shares my gaming interests. But the fact that my fiance is a gamer (and was a gamer long before I met her) isn’t some freaking achievement score.

        And because I know someone is going to accuse me of overreacting, I am keying in on how you phrased things in your comment: “getting your girlfriend to game” suggests you were active in trying to get your girlfriend’s interests to conform to yours, “glorious the day it finally happened” reinforces the that notion–that it was a goal your were striving toward and ultimately achieved and consider an accomplishment for yourself, and planning to “ease” her into other games sounds like you don’t think she’s capable of developing her own tastes and interests as a gamer without your help. If this wasn’t such a common, sexist thread amongst so many male gamers–what with all the “How to get your girlfriend to game” articles out there–I doubt I would have noticed it, but it is, and it I think you’re just contributing to this toxic mindset.

        • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

          I wanted to get her into gaming precisely because we were making an effort to take an interest in each other’s hobbies. Since gaming is such a huge part of my life, you can imagine it would get pretty torturous if the people you spent a lot of your time with took no interest in it whatsoever. Yes, I consider it an accomplishment because she always felt she would never take a liking to games and I always told her I felt she would.

          About easing her in…just like most people who aren’t used to playing videogames, she had no clue where to begin. DS is one thing, but on the Wii or PS2, finding a game that really clicks with you or introduces you to some of the things you can expect from videogames in general can take some effort. It’s the same as recommending a novel to someone who doesn’t read much or keep up with authors.

          • MadMirko

            Try Mario Galaxy or another game that has the “assist” feature. It’s a step up from watching you play and there is no risk of being embarassed by failing something “simple”. After a while you can switch roles and she can grab a star while you keep the baddies off her back -> fun.

          • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

            Oh right, I forgot Galaxy. Yea, that’s a must.

  • http://twitter.com/charliesabers Carlos Escalante

    I’m at that part of life were you begin transitioning to the adult work, and I think I’ve managed decently. I work, go to school, go out and play – though I do neglect other hobbies like good exercise, tv shows, painting and books (need to do a bit of those) . I have a Wii/PSP/DS/PS3 but most of my time is spent on the PS3 or DS. I have just gotten up to date with my sizeable “Main” backlog, and I only have Infamous left to finish, though I suspect I’ll take a while to beat it. I’ve never gotten in serious trouble with someone on a relationship because of my gaming habits. Good thing is there’s always something to do :).

    But I’m definitely more cautious with the games I buy nowadays. Time is a precious resource.

  • http://several-hours-into-the-game.blogspot.com/ Nika

    I’m still a university student, so ‘gaming as an adult’ doesn’t really apply to me. Still, I have less time than at high school (no really?) and any time I take extra shows in my grades, or deeply cuts into my amount of sleep.

    I hardly ever use bus or train, so no portable gaming there either. Lately I daily played guitar hero for about 30min a day, but not much more. And having been extremely busy as an exchange student, my last 3month have been almost game-less.

  • Doctor

    Like some others here, I’ve moved over to mostly portable gaming. I find the DS to be perfect because I can play for 5 minutes or 2 hours, depending how much time I have. As for my PS2, it takes a few minutes just to turn on the system, TV, stereo, and get to the point where I’m actually playing – time which I could be spending on the DS. And games almost never have a quick-save function, so once I’ve started playing, I often have to put in an hour or so just to get to the next save point.

    Luckily, the DS has a massive library. As a major RPG fan, I have more DS games than I even have time to play. I have 4 or 5 games on my shelf that I haven’t even touched yet, and new ones are coming out almost every month. This is a very good time for portable games.

  • Advent

    I actually quit my job so that I could play games non-stop! And no I dont live with my mother >.>

    I just saved all my money for 2 1/2 years and now I’m living off that! I do plan on working again… Just as soon as I finish my list of games I’m playing. =D

  • http://www.nisamerica.com NickyD

    I’m a walking travesty with gaming. Work every weekday, so I have more money than when I had my blogging job during college… so I buy more games new, especially RPGs. But I don’t have nearly as much time to play them.

    I guess, “fortunately”, I don’t really have a lot of friends around where I live. They’ve all moved away, went to grad school, or are still in college. It’s difficult to go out and meet new people when you’re all alone – I’m not exactly the most approachable person (cynicism tends to be noticeable before you even open your mouth), but whatever. So, after work (where all my peers are older, married, and jaded about life), I head back to my cave and I do whatever I want.

    Sometimes, I don’t play games. I’ll write, watch some of my stories, go for a round of exercise… yet, I still find myself able to play games as much as always. Got through Persona 4 in two weeks! But, I’ve had Okami for PS2 about… three years now? I’ve only played it for an hour. Gaming is so random. But I’ll never stop. It’s such an integral part of who I am, but given the option, I’ll always choose to go out than stay inside. So long as I’m not alone. Which, currently, I am. Weird stuff.

  • http://www.trimetiquette.com/ Christian B

    Gaming as a married 27 year old – I don’t have huge amounts of time like I did in college. In college, FFXI was my addiction: I would play a LOT of that game, along with others.

    Nowadays, I typically get one or two nights a week where I can play about an hour or so. I do take the bus… so my PSP / DS gets some good use.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      The only MMO I ever got addicted to was Ragnarok Online for about 2 months. Those were scary days. :P

  • http://blackwings.net Sayoko

    I console game during my free time both when I was a fulltimer and now still as a returning student+parttimer. If traveling allows, I also usually bring my PSP with me eveywhere I go.

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