You work 9-5.
And while you make quite a bit of money, there’s hardly any place for leisure. You glance upon your video games and books: 6 months old and still a virgin. They look untouched – mint, even. But as the dust settles and the smell of newly inked pages slowly wafted away, you realize they’re growing old.
And so are you…
People tell us that being in the 20s means less gaem, more srs. But for the sake of discussion, let us ignore the callings of the working culture for now. That’d do for another article, another time.
How do we get the most out of our games, with such limited time a day?
Why the 8-hour workday, anyway?
Things used to be worst – back then during the midst of the Industrial Revolution, people used to work much longer hours. During this period (around the 18th Century, I believe), every industry, every factory and every business was trying to get the maximum productivity out of their working. Making them to run 24/7 was the key. In other to maximize the output of a factory, people needed to work more. In fact, 10-16 hours a day was the norm.
It was not until Robert Owen started to campaign against such ridiculous working hours and, following the implementation and success of Ford Motor Company, that we saw today’s 8-hour work day.
But truth be told, on average, our “recreation time” doesn’t even come close to 8 hours. You’d spend some of the time commuting to and fro, doing groceries, running errands and even working over time. So at the end of your day, when you’re finally stripped of your responsibilities to the society, you heave a sigh and wonder how to make use of your remaining time before bed.
Count yourself lucky if you get a steady 2-3 hours daily.
Sometimes I would just slump in front of my computer, surfing the web aimlessly and wondering how a passing hour would feel like.
There’s just not enough time for me to play games.
I can’t just give myself just one hour to play Bioshock Infinite every night. The suspense, the puzzles and tension would tear me apart while I work during the day. It’s like reading a really good book, but you’re only allowed to read 5 pages every night. You haven’t had your fill, and the allure of the sweet sweet release of suspense and its climatic plot twist stirs you through the night; a haunting hymn in your dreams.
Clearing your backlog
This is the biggest problem – I realised a lot of us are forcing ourselves to play games in order to make some sense of the purchase. You know you love video game
When I hit my late teens, I stopped going out that much. I realised that I haven’t been going out more, having late night parties and going out with friends in wee hours in the morning. I was living a more solitary life. Every now and then I turn to these media outlets to add some spice in my life.
Yes, I’m using what little time I have left each day to retreat into my own little haven.
It’s just a mere 1 or 2 hours, but afterwards – my mind is left yearning, my spirit is found wanting. And this is not helpful – I would lose sleep and even lose focus at work. It made me feel terrible, become less productive and invariably affected my supposed enjoyment of the game as well. Games should never do this to you!
So I started playing games for 5-6 hours.
Wait, no. I’d only play games when I can spare 5-6 hours. That’s insane, right? Not exactly – I’d spend my free weekends at home trying to finish The Walking Dead and Alan Wake. Some might frown upon me and say that I could spend my time more productively. I should try to learn a new skill this weekend, or similar benefits. It occurred to me that:
“Hey, I’m doing this because this is what I actually want to do, and it’s okay that I’m not spending time at the park or trying to raise a canine companion; because it makes me a happier person.”
And because I no longer have to reluctantly reach for “Exit to main menu”, I was able to more effectively immerse myself in the virtual environment. I no longer have to worry about being late for work the next day.
Did I end up playing more, though? Not really. I spend between 12 – 20 hours every fortnight playing video games – that’s an average of 4 hours per day, provided that I only play during the weekends.
Even though I didn’t spend more/less time playing, I am more able to enjoy my “video game sessions”. Now I spend my weekday leisure time chatting with friends and family, writing essays and reading blogs – which reminds me: how do you guys spend your time?
P.S: Write up your own gaming/working schedule so I can link it here!