Editorial: Finding the Time

Dear Lusi-Sprites. I write this article after sleeping for 13 hours after having been awake for nearly 30. This is the sort of fucked-up journey my body thinks is fun to send me on from time to time. I think back on my fortnight of insomnia and I realize that my pattern of gaming is a little bizarre.

I look good for my age!

Picture of Ethos writing this article

I take my PSP to the toilet to try and cram in hours of either attempting to complete games I have not yet quite completed (Lunar, Final Fantasy VI), or attempting to get my yearly dose of nostalgia for old favourites (Final Fantasy IX, Final Fantasy VII). I find myself sitting on the can for twenty minutes despite only needing to be there for twenty seconds.

It makes me wonder: Why not just take twenty minutes out of my day to dedicate to guilt-free handheld gaming?

Also included in the past fortnight are my attempts to get through the two unfinished RPGs that I have found compelling so far this year, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning and Tales of Graces f. The former I have not played once this month, and the latter I only find myself playing if I have given up on the day and climb into bed a few hours earlier than I normally might.

Why not let gaming be a regular guilt-free activity?

It would appear that I have reached that awful stage of my life when my subconscious is telling me I do not have time for gaming. It is utter bullshit, of course. Gaming is the activity that drives my passion. Not just to create my own game, but to inspire me to write music, to pursue other creative passions, and to share discussion with fellow gamers.

Gaming is rarely a waste of time for those of us who have the medium in our blood. All things in moderation, yes, but that also means that we should never cut out the activity entirely either.

This is a short article, and one without much point because I need to jet off to work. But I suppose at its core, it is a re-commitment to my passion. Yes, it might be bad to game to the point when I am not eating or working on LFoPD, but it is almost worse to not game to the point when I can hardly remember the last meaningful session I had with one.

What about you, Lusi-Sprites? Are you also crotchety about getting older and having responsibility?

4 Comments

  1. Lusipurr
    Posted 2012.04.24 at 12:22 | Permalink

    I LOVE the slider for this!

  2. Mel
    Posted 2012.04.24 at 13:36 | Permalink

    I don’t quite have the issue you describe, but I have one that yields similar results.

    What happens is that as I (and I assume most of us) get older, we involve ourselves in more mentally and/or physically demanding tasks. Job(s), errands, societal pressures and expectations, bills, taxes. Then, when we get to our free time, what little of it we have, we find it harder to dive into another demanding task. Instead, at least for me, we gravitate toward short, proven experiences. Usually multiplayer games that are easily picked up and have small disjointed experiences. Or perhaps we’ll go back to playing that old favorite when a good dozen or so new games sit unfinished or unopened. It becomes a battle between gaming as exploration and challenge versus gaming as easy gratification and relaxation.

    And I think the result is that I have all these games with deep meaningful moments that I WOULD enjoy and DO have the time for, but at the end of the day, vegging out in some multiplayer FPS is simply easier than remembering exactly where I left off managing my ballooning inventory in Skyrim or something.

  3. SiliconNooB
    Posted 2012.04.25 at 05:29 | Permalink

    Both Ethan and Mel make some excellent points. There are some kinds of quality experiences that I just can’t bring myself to jump into at the end of a long day, while other days I can’t play a quality immersive experience without feeling guilty for having done so, which tends to just result in me playing a couple of levels of Dynasty Warriors or a few laps of Ridge Racer.

    As of late I have also found my gaming seriously constrained by my desire to spend the time reading a book or phaffing about online.

    Ultimately I am let down by my brain.

  4. Ethos
    Posted 2012.05.02 at 11:50 | Permalink

    @Lusipurr – It is my greatest work!

    @Mel – I’m not really a multiplayer guy (unless it’s StarCraft or Smash Bros. but neither are short-session experiences for me), but I think the reason I’ve progressed way more in my PSP games recently is exactly the reason you describe. It just makes more sense these days to take the system out of sleep for a few minutes to watch a cutscene or level up a little bit.

    @SiliconNoob – That’s a really good point. I want to be alert and engaged to partake in the more immersive experiences, and at the end of the day, sometimes my brain is just too fried.