1/6/09 - How much is too much?

Over the weekend, I borrowed a game from my dad. Although, currently it is my youngest brother who is playing it, it was a Christmas gift to my dad, so I borrowed it from him. Knowing that I only had it for a short period of time, I wanted to get in as much as I could, because it is a game that I love.

From Friday night at about 7:00pm until Sunday night at about midnight, I logged roughly 20 hours playing. You might want to factor in several things such as turning on the console, load times, and a few other items, but even still, we will go with 20 hours of gaming time. So out of the 53 hours during that time, I spent 20 hours of that holding an xbox360 controller.

Needless to say, my wife was not all that happy about it the time I spent playing, but she understands how I go through stretches of "serious" gaming. Another thing to consider is the times when I was playing. I played from about 7:00pm until about 3:00 in the morning before I went to bed. We woke up about 9:00 and goofed off around the house before we finally went out and did some shopping. Obviously, I didn't play during this time. I played for a few hours when we got back and before we went out to dinner. After dinner, I played until probably midnight, if not a little later. We woke up Sunday morning, went to church, then a Sunday School party. When we got home, Cristi and Makenna took a nap...I played games. I paused every once in a while to help take care of Makenna, eat dinner, and a few other things, but then played until midnight. Even though I did spend 20 hours playing, most of that time was while the rest of my family was asleep.

The biggest downside is that when I am playing, I am unable to focus on anything else. I become completely enveloped in the game going on, and even if I pause the game and turn away, my mind is still in the pixels. If I turn off the console, I'm right back to normal. So that I know is something that frustrates Cristi.

Ok, now, I want to put something into perspective. I have recently been playing Gears of War 2 quite a bit (not as much as I gamed this past weekend, but still, a fair amount). Since it was released in early November (roughly 60 days ago), I have logged 26 hours of multiplayer. Once again, most of these hours are in the evening before I go to bed and after Makenna and Cristi are tucked in for the night. That averages out to half an hour a day. In reality, that's closer to 3 hours a night, once a week or so. (and of course that does not include time spent in campaign mode).

Microsoft tracks all the statistics on their website, and they have leaderboards so you can track where you are in different game types, maps, and so forth. Well, the leader, as of this morning is sitting at around 466 hours. Averaged out, that is 7.6 hours a day, every day, since the game was released. Once again, this does not include time spent in waiting rooms, waiting for a game, campaign mode, or just simply waiting for games to load. I would guess that the total time would be much closer to 9 hours a day. When I see things like that, I realize that I don't spend very much time playing at all. Of course, I'm sure that most of the people in the 9 hour a day range are college students, or single half-adults still living in their parent's basement (or above the garage). The difference being that they have zero responsibility.

I wish I could sit here and say that there is no way I could do that, but considering that I'm willing to stay up until 3:00 in the morning, playing a game, with the knowledge that I will be getting up in less than 5 hours to work a full time job, I'm pretty sure that I could easily average 9 hours a day if I didn't have to make a living, help take care of my daughter, spend quality time with my wife, or actually care about anything.

So there you have it. 9 hours a day is a bit much to be spent playing a video game, whereas an average of a half hour a day is really not all that bad.


3 Comments - Leave one yourself

All that and you're not even going to mention what game it was??

By Blogger Elizabeth, at January 6, 2009 at 3:46 PM  

Saints Row 2. I have no idea how much time I logged on the first game. I did finish with 99% completion. I was only missing 1 cd collectible, and by the time I realized I had missed one, I was sick of the game and haven't been motivated to go back and find it.

By Blogger DJ Walker, at January 6, 2009 at 4:01 PM  

I don't even want to know how much Chris has played over the break. His "hard core gaming" seem to go in spurts too. I see how you can get consumed with it but I can think of much better ways to spend my time.

By Blogger sdhorton, at January 6, 2009 at 4:05 PM  

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