Gaming In The Real World
Gaming and being a gamer, is a time consuming activity. There are only so many hours in a day (generally 24) and for most us we fill the majority of those hours doing a host of different things. Gaming in high school and university is easy. In fact, at university I don’t know how other people wile away the hours. Between (from my experience) have lectures which take up four hours of your day and maybe studying for two hours of a day you have the rest of all that time to devote to your console of choice. The time difficulty (and lack of having time) only starts to have a real effect once you step out into the real world and start having to do adult things.
It really annoyed me this week that I wasn’t able to put out a column for eGamer. This also meant that I haven’t touched my console in the last week, let alone getting some good hours in immersing myself in a game. I like being consistent, so not being able to deliver on a quasi-obligation actually causes anxiety for me. The simple reason why I have had no time is that the real world took over.
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I’m twenty-five and I have a fulltime job. I don’t have a fulltime job which starts at 8h00 and ends at 16h00, I have a fulltime job which means that (if the traffic gods are kind) I start at 07h30 and I go home at 18h00 (which is early day) or 18h30/19h00 (which is more likely). It means that I get home and stuff food down my gullet and then I have an hour or two of leisure. This is less if I decide to go to gym. My fulltime job also demands that I am on call all the time and if need be (which is what I did last weekend) that I spend the entire weekend working.
I’m not complaining and the point that I am making is that it gets tough, I’m tired all the time and finding space in my day or weekend (which is spent doing practical things like groceries) to put in some good hours of gaming, is difficult. I think that for the majority of people who aren’t fortunate enough to find a career in the gaming industry, this is the fate which awaits.
And yet I do game. And by my standards, I game a lot. Admittedly I don’t have the type of time which allows me to go through on my play with Tomb Raider to get every single relic and collectible, I play to complete the story campaigns. And I completed Tomb Raider in less than a week by playing every evening since its release. Immersion is relaxing because for a few hours of my week I don’t have to think about my clients and I allow myself to get caught up in an entirely new world (one in which attorneys don’t exist).
My point is this, being a gamer at university is easy, being a gamer in the real working world is not. It’s not a simple case of I will always have time to game because you don’t. Your time is not your own and you need to make very real decisions like are you going to have dinner with your friends or are you going home to play God of War? Will you have a long boozy lunch on Saturday or will you spend the afternoon with Lara Croft? Do you go out binge drinking knowing that you will be severely tender the next day (personally I cannot game when I have a hangover) or do you leave festivities early so that you can spend the next day gaming?
I’m not dating anyone now so I do have a lot more time to game than I used to and if you don’t date a gamer (which I have done) it brings in a host of new problems because then you have even less time than before. It not an acceptable thing to tell your partner to go to sleep so that you can spend the night playing Mass Effect, nor is it acceptable to spend your weekend playing Mass Effect and expect them to sit on the couch watching you game.
Gaming is frivolous and a selfish pursuit, no one is going to save the world (the real world) by gaming but by the same token, me buying kitchen towels from Country Road doesn’t save the world either. So for those of you are fortunate enough to still be at university, enjoy all the time you have. Enjoy not having a fulltime job, enjoy not having serious adult relationships, enjoy not having to do groceries and having in-depth knowledge of different cleaning products and most of all, enjoy that your time is actually your own.