As A Gamer, This Is What I Most Fear

I play a lot of video games. But someday, will I be just like Andrew Leonard, a man whose life no longer has room for the leading medium of 30-hour masterpieces? That is what I fear.

House writes on Salon that he hasn't played games in three years but is tempted to indulge in StarCraft II.

A compelling video game is not like a good movie or a book that captures a few hours or days of one's available attention. A compelling game is a voracious invader that takes over your life and won't let go. A review of a new Nintendo DS game by Seth Scheisel in today's New York Times observed that the game was good for about 50-100 hours of "entertaining gameplay." A hundred hours! I could bike a thousand miles in 100 hours. I could finish all six of the crazy long nonfiction books I'm currently dabbling in. I could watch all five seasons of "The Wire." I could write a book proposal. Life is too short, and I already spend too much time staring into a computer screen, to waste another precious second playing a computer game, no matter how good it is.

...

I certainly don't begrudge other people their choices... I don't mean to belittle games as some kind of inferior art form, either, unworthy of our attention. Quite the opposite. My fundamental problem with today's games is that they are just too damn good, and if you have an addictive personality, which I do, they are too damn dangerous.

I will have to face this too one day, won't I? Won't all of us who currently have carved a space in our life for so many games?

Will it be kids or will it be cholesterol that force us to reconsider the time demands of being a gamer? Will it be marriage or a shelf of great books that are going unread?

Can you really avidly play games - the dozens-of-hours-long games that I love - for as long as you live?

The temptation of Starcraft II [Salon]

PIC via pOOfkAt's Flickr page


Comments

    Dunno but i'll give it a bloody good crack!

    I have a son 14 months old, I fit my gaming in wherever possible.

    In the last month i have managed to watch the entire 1st season of Stargate universe, Finish RDR, completed 'Charlie' Specops missions on MW2, racked up over 60 races in GT PSP,dabble in alien swarm, cracked open Starcraft 2 upto 2nd mission, + various other 10 minute gaming moments i can squeeze in.

    It's possible and i still look after my family, clean, cook, wash, work fulltime and have a social life.

    My gaming has dropped off massively in the last decade. This year I've only had time for one 'full' game, which was bioshock 2. I played it through and it ate up a lot of nights which left me as not-as-good-a-dad-as-I-coulda-been during the day. I could justify it once or twice a year, like taking a holiday, but can no longer justify or fit in the gaming stints of yore.
    The upside is that gaming gets a lot cheaper as you end up about a year behind the curve and get to pick up great games at about a third of their release price.

      Yeah, i know what you mean. Being behind dose have it's advantages. Still........

    Im still in my early 20s and the amout of time i have for games has dropped significantly since i finished yr 12. I don't even have the time for starcraft 2 nor will i have time for at least 6 months, but most probably a year.

    You should consider yourself lucky that you can still play games so avidly.

    However you Stephen Totilo, may beable to play games avidly untill the day you die, or life may get in the way, that my friend is the luck of the draw.

    first thing to go will be anything multiplayer

    imo

    I work, go to the gym, socalise and have a generally active life. I manage to find a couple of hours per day to game.. having a game-friendly wife doesn't hurt either.

    I guess if/when we end up having a kid then things will change a bit, but I can't imagine that I won't still be able to find enough time to fit in some gaming. Maybe those 100 hour games will have to be played over months, not weeks, but I'm sure they will still get played.

    I've been playing video games pretty much my whole life, I can't imagine not wanting to play the newest GTA or whatever cool new game, and I can always find time to do things I want to do.

    Look on the bright side:

    When we're old enough for our kids to ship us off to a retirement village, we'll have all day to play spacies :D

    Yeah I'm lucky if I get 3 hrs a week to game now - I probably spend more time reading about gaming (during breaks at work) than I do actually playign, which is kinda sad.

    Early 20s college student (medicine, no less) and I have little time to game. Though I find it depends much on your 'drug of choice' I quit the WoW habit 6 months ago when my guild was on a high. I was doing 18 compulsory raiding hours a week + maybe another 10 for chores and dailies to support the raids, ultimately I couldn't keep up with it.

    I have found however that other multiplayer games with short matches isn't as bad, I can play a few games for 30-60 minutes then be satisfied. I fear SC2 will be the death of me.

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