Tell Us Dammit: How Do You Find Time To Play Games?

It's coming to that time of the year. Destiny: The Taken King is out, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain is out, Super Mario Maker is out. Timesinks every one of them. My question to you: how does anyone find the time to play all these games?

And how do you go about the task? Do you play one game at a time? Do you switch between multiple different games?

I need your advice!


    It's simple; I don't.
    I like having money again to buy games and stuff but maaaan, I don't have the time to play them now.

      This is me. Working full time plus doing Dad duties with a 14 month old mean, if I'm lucky, I might get a couple of hours between him going to bed and me going to bed.

      I just picked up MGSV, and I'm dying to play it, but I imagine I'll be experiencing it in very small chunks over a very long time. And that's while completely ignoring my pile of shame... which seems insurmountable at this point.

        Exactly the same, except mine 18 months...

        How good is it when they go to bed around 7.... you can then get an hour or two in before the fear of being tired the next day settles in...

          I dream of a 7pm bed time! We're getting there - at about 8ish now - but he's still waking up during the night. Gaming time or not, tired the next day is inevitable for us.

            My kid has just turned 2. For the past 3 weeks, he has pretty much been in bed before 7 and happy to put himself to sleep. So i have been gaming from around 8 till about 10:30 most nights. Although Metal gear has kept me up till after midnight a couple of nights recently.

            Haha I hear you dude, I say how good is it, because it rarely happens

          So from the sound of it I'm pretty well prepared to be a dad :P Leaving for work at 6:15am and getting home at 7:30pm for an 8pm dinner then sleep just to not fall asleep at work!

          I am glad fatherhood isn't in the cards for me. Good luck, parents :P

        This is me. If I push hard, I can get an hr a day in but then I feel bad for neglecting the fam. Plus I don't want my kids to see me gaming heaps, I don't think it sets the healthiest example.

      Yep, this is me too. I have to make time to play games. I don't just find it by accident.

    One game at a time. The only time the Destiny disc has been removed from my XBOX console since last October was when my wife wanted to watch a Blu-ray on the weekend.

    I think the better question is how do I survive with such little sleep :P

    I flip flop between games depending on what I feel like playing.

    I generally game at night after the kids have gone to bed. (So maybe for 2 or 3 hours before bedtime myself)

    I'll get some hours in on the weekend as well while the kids are gaming.

      ^ This

        +1, sleep suffers, 2 kids, wife, work, mortgage and about 2 hours of xbone per week

        (poor me... ; ))

      Same here. The only difference is that my boys are too young for gaming, so I can weekend or week day makes no difference for me.

        Mine are 3 and 5. They've both been gaming since about 2.

          Wow, i am intrigued. Are we talking about gaming on tablet, PC or console? And what games do you let them play?

            3DS, Wii U, ps4, tablet.

            On the Wii U they both play Mario Kart, Yoshi Woolly World, Splatoon, Smash Bros, Disney Infinity.

            The 3 yr old isn't that great at many of the games but she still has lots of fun, the 5 yr old can play most of the games without issue, but not perfectly, she places about mid of the pack in 50cc in Mario Kart.

            3DS the 5 yr old plays Nintendogs, and Petz (not sure what version off the top of my head), Puzzle Bobble, Pokemon Art Academy and some other game I don't recall.

            On the tablet they both play the Toca Boca, Dr. Panda and Lego range of games.

            PS4, they'll play around in Rocket League with me in local play, Disney Infinity (with the 5 yr old doing missions with me), Trials Fusion and Minecraft (again mainly the 5 yr old)

              thanks for the info man. My oldest just turn 3 so I haven't let him start on consoles yet ( He likes to watch me play PS3/PS4 though, and from what you said maybe WII is the best one for kids?). He does play couple games on tablets that's about it. My younger just turned 1, so I am just happy he is not throwing my PS4 on the ground.

                Wii U is an excellent platform for kids, a lot of the first party games are simple enough for them to pick up without having to read.
                Yoshi woody world has an easy mode where yoshi gets wings, so can fly over most obstacles, it's a great game for all ages.

    Generally when the kids are in bed and the wife is watching garbage like the x factor. But my pile of shame grows faster than what I can play through in the short periods of time I can find these days.

      ^This but replace watches x factor with reads garbage on her Kindle.

      Also since getting married and having kid lark my friends quota has really dropped off so the bit of time I have spare I can game. suits me fine I game more than most casual gamers id say.

      Same, missus has one in the oven, but while she watches trash TV I can get on to some proper gaming. Bed at midnight, up at 6am.
      That'll change in a few months when the little joey pops out.

        Oh that is a massive understatement, but in the end it will be all worth it! Welcome to fatherhood btw.

          Really excited about it, cheers. Will take a while to adjust I have no doubt but like you say, it'll be worth it!

    I built a TARDIS.

    Actually, that's a lie. I just don't have a life.

    step 1: marry someone who likes games
    step 2: second xbox so you don't have to share
    step 3: don't have kids

    I can usually get a couple of hours in each night unless I'm taking a break or feel like watching a show or movie instead. More on weekends if I don't have social commitments or a lot of housework.

    I can't imagine how I'd find time if my wife wasn't as into gaming as I am, or I had kids to deal with. That sounds awful.

      My wife and I have separate living rooms essentially. She hates gaming, and rather me asking her to GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE YOU EVIL PERSON! she has her own area to watch trash TV etc if we're not watching movies/sport or.... ugh... talking together.

      Works well as she's normally asleep by 9.30pm and I can transform into ..............Gaming Man! Who has the power to get by at work on no sleep, is busy yet still finds time to comment on gaming websites.

    I play what i feel like when i feel it.
    I go through phases, but im generally playing at least 1 MMO, 1 FPS and an adventure game at the same time.

    Current CS:GO, SWTOR, D3 and when im running low on time a couple quick Rocket league matches.

    No kids means no need to share my toys, and im not a big fan of watching TV or movies when at home.

    Last edited 17/09/15 11:31 am

    Unfortunately I don't anymore. I haven't touched a game since January :(
    I'm focusing on fitness related activities to a ridiculous degree these days. Sometimes I wish I could let myself give in and play games but I mustn't!

      This. I have a choice with my current schedule: I either exercise, or I game.

      What are you doing reading Kotaku, then. You could be playing games instead!


      I know its not MDMA but I am picturing Jon Stewart in Half Baked right now.
      "But have you ever tried on Weeeed!"

    Hahaha. The only time I get to game is when I really should be sleeping. It's a trade off. Sometimes I sleep, sometimes I game and cop major shit from my wife.

    Simple, Single with no kids, not social life, no commitments! it really is the best life

    Once the children are in bed put on a movie that you know your wife is going to sleep through. Wait about 45 mins, put the movie on pause and fire up the PS4. Whammo! 2 to 3 hours of gaming goodness.

      Are you sure there is no Seinfeld 'Merv Griffin' action happening?

      Jerry: Actually she doesn't even know about the toys. I gave her the wrong kind of medicine and I guess she passed out.

      Kramer: What do you mean "wrong kind of medicine"?

      Jerry: [to George] She's even got that old Mattel football game that we love.

      George: Ah come on! You got to get me over there!

        Ha! No need for drugs. Running around after 2 kids all day is a natural roofie.

    My wife and son were away for a fortnight earlier in the year. I spent the vast majority of the time either on the couch binge-watching TV shows, or playing through Shadow of Mordor.

    That's pretty much the only serious game playing I've done in the year since he was born. I dunno how any parents find time to game.

    I generally play one game at a time and I play in long sessions (I don't play in long sessions to be more efficient, but it seems to work out that way). I play games to relax and over the years I've set my work life up to be super flexible, so it's pretty easy to carve out large windows where I can dedicate a lot of time to something like playing a game. I shuffled everything around so today I can do my accounting work from home and play MGSV. It sounds slack to people who are used to 9-5 jobs but the reality is that I get a lot more done this way in a lot less time.

    Yeah, I sacrifice sleep. My body is hating it, but its the only way :( Currently sitting at my desk with a pounding headache, so whether its worth it is the next question lol but guarantee i'll be doing the same thing again tonight haha

      I still have this battle, and slowly but surely sleep is winning. Ahh well, I still get to game an hour or so a night :)

        haha another day or two and sleep is going to win by force I would say

      4.5 hours sleep a night. Surely that is enough since The Taken King dropped?

    By destroying relationships with people close to me, destroying careers I've spent years building, and by destroying my health through lack of sleep.

    Why? How else can you do it?

    Like you have said in previous articles Mark.

    Young child (2 yrs old) + gaming = Lack of sleep.

    I tend to fire up whatever game I am playing (I generally like to play one game at a time) at around 9:30 and depending on my self control play until around 11. That is the only time I can play these days.

      Dad of 3 here. I can't say it gets better...until they're old enough to play against you :) gosh they get good real fast too!

    Most of my gaming time is in the evenings, once my daughter has gone to bed. I occasionally get some in on weekends if it's a game that's suitable for my 5 year old to watch me play (Bloodborne does not fit that category) or even a game she can play with me, so yeah, at most it's a few hours in an evening. It means my progress in games is usually rather slow, but I don't mind that too much.

    Last edited 17/09/15 12:04 pm

    I can count myself extremely lucky. Having a girlfriend who also games makes things SO much easier. She has her Xbox, and I've got my PS4/PC set up so we can game simultaneously.

    We both get to play the games we want, and we still have a great time laughing at the stupid shit we can see each other do on each screen :p

    I finish work a 4pm, I'm home at 4:15. Girlfriend has no problems with me putting in as many hours in as I want. Don't have much of a social life.

    A blend of no social life, no social commitments, and minor sleep deprivation. Trying to fix that last one. :P But, generally, it means I get 5 or 6 hours a night of solid game time. Also, forsaking TV shows and movies helps - I think I've seen one "new" movie in the past six months... and it was a Fury Road Blu-Ray that came with the game.

    1. No kids.
    2. No animals.
    3. No outside social life apart from full time job.
    4. An insanely understanding and amazing girlfriend.
    5. Still don't have enough time to play games

    Seriously though, I think it's more about figuring out a way to structure time and actually set aside time to play games. Structure your other activities well, and slot game time in between.

    My usual week goes:

    - Wake up at 06:00, have breakfast with my daughters before work/school
    - Get home from work around 18:00, have dinner/homework/etc with my daughters, bedtime at 20:00
    - Watch some TV show with the wife
    - Game from 21:00 til 02:00

    Weekends differ in that I'll slip in game-time during the day for an hour or so, but thats when I game with my girls, at the moment its EDF4.

    I try to stick with one or two games at a time until they're finished, shelve it and move onto something new. Just knocked off GTAV, want to start MGSV but now I feel I need to go through Peace Walker first.

    Also a substantial amount of the strongest coffee and hottest chilli I can find.

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