Tell Us Dammit: Tips For More Gaming Time

Kotaku UK's Editor wrote a post this week that essentially asked one single question: how does anyone find the time to play this insane amount of massive, expansive video games?

That seemed to really strike a nerve. It seems like so many of us are struggling to make time for our favourite hobby. Any tips for finding more time for games?

Here are a few of mine...

— If you have a family, find fun games to play together. Invest in a Wii U. — Choose games wisely. Short games like Everybody's Gone To The Rapture work! — Get a handheld. Handhelds aren't quite as anti-social. Can play on commute, when others are watching TV, etc.

Okay I'll leave it there because I'm keen so see what advice you guys have?


Comments

    Sleep is for the weak.

    Said as someone who barely functions on less than 7-ish hours a night...

      It really is. As a severe Destiny addict I can attest to trying to function (and failing dismally) after 3-5 hours sleep. However, I am slowly curbing my addiction, averaging 6 hours of sleep a night by trying to focus on doing housework and various other tasks in the lunch break.

        I feel you on that one! Falling asleep trying to complete the raid with people that don't start until like 9-10 is a pain.

      It really is. As a severe Destiny addict I can attest to trying to function (and failing dismally) after 3-5 hours sleep. However, I am slowly curbing my addiction, averaging 6 hours of sleep a night by trying to focus on doing housework and various other tasks in the lunch break.

        Destiny is a sleep eater and has great potential to destroy a proper balance...... but it is Destiny, so you just have to find a way :) . I think the key to managing Destiny is finding a group who are in a similar position and trying to progress at the same rate, knowing that you all don't have unlimited time. So when you have solo time, the dreadnaught now has a million secrets to explore, so when the crew reconvenes you can lead or be led to the chests, fragments etc. When the group gets together, you are ready for strikes (or raids.... maybe have one addict in the group to lead the raids when the light gets high enough...). Maybe I am dreaming..... or maybe I just love my stormcaller throwing lightning and need to find a way....

          Yeah, that's pretty much what I do. By the time I jump on there's at least two or three regulars that I like playing with and a few others that I've picked up along the way that I can generally convince to help me through particular activities (Antiquated Runes are just about impossible without more than three 290LL's). But I always hit up the tower immediately, get them bounties and head straight into the daily heroic. Nine times out of ten one of my mates are doing the daily solo and I tag along with them. It's hard to do anything major, like raids, without planning a few nights ahead or waiting for the weekend.

          Yet to try Stormcaller or the Nightstalker...I've been to infatuated with my Sunbreaker.

            Stormcaller is the ultimate channelling of being Emperor Palpatine....

      You put this in my head now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3teuBMCa8QE

    Create a pattern of doing things in blocks of time. Dinner from 6 to 7pm, chores (for the kids) from 5 to 6, gaming from 7 to 9, things like that.

    Just suggestions, there probably needs homework time for the kids as well but get into a routine, and the family adjusts around it. And it works when you're single as well. Get home, veg for a bit, do dinner, clean up, game til you drop, sleep, go to work, rinse and repeat.

    Routines work for a reason, you just need to find that block when you relax, and slot gaming into that.

    Commit to, and finish games that you enjoy rather than tackling a multitude of titles at once. A case of focusing what time you do have to accomplishing something in your games. Set goals like finish this chapter, get to this level or make a stage where after you finished you can sit back and say that you have made a productive use of your time. Don't log into a game and jump around the lobby or stare aimlessly at the stage select or whatever.

    - Use Steam in-home streaming or Limelight/NVIDIA GameStream to stream games from your desktop to your laptop or tablet.
    - Make heavy use of the suspend/resume features in your Xbox One or PS4.
    - If you're into single-player games like me, only play one game at a time. Don't buy a game until you finish the one you're currently playing. With a big enough gap in time, you'll end up saving money by not buying at launch anyway.

    The suspend/resume features in modern consoles are brilliant features. Assuming you're not sharing your console with someone else, you can just snap straight to where you were before and not lose precious minutes.

    Last edited 24/09/15 11:34 am

      I've never been able to get pause and resume to work on the PS4. I always select suspend but when I next activate the machine, it's starts the game again from the title screen. Is it just that the games don't support it, or is there an option to resume a suspended game instead of just opening it from the main screen?

        Is your PS4 fully updated? All games should support it, the feature came with the 2.0 firmware I think.

        You need to enable it in the settings. It is switched off by default for some reason. Check out this guide and enjoy this awesome feature.

        http://www.pushsquare.com/news/2015/03/guide_how_to_use_suspend_and_resume_on_ps4

          Thanks for the link. I thought I had enabled it but maybe I didn't select the right suspend options. I'll double check tonight.

    Watch less TV. How many people on here spend all their time watching TV series? I know people who will watch several episodes a night. Personally I don't watch much at all.

    Secondly, my wife loves reading blogs and watching YouTube videos so while we spend a lot of time together, she'll sit on the couch with her laptop while I'll be on the PS4. Works great.

    Don't sleep, don't do anything social, don't have kids, don't have a significant other, ride public transport and basically remove anything that doesn't contribute to your continued gaming (Work is ok as it provides money for buying games).

    Seriously though, picking the right games is probably the best tip. If you're constantly short on time, try and avoid long and involved games. If you own a 3DS or Vita though, their ability to quickly jump in and out of a game is fantastic for long play games. As was already suggested, if you have kids, get a game that you can play with them or be actively involved in. If you want to play games while the kids watch Spongebob or play something too facile for you then try for games that can be played on devices that stream (eg. Wii U), allow remote play (eg. Vita) or are just straight up handhelds.

      Very sensible suggestions (the serious ones). Suspend/resume saves an amazing amount of stuffing around, although you have to be meticulous about keeping your systems charged.

      Have one game on each system that you are using so that you don't need to browse discs or anything, just boot up the system and you're away.

      I tag-team my Vita and 3DS on public transport. I have Child of Light in my Vita at the moment and Miku Project Mirai DX in my 3DS. Get on the bus, get the game out, play until I have to get off.

      Toilet gaming. Make a point of taking a crap at a regular time each day. Take a handheld. Take your time.

      Try having no more than one of each genre of game going at a time. I make a point never to have more than one JRPG going, although I did mix Persona Q with The Witcher 3 (those kept me going for about 3 months solid). If you have an RPG on the boil, make sure you also have an action game / platformer / rhythm game that you can dip in and out of for shorter bursts or to mix things up.

      If you are a parent, volunteer to take your child to swimming lessons, language classes or whatever, and take a handheld with you. This may not work as well with competitive sports and the like where you need to actively observe.

      If you are sick / chucking a sickie it is easier to get away with remote play or handheld play in bed rather than lolling about in an armchair in front of the TV. Spouses / partners assume that if you are in bed, you are resting. If you are out of bed and not doing work/chores, you are malingering.

      If you have travelling between cities and have a choice, go for public transport instead of driving yourself. A few hours on the train is quality gaming time.

      If you are in a boring seminar or lecture, don't despair! Just make sure you sit up the back and whip out your handheld, although you may wish to keep it on silent rather than using earphones, because you might miss something important.

      Take your partner clothes shopping! Suspend/resume on a handheld means you can make appropriate comments in a timely fashion whilst still getting some game time when your partner is in the changing rooms.

      Going to see the doctor? They are always running late because some bastard patient before you wanted to discuss his/her multiple health concerns on a short consultation. Never fear! A handheld gaming solution is available.

      In short, any situation where you are waiting for something to happen and don't have to pay much attention while you wait = gaming time :-)

    Lie to your loved ones about your work commitments.

      I usually dial into a US telecon at night once or twice a week. If it gets cancelled or is only a quick catchup - game time!

    Think about what you actually NEED to do and work around that. I'm sure there are large blocks of time throughout the week for most people spent browsing fb etc when there is no real need. I hear my non gamer friends say "I don't have time for games" but are always killing time on social network sites or watching whatever on TV or Netflix (which is fine if you prefer that to gaming).

    Get all housework, shopping, chores out of the way as early in the day as possible. It's easy to lounge around in bed for an hour (even 2) staring at your phone at nothing on the internet except for pictures of cats. Be productive early and then you'll also be more productive in your gaming time as your brain will be more engaged in whatever you're doing. Plus you'll feel like you've really earned some precious gaming time

    Stick to just the coolest, highest reviewed AAA titles and forgo sleep.

    Neither suggestion is perfect... But I always love what I'm playing, even if I am surviving on approx 5 hours sleep a night. It's worth it!

    FInd a job that pays well but doesn't require insane hours, or has very few hours and pays well. Can't tell you how many times I have talked to people who only work a couple days a week and get paid like $70 hr!

    Other thing is, don't reproduce you silly rabbits, plenty of humans on this dying Earth as it is!

    Lastly, find a partner who doesn't constantly want ALONE time together ALL THE TIME and is interested in some of the things you do.

    Non of my suggestions are realistic for the common person I know, but if you can't achieve any of these then you simply are not going to be playing many video games in this life without major repercussions. Perhaps just go roll in the grass and be thankful that you have achieved 'American Dream' status trophy (Wife, Job, Kids, Life).

    Last edited 24/09/15 11:57 am

    Tell the wife you're going to be spending the next seven hours in the toilet and you do not want to be disturbed.

      You can also game and vomit at the same time as long as you have an appropriate splash shield. Mind you, gaming whilst vomiting is not particularly pleasant.

    Regulate your time? I don't know, I only play like, an hour or two a day (more on weekends) and while i go a bit slow with bigger games like Mad Max and Metal Gear, i make enough progress to finish them and get onto the next game in a reasonable amount of time. I mean, i don't need to play EVERY game the day of release and If I don't then it's generally not long after until i do.

    My partner and i are also very supportive of eachother's interests, though. Surprised how many people fail to have this level of respect and empathy.

    I only play a couple games a year.
    This year I have played 3 games only:
    Dragon Age Inquisition (started about this time last year but finished main story and most non-fetch sidequests)
    Witcher 3 (only just arrived at Skellige)
    Metal Gear Solid V (up to mission 16)
    They are the only games I will play this year most likely (besides a few 3DS games). If I can get 2 hours a day in t the end of the day I am happy.

    Well, I fit in 5 days work in 4, then excuse myself from the 5th.

      Just so we're clear... You're taking the fifth?

    Make a good choice in wife / partner.

    My life (because I know you are sooooooo interested)

    Wake up, get ready for work.
    Work all day.
    Get home and spend some time with the kids (sometimes playing games).
    Dinner / kids in bed.
    My wife likes to watch 'her shows', so I get an hour or so there every week night. Probably at least twice a week she just binges on netflix and I get a big session in to raid/grind/play.

    Weekends are flexible...

    Honestly? Prioritize. In the hours I have spent playing games I could have written a book or learned to play an instrument. Choices we make, eh? I choose to zen out and play games.

    I have two teenage kids, and run my own business, and find roughly 10 hours a week to play console/PC, and a little more if you throw in iPad games. This is never enough for my gaming mind, but have learned to place a higher importance on my marriage, kids and other activities. I could get frustrated at how many games I now miss out on, but really what purpose does that serve?

    Instead I choose games by reading Kotaku and Gamespot religiously, and then play what piques my interest. This year it's been Witcher 3 (now finished), and will be Fallout 4 later on, with probably some SW Battlefront thrown in given that it is great to pick up and then put down again. It will mean missing out on MGSV though (never played the others either), and probably won't pick up the new Assassins Creed either given that the previous one burned me with its not so glamorous release.

    How I miss the days of getting home from school and then playing Natural Selection for 7 hours straight. Although 2 of those hours was trying to get C.O.G.S to get me into a game.

    Most of my gaming is done on Friday, Saturday and Sunday now. It's all about the planning for me.
    Just get as much stuff done around the house as I can and try to squeeze some CS:GO out when I can :)

    Give up on the internet.

    Well, that's only a theoretical one. I haven't quite yet figured out how to achieve it.

    Play games on your own terms, don't simply buy what is new just to keep up with the crowd.

    the best tip is be efficient with everything you do and its even more important that you teach your family to efficient as well. why sit and watch a game of sportsball or the latest episode of game of thrones when you can listen to it and game at the same time?

    For me it's not having a girlfriend anymore. I had one for five years suddenly being single means you have a lot more time for yourself and what you want and also not having kids helps.

    Also being effective with housework and doing it for a living helps. Aside from that my friends I game with keep the same schedule as me. The real killer for me atm is work and the fact I'll have worker almost two 13 hr shifts in two days :(

    Have a spare monitor and a HDMI splitter so when your misses is using the TV you can pop the monitor on the coffee table and away you go. This is great because you are also "spending time" with your partner. Also works the other way around having her/him watch TV on the monitor but I haven't quite convinced my misses of this one yet.

    Try to curb your gaming OCD. Do you really need to complete every quest? Do you really need to play every game? If you don't like a game stop playing it. Don't play for trophies!

    Last edited 24/09/15 1:27 pm

    I got married, have 2 kids (5 & 2) and recently bought our first home. I gave up on gaming thinking "I need to be an adult now and forget about these "childish" activities". I soon realised, however, that I needed down-time on my own to be happy, and to continue to be a good father.
    It's all about Time Management and Prioritising:
    - Week days I work, sometimes I come home to an empty house for lunch and get some minutes in there (turn on system, make sandwich, eat at cutscenes etc)
    - Wait until the kids are in bed : They need my attention and I won't sacrifice this time with them, but come 7 or 8 o'clock, they're in bed and the dishes are done - there's a few hours of play time there.
    - Choose nights when your partner is happy having personal time : eg. At the moment games night falls on Wednesday / Thursday mainly (The Bachelor is good for something - my wife loves that stuff), as well as maybe a Sunday or Monday night.
    - Use the companion apps you can (where applicable) to turn on your system when you get home, or set up updates etc

    I treat my gaming habit (addiction) like a business : Designate the time for progression, and once you finish the game decide whether you will play it again or not. Eg. I played through The Evil Within - overall really enjoyed it, but I knew with all the other releases coming out, I would not touch it again. So I finished the game and sold it second hand (much better option than Trading-in games for a smaller return), you can make half to two-thirds of your money back depending on how new or sought after it is. Be realistic, because the longer it sits there the more the "market price" will drop with specials and deals at outlets, as the game gets older.
    This can fund your next purchase a lot easier, and keeps prices down for other gamers who want to play the game, but don't want to pay full retail - it's a good system.

    Weekends I spend renovating our home with my kids playing close-by. Sometimes when my youngest has a day-sleep, and we need to be silent, my 5 y/o can watch kids shows quietly and I can get some gaming done, much like a lunchbreak.

    To summarise: Time Management.
    Designate time for everything in your life. Couples-time, kids-time and personal time. Time, there's never enough of it, but you can make it work.

    Last edited 24/09/15 1:54 pm

      - Wait until the kids are in bed : They need my attention and I won't sacrifice this time with them, but come 7 or 8 o'clock, they're in bed and the dishes are done - there's a few hours of play time there.
      I have a 1 year old. Thank you for giving me hope for the future

        It can be hard with new-born babies and toddlers to get alone time. Eventually they start to sleep through the night and routine takes place and you go back to your sleep-enhanced self.
        Hope it's all going well for you with a young child @Tigerion

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