On video game time commitment and management.

Because of recent releases like Baldur's Gate and Starfield I have been thinking at the time I have spent playing games and there is a clear pattern of me spending less and less, which makes sense of course since as you grow older your free time is taken up by responsibilities. Unfortunately some of my favorite games in the past like some RPGs that I spent 60+ hours on (and some way over 100) would be very difficult to complete at this point of my life. For example, I've been wanting an Elder Scrolls 6 for a while since it's been more than a decade since the launch of Skyrim but I realized that even if it did come out tomorrow I would not be able to enjoy it the same way I did Skyrim back then, for the same reason while I loved the first 4 Assassin's Creed games I have stopped playing them since Origins because the open world format is too time consuming. And this happens not only for games but also for shows and books as well where I end up thinking that this 500 page non-fiction book could have said all the things it wanted to say in like 20-30 pages and the rest was just padding, examples, or the author repeating themselves, or some times I watch a show and at the end of a season I think that this season was basically filler and it didn't accomplish much, it just introduced a villain that was dealt with by the end of the season and the show is clearly building towards some big event that is still being awaited and not much has changed in that regard.

All this to say basically I have to be mindful about how I spend my free time because it's limited and there are many games I'd like to play but essentially can't, and longer games generally get the axe which is a shame because I used to love them, and for the games that I do end up playing I don't try to 100% anymore most of the time. There are still great games that are not too long, for example Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice is a great experience that doesn't take more than 10 hours to complete and I don't think it would have been better if it had a huge open world and it took 40. Anyway I think I'm ranting a little bit so I'll stop here, I know I'm not the only one in this position though so I want to hear how others manage this.

  • I see you on that George, I think we all have that special game in which we spent a lot of hours to master (specially online games) and now times to times we still play just to feel a small part of that excitement we used to feel as children.

  • At the end of the day gaming is a hobby for most people to pass time enjoyably. If you're still having fun with a game it doesn't mean you have to drop it and buy another just do what you want to to! if you don't wanna finish one, you don't have to! if you start thinking that you have to play different games just because they're popular and you think you might miss out you're not treating yourself well enough  -  but maybe thats just my opinion

  • Thankfully the expansive games have save points so us older folk with less time on our hands can dip back into them as and when we have time. The problem I have is completely forgetting the controls and especially button combinations to do any special moves but I do understand the motivation also wanes. It's not just about time so much but also energy after working most the day and then having to do chores around the house, go shopping etc.

    What we need is a TARDIS to either create more hours in the day by slowing time down, or take us back to the time when we didn't have the responsibilities we do in 2023.

  • I echo the sentiment, work and family obligations take up a good chunk of time. I'm playing shorter games to fill the gaps when i get time to play. Though I did get a XSX for Starfield. If I can carve a couple hours a day then I'm happy. 

  • The downside of huge open world games is that there often is a huge amount of padding, which is fine if you have lots of free time and are bored, but is not so great if you have less time. Then a more carefully curated experience is often better.

    On the other hand, older people tend to have more money and can afford games and controllers that they couldn't afford as a youth. For example, I'm only now able to afford a steering wheel set and a HOTAS.

    I think that you always need to look at the situation you are in and not just follow the crowd when they talk up certain games, because those games may not suit you.

  • I think the best thing about games like Starfield or skyrim or baldur's gate type games is, you can just come back to them at any point and it's like you never stopped playing them!

  • You're absolutely right with what you said, though I have a need for closure and I tend to stick to games until I feel I have satisfied that need. Problem is when I see a game and I know if I start it I will want to do x and y and it will take up a lot of time so because of that I end up not picking it up at all, its kind of the opposite of FOMO, it's more like fear of opportunity cost because I keep thinking about how to spend time optimally.

  • It does annoy me when developers make a cool open-world game but then fill it with essentially meaningless tasks (like running around collecting superficial things in many of the Assassin's Creed games, or completing absolutely mundane side quests in any number of games). To time-poor folks like ourselves, that actually is just a waste. But I will say this - although shorter games are more completable, the joy of the long, open-ended experiences doesn't go away. In fact, it really is just the motivation and time that serve as barriers, and once you get over those, you'll find that the things you really love about gaming are more present in those games than the shorter, more curated experiences (which serve as fun distractions, but aren't the heart and soul of gaming). It's not easy to make time for gaming, but if you really do love it, I would say sit down at that computer and do it!

    Also, I would caution against reading and watching shows (and of course playing games) just for their endings or their 'points'. Don't get me wrong, being concise and succinct is a skill that more people should work on, but a lot of books, films, shows, and games have beauty and magic in them that appears if you sit back and try to really immerse yourself into the world that the author/director was trying to create.

    But hey, I do agree that there is a lot of 'padding' out there, and plenty of people just enjoy hearing the sound of their own voice, either literally or metaphorically, so yeah, that's annoying. I guess just try not to lose sight of the art or the feeling if you really enjoy the things you're reading, watching, and playing.

  • Also, I would caution against reading and watching shows (and of course playing games) just for their endings or their 'points'. Don't get me wrong, being concise and succinct is a skill that more people should work on, but a lot of books, films, shows, and games have beauty and magic in them that appears if you sit back and try to really immerse yourself into the world that the author/director was trying to create.

    Well it depends, for fiction it is true that a certain season of a show or mission in a video game, etc may have merit on its own despite not actually accomplishing anything towards the story's goal but for non-fiction there is no real value in repeating the same thing over and over or giving more examples than necessary or beating around the bush to get to a certain point other than needing to hit a certain page threshold that most of the time may not even be the author's prerogative but rather the publisher's.

  • Same here. Not enough hours in a day. Work and family take it all Joy and then comes training. The couch can sometimes be too good, an opportunity to game. But I see a busy day makes me play more phone games than before.