Guilty Gaming

Published Tuesday 15 Jul 2008 2:58pm | 11

I don't know about you guys, but there are moments when I feel really guilty about gaming. Now don't get me wrong, I think gaming is an entirely admirable passtime, and I don't hold it above or below reading or watching movies or stamp collecting or whatever. That is to say, this isn't me bagging gaming as a form of personal entertainment. Or maybe it is.

The thing is - I can't help but wince inside when I look at my progress in FFXII and realise I've clocked up over 100 hours of gametime, and that's just one game I have on the go at the moment. I estimate I spend half my spare time gaming (and often the other half is spent gaming while drinking).

So why the guilt? For me, I think it's 2 reasons. Number one, I am almost 25. This is a big deal for me, I HATE the thought of turning 25, HATE it. Throughout my teens and early twenties I would make an immature decision and think: 'what the hell, I'm still young.' As I near 25, every decision I make needs to feel more....justified. Do I really want to spend so much spare time in front of a television? I mean, damn, I could be working out, or saving the money I spend on games for travel, or finding buddah. Wouldn't it be better to find buddah?

Number two: Since graduating, I have decided to class myself as a 'writer'. I only work part-time, with the intentions of journo and creative work during the days I'm not at my job. This is a different lifestyle for you guys who work full-time - I can absolutely understand the appeal of unwinding in front of Mario Galaxy at the end of a long days work earning money to support yourself and/or your family, kudos. But as someone who has dedicated herself to the 'creative lifestyle', I feel awful when every moment of unpaid breathing is 'wasted'. Let's face it, when I beat that last colossus I'm not changing the world.

Perhaps gaming is like boozing, something that should be done in moderation. It makes me very happy, but I'm also aware that I'm an almost-25 year old lass who plays with orcs and splicers and uzis in favour of other - perhaps healthier - pursuits.

I suppose the question is then, how much is too much?

And on that note, I'm gonna go grab a beer and play some more Guitar Hero.


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Comments Comments (11)

Posted by McPhisto
On Tuesday 15 Jul 2008 3:38 PM
"But as someone who has dedicated herself to the 'creative lifestyle', I feel awful when every moment of unpaid breathing is 'wasted'."

Tell me about it - I feel guilty at home when I'm playing a game and not making one instead...

Still, let's go have a beer and play some SingStar. ;)
Posted by stupidlikeafox
On Tuesday 15 Jul 2008 3:41 PM
"I feel awful when every moment of unpaid breathing is 'wasted'."

here here. i work from home, and lately havent actually been doing very much work...
Posted by Munkah
On Tuesday 15 Jul 2008 8:02 PM
"For me, I think it's 2 reasons. Number one, I am almost 25. This is a big deal for me, I HATE the thought of turning 25, HATE it." It's not so bad, I'm still gaming far too much and I'm turning 29 this year...
Posted by MatEPoon
On Tuesday 15 Jul 2008 9:47 PM
Wait until you're 30.
Heh. :)
Posted by bahamut_zero
On Tuesday 15 Jul 2008 10:14 PM
I dont feel that gaming amounts to wasted time at all. Personally I see it as just another means of entertainment. In the past its offered a lot of opportunities to meet new people and try different multiplayer games which is great. When playing games like FF, I do clock up ridiculous play times as well but I certainly don't think I've wasted time as I've enjoyed every single minute of those 170 odd ON!!
Posted by dbsmith
On Monday 21 Jul 2008 3:55 PM
Hmm, I try and balance my life between things I should be improving (like drawing and writing and animating and guitar and drinking heavily) and things that I enjoy, like computer games. The point of life is to enjoy it, in my opinion. Everyones gotta find their own balance though.
Posted by xSHADOWx
On Monday 21 Jul 2008 7:57 PM
Yeh I'm only 15 and I feel the same way sometimes, cos in the end what does finishing Halo 3 on legendary really mean. But I guess it's not quite the same, as I don't have a job, but I do have other more productive stuff that I should be doing.
Posted by Mriceguy
On Tuesday 22 Jul 2008 9:22 AM
I don't think that there's an age you need to stop gaming... well maybe if you're old enough to get arthritis or something! But yeah everyone brings up the words 'balance' & 'moderation', it probably pays to have some other hobbies as well. ;)
Posted by Ruptunex
On Friday 8 Aug 2008 3:40 PM
I'll be gaming till i die
Posted by Gazza22
On Wednesday 11 Feb 2009 8:08 PM
Like many have said already, you just gotta find that balance I feel.

My life = Family + Friends + Sport + study/graphic design + Gaming

And to people who say gaming is a useless hobby, well it may be but then so is reading, and watching movie's as they don't exactly accomplish anything either. So there's no need for gamers to feel guilty.
Posted by Barnicals
On Sunday 19 Apr 2009 7:17 PM
Yep, been there, thought that.

I think part of the issue is that gaming is dismissed as a waste of time by non gamers. (Like my girlfriend, who spends at least an hour each day grooming herself) HAHA, just made it sound like her looks is a lost cause.

Anyway, I remember this conversation with a manager at work (formerly a sergent), and there is an option: Having two hours of sleep a night, and work hard to acheive great things. But would you be happy?

Also, with "party" games like guitar hero, wii sports, etc, it's not like people that game are confined to slovenly gamers chairs.

But anyway, to answer your question: 4+ hrs a night is possibly counter-productive. So is 4+ hrs of reality tv.