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Do you prioritise gaming over other media and hobbies?


Jamie John
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Gaming has definitely been my primary form of entertainment in recent years. I generally find the experience of gaming a much better way to decompress after a day of work, but it’s probably compounded by the fact my partner and I, although there’s a lot of movies, TV we do both like, she suffers with bad anxiety and one of her things that helps turn her brain off is shit reality TV. Which means often she’ll watch that and I’ll play for a couple of hours. 
 

I really want to properly get in to a hobby I’ve only tinkered with to date though, and that’s building electronics/embedded coding/3D printing, etc. When we move out of London and have more space that’s something I’d like to be my main pastime. 

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7 hours ago, Jamie John said:

spending time with the wife


I say, this is a family forum old chap, keep it clean!

 

I don’t have children, but got married a couple of years ago and my husband, surprisingly, is quite supportive of my right to play. Having said that, we usually watch something together after eating in the evening, so he’s also the main reason why I’m never able to play online with friends, with whom my schedule never seems to align sufficiently to have 30 minutes of something. 
 

The majority of my gaming time is done on the weekend, as a result. 

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The last week I've spent...

 

8hrs (watching football)

4hrs (Judo)

3hrs (miniature painting)

1hr (forum time)

20mins (MSH Vs SF)

 

The rest of the time I've been working, DIY, or driving my family about.

 

Football is a temporary one, but I should probably spend less time on forums.

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8 hours ago, Gabe said:

Do you think this kind of handwringing/existential crisis happens with other media or is it the fact that, deep down, there's still the stigma that games are still thought of as being for kids (no matter what the demographics might actually show)?


It’s not that they’re for kids, it’s that they’re for geeks. ;) 

 

(Joking aside, the geek observation was always a strange one - for me, geekdom is borne from enthusiasm bordering on unhealthy obsession… whether that obsession is games, music, film - hell, you could be obsessed with fitness, a football geek obsessing over statistics and transfers and tactics, an IPA geek, etc.)

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When I get into something it becomes pretty all consuming of my free time(I’ll play games, read about them, read forums on them etc.) My current kick is retro games, so I tend to try and get an hour a day or so in. I got back into it just after the first lockdown started. Before that I was neck deep in collecting, building and painting Warhammer 40,000 armies. Before that it was arcade games, the only other previous one was mixed martial arts. It’s pretty circular, and I keep all the stuff, it just goes into the loft when I’m ‘out’ of that hobby for the time being which is nice when I want to delve back into it. I really struggle to devote time to two hobbies at once, although I’ve got a little better in this last year.

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14 hours ago, cassidy said:

I've got ADHD. It doesn't matter what I'm focusing on. My brain is constantly telling me even though I'm enjoying this. I'm missing out not doing that! 

 

But lockdown and the last 16 months has seen me spend most of my time gaming over the other stuff I want to be doing. I mean I've nearly completed 15 games this year alone. 

 

Games and their interactivity do deliver more than most TV and movies. Comics are always a close second just because that media connects with the visual and literal parts of the brain so intensely. 

 

Did that make sense. I hope it did. 

 

 

Having ADHD is why I read mainly comics these days above any other hobby.  I can have multiple books ongoing at a time and it helps stop my mind from wandering to the next thing as I can just read one issue of say a Spider-Man comic, and then pick up a Batman book and do the same thing with that.  At this present time I have about 15 books on the go at the same time and that doesn’t include all the comics and manga I read digitally.

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Music is my main hobby. I'll listen to it all day at work and as much as I can at home with the wife and kids around. Some evenings when I have more time to myself I will be more involved with music, such as going through what I've been listening to and adding ratings or tags, or ripping CDs or buying new music digitally, or delving into Discogs to check out a particular artist or release in detail.

 

Gaming is probably my second favourite hobby, and definitely has the best ratio of time invested vs. pleasure extracted. Recently I have been messing around in Skate on Xbox 360. I haven't played it in about 10 years, but it's nice to stick in Freeskate mode, find a good spot and try to pull off a few tricks. No story or defined challenge, just setting your own goals and having fun. Prior to Skate, I was playing Zelda BotW. Again, not really progressing the story or anything, but just exploring the world and making my own fun. I can play like this into the small hours if I'm left to my own devices, but even though my wife is very tolerant of me playing games, I will try and make the effort to switch them off and do something with her, such as watching TV or movies together - the only trouble is that I find it too easy to fall asleep when I'm just watching.

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No, and it’s decreased dramatically over the last few years too. I pretty much just keep up with Nintendo and add some retro these days because the portability helps but alsmot nothing released on PS/Xbox since about halfway through last gen has interested me at all in any case. I’ve shot my fill of terrorists/aliens/alien terrorists.
 

I don’t watch TV or films at all any more but even so gaming is at best third behind books and music - particularly in the last year since any excuse to not be staring at a screen now I work from home with a commute of four seconds means picking up a paperback or a guitar just inherently feels more appealing.

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17 hours ago, moosegrinder said:

It's my main hobby. To the detriment of almost everything else I do for fun, because almost certainly I'd rather be playing games than anything else.

Same, for the most part.

 

Also, with kids, I rarely get to watch a film in one go so I usually won't bother.

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I prefer gaming to consumption of other media.

 

I can read or watch TV/films at work.  So I want to spend my free time at home gaming.

 

Gaming is more of an investment than films or books.  It requires expensive hardware, and no piece of hardware by itself is enough to play all the best games.  Also books and films don't have performance issues depending on hardware (certainly not to the extent that games do), and don't ship full of bugs that need patches.  So there's less need to follow reviews and news for those media.

 

There's more physical stuff to collect for games than other media.  And I enjoy collecting what I want.

 

That said, this year I'm getting back into other hobbies.  I've been on a few Japanese countryside railways to take photos and videos.  I'm also learning Indonesian.  I hope gaming can remain my late evening hobby.

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It used to be nearly all I ever did. I'd make sure I played a couple of hours a day, almost every day. Some days full sessions.

 

Over the past three years though, it doesn't hold.my attention anywhere near how it used to. I think I've completed four games throughout those years (Control, Resi 8, Metro Exodus, Borderlands 3), and whatever time I give to gaming now is mainly lighter stuff like Isaac or Spire with some music on.

 

Whenever I start any triple A game, I usually end up just giving up after a few hours wether I'm enjoying it or not. Knowing it could take 20-80 hours for completion while there's loads of other stuff I want to do, coupled with 'adult life', means I can't be arsed. Recent examples being Horizon Zero Dawn, RDR2, Days Gone. I think I'm just done with huge map sidequest collect-a-thons.

 

The only real outlier is each new Football Manager release which I'll always put a few hundred hours in, mainly because I can just leave it in the background for hours and drop in and out.

 

Most my media now is film.

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I used to but can't now. With work and kids my gaming time is very limited. It's basically 2100 hours if I want to play and then I don't get enough sleep and regret it. Endless cycle.

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Gaming has for the largest part of my life been in the center of this weird Venn diagram of work and hobby. It commands quite a large chunk of time.  Yet sometimes I simply need to take a break from it. 
 

Still read a lot, but I’d say bouldering/rock climbing takes up a fair chunk of time as well. 
 

Where possible I prioritize D&D/Fiasco/boardgames over video games though. Social interactions exhaust me generally, but I do prefer them over just playing a video game solo (that isn’t a Metroidvania). 
 

That said I generally don’t like online multiplayer. Sucks the soul out of the game and often turns it into a mechanics fest (hence preferring D&D).

 

There’s some film/series as well but that’s often social as well.

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7 hours ago, SaintAnselm said:

Having ADHD is why I read mainly comics these days above any other hobby.  I can have multiple books ongoing at a time and it helps stop my mind from wandering to the next thing as I can just read one issue of say a Spider-Man comic, and then pick up a Batman book and do the same thing with that.  At this present time I have about 15 books on the go at the same time and that doesn’t include all the comics and manga I read digitally.

I force myself not to do that cos otherwise I don't finish anything.  I'm still reading the Snyder Swamp thing Omni and havent started anything else. 

 

With the series X and it's quick resume and speedy loading mind I am able to jump between games a lot more mainly because assassin's creed Valhalla appears to have no end and darkest dungeon is perfect to  boot up and run a dungeon when you have 15 mins spare. 

 

 

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Based on the framing of the question in the OP, isn't this really only an issue if gaming isn't your favourite hobby and yet you spend disproportionate time on it?

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23 hours ago, Gabe said:

Based on the framing of the question in the OP, isn't this really only an issue if gaming isn't your favourite hobby and yet you spend disproportionate time on it?

 

No. I was more bemoaning the fact that I don't have time (or choose not to spend my time) on things which aren't games.

 

Inspired by my own thread, however, I've spent about an hour or so over the last two evenings just listening to music in the dark before bed and it's been great. (This was after spending at least an hour playing game beforehand, though).

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I don't tend to game during the week usually busy with work and family stuff and if I do get any free time then I will enjoy a film/tv series episode. At the weekends being an early bird I am usually awake by 6am so I always game in the mornings until Breakfast.

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Gaming was my fourth hobby pre pandemic behind music, art and literature but became the major one during the pandemic due to more free time and a way to socialise with friends during lockdown. Prior to the pandemic I just had a Switch and was happy with that but now have a Series S and Dreamcast which was reignited a passion I had for gaming and with an Evercade VS coming through later in the year I may feel that I’ve over stretched my gaming time. Especially now that gigs will be happening again I’ll soon be going out and enjoying music again and gaming will take a backseat. 

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It depends on the game. I dabble trying to get an hour or so in a day, but then something hooks me in and I try to spend whole evenings just playing it. It’s a bit easier for my wife to deal with I think, as she wants to spend time with me but gets it when I’m really into something. Sooner I finish it, sooner she gets me back!

 

I think working from home is helping me be more relaxed about how I spend my time. It’s not just the lack of commute time, where I had time to do stuff, but knowing I only have 30 mins here, 20 mins there, I can only do certain things at certain places, etc.

 

I felt I had to pack a lot in to a short space of time. Optimising your free time is as fun as it sounds.

 

If I did game, I’d have to be something I could listen to a podcast with. If I read, I’d listen to some instrumental music. Chill out in a coffee shop waiting for a bus, I’d need to power through so many pages of a book. Not wanting to watch something I’d have to concentrate on because I’m tired and want to dick about on the internet. 

 

Now I pick a thing and just enjoy it. Some things have dropped off like podcasts which were my no 1, but gaming has shot up the rankings,. 

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Na. Nothing beats Films or TV for me. 

 

Nothing beats a good story. Unfortunately games are light years behind film in that regard. 

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Boardgames.

Videogames.

Other media.

 

Over the last year that has meant videogames shooting up the list, but I'm fine with that. I find I get into specific videogames rather than them as an abstract medium, if there's nothing I particularly want to play then nothing gets played. Will drop almost everything to get some boardgames in though.

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