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Muji_

Enough time to play?

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Muji_    122
If you're over 20 and used to play a lot more games than you do now, why is that? Is it simply because you can't find enough time in your life, or more because your interest in games has declined? Thankyou for your input

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ViLiO    1326
Quote:
Original post by Muji_
If you're over 20 and used to play a lot more games than you do now

Yep I fit those criteria, but it isn't because my interest in games has declined, it has merely shifted to the making them side over the playing them [smile]

I still play a lot of games though in saying that, but not nearly as much as my pre-programming days.

Regards,
ViLiO

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Trapper Zoid    1370
For me, it's mostly about not having enough time. After you take into account the hours of work or study, dealing with life's chores, and attempting to have a little bit of a life outside the glare of computer monitors, there's not that much time left for hobbies. Combine with that an additional hobby of wanting to make your own games, and that whittles down the time even more.

By the way, you probably aren't going to get a true depiction of the general game playing public by asking that question on a GameDev forum. I'd wager that the general interest in games here amongst over 20s is slight more fanatical that you'd find in general [smile].

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aaroncox1234    298
It's all about time for me now. Games take too long to load (I really don't need to know what companies made the game every time I turn the thing on), far too many of them don't let me skip cutscenes I've already seen, and even worse, they don't let me save any time I want.

When I have time to play, it's usually for pretty short periods. I tend to not even bother most of the time because a big chunk of my time is spent waiting through company logos and cutscenes I can't skip. Then I get 10-20 minutes to play, and all my progress is lost because I don't reach a save point in time.

It also drives me nuts when games try to make me do chores. I hate it when my ten minutes of gaming is spent finding a bear skin for a guy and bringing it back to him, only to have him ask me to bring whatever he made out of the bear skin to someone who's a 10 minute walk away (I'm looking at you Guild Wars).

So I guess to answer your question, no I don't play games as much anymore, and yes it is because of time.

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takingsometime    518
I'm a bit of mix of TrapperZoid and aaroncox1234. I spend most of the day working on them, so the last thing I want after work is to sit down and deal with them again. Like aaroncox1234, I have difficulty finding enough consecutive time to play any games, so I play games that I can put in 20 mins and then leave. My current gaming time is about 30 minutes a month :(.

Thus, I mostly play games like Tony Hawk and Tiger Woods, where it doesn't matter if I finish much/any of it. This is primarily why I like old Amiga 500 games, you can finish the whole game in 20-30 minutes usually.

I really look forward to getting some time to play some of the games that I've bought and not yet played, like Zelda WindWaker, Eternal Darkness and Knights of the old republic.

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sunandshadow    7426
For me it's about boredom - I would spend a lot more of my free time playing games and reading books if I could find any that looked deep/complex/original/interesting. I mean, look at all the PS2 games currently sold - do you see one with a story aimed at anyone older than 14? Nope.

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Way Walker    745
I'm 23, and I play video games much less often than I used to.

Overall, I'd say most video games just aren't worth the time to play them.

They waste my time with company logos and other things I don't care about when I turn them on. Yes, I know who you are... if I wanted to pay money to look at your logo I'd... well... I wouldn't...

They waste my time with unskippable cutscenes when I just want to play. Don't get me wrong, I love stories. I still play Final Fantasy games because I enjoy the stories. But sometimes I just want to "fast forward" or play the game side of things. Please, just let me play...

They waste my time with small margins for error. It's not fun to miss the same jump ten times in a row, especially if the game isn't about jumping. If the game isn't fun, why am I playing?

They waste my time with uninteresting puzzles. They're either too hard (I'm relatively burnout on difficult puzzles from class) or too easy, and almost always time consuming. Not that the puzzle itself takes a long time, but running all over the world collecting whatever I need to deliver, telling various characters various key words... if I figure out the puzzle in ten minutes, it shouldn't take me another half hour to carry out the solution.

If they're just going to waste what little time I can give them, I'll spend it with something else.

Like one of the other hobbies I've picked up. Music and photography also take up what free time I have. When I have to decide whether to play a game or play my guitar, most games just don't measure up. And not just time, but money. I'm already on a limited budget (I'm trying to live off my stipend to avoid more student loans), which has to pay for rent and food and car repairs (just spent $500 to repair my 15 year old car). If I find $200 in the budget, it'll go toward a bass guitar before it goes to a game console. Why? Because in five years that console will be obsolete and most of its games forgotten, but I'll still be playing that bass.

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Telastyn    3777
Quote:
Original post by Muji_
If you're over 20 and used to play a lot more games than you do now, why is that? Is it simply because you can't find enough time in your life, or more because your interest in games has declined?

Thankyou for your input


I have far more time to play games now than I ever did. There's actually quite a number of changes that have caused me to play less.

1. Immaturity - Even when I was young and immature, I still understood basic sportsmanship and how to type. Playing multiplayer games is far less fun when your playing partners lack simple communication skills and/or the concept of fair play. This is the biggest impact, since multiplayer games offer the most replay value, and thus the greatest gametime change.

2. The Rise of Consoles - Generally, I like PC games more than console games. I can only play so much with console controllers before my hands begin to ache. PC games tend to be more strategic and less action which I generally prefer. While it's understandable that the industry prefers consoles, it will unfortunately lead to me playing less.

3. Mad Skills - After 20 years of video game playing, I'm pretty damned good. A game that might've been challenging, requiring load after re-load to beat a good part or for a dumb mistake now is beaten easily. Less time for the same game.



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Roots    1625
Quote:
Original post by Trapper Zoid
For me, it's mostly about not having enough time. After you take into account the hours of work or study, dealing with life's chores, and attempting to have a little bit of a life outside the glare of computer monitors, there's not that much time left for hobbies. Combine with that an additional hobby of wanting to make your own games, and that whittles down the time even more.



I am the same. I remember when I was still in high school I vowed to keep playing games as much as I had my entire life. Being a computer engineering major can quickly destroy goals like that (in other words, its ROUGH). I'm 23 now and by the time I turned 20 or so (junior year at undergrad university), I had pretty much ceased playing games. I had hardly played any at all, but I bought a GameCube and 4 games last summer (for only $120 I might add [grin]), played but only played them just a little bit. I've actually picked up gaming again and bought several games over the holidays (FFX-2, Xenosaga 2, Mario Kart: Double Dash) and had some fun playing them on my only vacation of the year. But I can't just find the same interest in them that I used to.


Nowadays, if I play a new game and I'm not having fun within the first 30 minutes or so, I usually put it away. (Happened with Xenosaga II, currently my most boring RPG ever...). I don't like to play games if they are boring or frusterating, because I get enough of those feelings from real life now. [wink] But one of the great things about being out of the gaming loop is that when I finally get around to buying the games I've wanted to get for months, they are in the $15 or $20 bin (new), instead of being $50 or $60. Sure saves a lot of cash to be behind on the gaming front. [lol]

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OrangyTang    1298
As above, my time is much more limited. This has made me far more picky with games than before - if I can't figure out an obtuse puzzle or which villager to talk to next (etc. etc.) I'll either give up and find something less broken, or make a quick stop to gamefaqs and find what the hell I'm supposed to be doing. Sure if I walked round in circles for the next hour I could figure it out on my own, but thats just a waste of time.

I've also been playing more short burst games - things like mame, shareware/indie shooters (Space Tripper etc.) and GBA/DS/PSP games are all much more direct and 'quick fix' than other games.

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Wavinator    2017
After gaming for <way too many years> I'm doing so a lot less mostly because I'm bored. The way I see it, most games are level-based retreads of what I've played years before, with different graphics and the thinnest patina of meaning, often conveyed through inflexible, matchbook story (seemingly written by those who hate reading).

The problem with aging is that you tend to accumulate-- even if by accident-- more and more knowledge about lots of different things. But when the media you've grown up with doesn't grow up with you, it can be a real drag. Most games aren't about much of anything, and certainly aren't (as Ernest Adams once said) about something larger than themselves. By comparison, though, books, movies, and music can be.

I find myself playing less because, at the moment the industry is, by and large, locked in a cycle of producing games that are about fighting, simulation or puzzles. This might just be a phase of an nascent media, but my fear is that this formula will leave those who make and fund games believing that "that's all there is" to what games could be.

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PaulCesar    524
I was beginning to think that there were no games that could capture the essense of fun, particularly that (as someone mentioned) were aimed at older audiances. But I encourage anyone that likes short bursts of fun, and a "story" more open to adults, try the (somewhat new) leisure suit larry (magna cum laude) game. It should solve all your problems. On top of that for you men, you can get another "hobby" done at the same time..... thats what I call quality time management

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RAZORUNREAL    567
In case it's of interest, I'm 16 and I play less than I used to, mostly because of programming projects. And I know a guy around 40 who's still going fairly strong and plays more than I do.

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Way Walker    745
Off topic, but...

Quote:
Original post by Wavinator
The problem with aging is that you tend to accumulate-- even if by accident-- more and more knowledge about lots of different things. But when the media you've grown up with doesn't grow up with you, it can be a real drag.


Part of the reason they don't grow up is that they have such a short lifespan. The technologies available have objectively improved in many ways. What passed for "realistic" a couple years ago is now a poor imitation. What was good AI a couple years ago is now simple minded. I've tried playing some of my favorite NES games, and I get the feeling they'd be fun if only the controls could be revamped. Lon Chaney and Charlie Chaplin may have been great, but over all advances in story-telling, cinematography, and sound have made their movies difficult to watch. I can see why they were considered great, but even a half-way decent romantic comedy beats them in many ways. I've been meaning to read the Count of Monte Cristo, but I've had many warnings from people I would've expected to like it that it's really not all it's hyped up to be.

Another problem: Try finding a working NES to play cartridges on, now try to find a working cartridge. Or, more revealingly, try to get King's Quest VI (my favorite and still worth playing, in my opinion) to run on a modern computer. Advances in technology can make video games literally unplayable. It takes much longer for a movie or book to die in this manner (and movies are much more easily translated to new media and books much more easily translated into modern dialects).

Quote:

Most games aren't about much of anything, and certainly aren't (as Ernest Adams once said) about something larger than themselves. By comparison, though, books, movies, and music can be.


I've thought about this, so I'm honestly curious when I ask: What can video games be about?

I haven't been able to come up with much, but some games are truly great. I feel Tetris holds a place among classic (not necessarily video) games like chess, checkers, go, and reversi. Deus Ex may be another example (the way it got people to use non-lethal weapons without in game penalties is truly amazing) of a true classic able to hold its own against more "respectable" media. These I would say are larger than themselves.


More on topic, Wavinator's comments remind me of what C.S. Lewis said of books: Excepting text books and other instructional materials, if it's not worth reading when you're grown up, it's not worth reading as a child. Some of the games I liked when I was younger I liked in the same way people back in the day enjoyed movies of things simply moving. Some of the games I liked when I was younger I liked in the same way that I can enjoy romantic comedies (or, really, any sort of film) so long as I don't watch too many and stick to the better ones (wow... how many hours did I waste on crappy side scrollers?). Very few are worth playing now (more would be worth playing with some slight tweaks). I wouldn't mind playing Gorf again, but I don't think there was much loss when we got rid of our Vic20 (and you thought the Commodore 64 was old school).

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Blueshrike    122
For me, I'd probably still stay up late and play (even after my design job) if I didn't have a wife and small son. In fact, I actually still buy games at an alarming rate... way more than I have the time for.

Which ends up with me playing most of them for less than 3 hours on average apiece. At least it's enough to get the gist of the gameplay and novelty (which is my main motivation for buying them).

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Cybergrape    158
I think you'll find gameplay for entertainment has to coincide with having extra money and extra time simultaneously. Which is pretty darn rare after about 23 or 24. Before then gifts and allowance money pays for most adolescent gamers needs and long school breaks provide the time. But later, between work and family you have neither time nor money to spit sideways. Show me a fella or gal who sits on the sofa exercising their thumb after kids come and I'll show you a divorcee, you know? The forties give gamers more opportunity to indulge on weekends and the occasional weeknight. We are just on the cusp of some computer literate people reaching retirement so that will be an interesting and potentially huge market.
I bought my first gaming system on credit from Montgomert Wards. It had a Donkey Kong (version 1 !!) arcade style game, a Pac Man kind of thing that went woof-woof and an airplane you manuevered through obstacles to face a giant robot at the end. It was used regularly for about 6 months then became a dust catcher under the TV before I finally packed it away. The 640 Kb computer brought a whole new capability and market for games. I remember frying my eyes and x-raying my sinuses raw playing games like; Earthrise, Ys, SimCity, Prince of Persia, Railroad Tycoon etc. But it did seem that as time went on buggy products became acceptable (which just totally turned me off as a gamer) and less imagination, humor etc was making it through to the shelves in place of the chop/hack/shoot/explode genre. If I wanted to pay large amounts of money to be bored mindless then I'ld get a premium cable package. While my son was happily occupied with Mario Brothers, Snowboardinng, Car Races and Duck Hunt, I still enjoyed the challenges and graphics of SimCity and tried its spin-off, The Sims. The first "tutorial" with the Hatfield family had me laughing myself silly, it was really too bad the whole game wasn't as inventive. Then I was drawn into the creative side of the game, there were many 3rd party objects, character meshes and skins that put the official stuff to shame! It was great entertainment just to flit from site to site and see all that was available. Then there were all the official and 3rd party programming tools for making your own characters, objects, animations and even behavioral changes. It was the first time I ever learned a computer language "by intuition". But I was hooked on "creating" for my game enjoyment as well as thousands of others world-wide. It really did inject a lot of imagination and talent into the game and kept it wildly popular for years. That urge to create lead from wanting to make a game mine to wanting to make my own games. Anyway, where you are along the life-cycle (as well as gender, economic status, educational level etc) appears to not only influence the number of games you play but also the type of games you enjoy.

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Madster    242
At the risk of repeating:
I'm 27 and the reasons I don't play as much as before are:

-I can't find enough time so I gotta pick carefully. That leaves overly complex games out, as much as I love them :(
-Meteorically rising prices means picking even more carefully
-Mature games are actually juvenile games with blood and/or poop jokes. (conker was.. stupid.)
-Most storylines are laughable token fantasy or token action stories. (insert RPG or FPS name here)
-Most characters, even on mature games, are flat and cartoony (not graphically). Syberia nailed this with the lead, but not with the rest of the cast.
-As mentioned before, mandatory logo-staring. It's in the box damnit! don't make me look at the box!
-samey gameplay on most new titles (hooray katamari!)
-As mentioned before... why are gamers tolerating buggy software? I mean memory-leaking topcrash buggy kind of software! EW!
-Not enough party games to play with friends. I don't own a Gamecube though.. Maybe I should. I'm considering Revolution for that, if they get it right it could be the ultimate party game. Currently I'm using my PC with a MOMO Force Feedback wheel and some racing games. Worms worked in the past too.

So things to aim at with future games:
-Playable in both short bursts and long runs.
-Cheapen each individual title. There are ways to do this, and I intend to explore them :)
-A good storyline. Not too deep, not too shallow, not too stupid.
-Story and dialogs adjusted to targer audience. This should be a no-brainer. I'm 27, I haven't laughed at poop jokes in over 10 years.
-Characters designed beyond looks, at least protagonist AND antagonist.
-Risk some original gameplay, even if it has to be tucked inside mini-games.
-topcrash and leak free, completable with incorruptible saves out of the box.
-party games! splitscreen, turn based, brawler style, whichever works!

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hplus0603    11347
I'm 36 and have three kids. It's all about the time. I can't really play any MMOs anymore, because the time investment is just too much. When we had fewer and smaller kids, me and my wife made a kick-ass EQ group ;-)

I agree with everyone else: I can't play anything that's only half-OK, because there's just not enough time. If something sucks in the first two hours, it goes on the shelf. Even if something is good, but takes too long (like Jade Empire), it won't get finished.

At least one of the kids is big enough to want to play with me, so it's not an either-or on the family-vs-games spectrum!

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Oluseyi    2103
Quote:
Original post by hplus0603
Even if something is good, but takes too long (like Jade Empire), it won't get finished.

I'm starting to hate that game.

My interest in games has declined. In fact, my interest in games is nearly dead, plus I have less time to devote to an increasingly moribund activity (games are just more technically sophisticated today, not any more ethically complex or intellectually engaging; in fact, one could argue that they have regressed in those two areas).

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Roots    1625
Quote:
Original post by Oluseyi
My interest in games has declined. In fact, my interest in games is nearly dead, plus I have less time to devote to an increasingly moribund activity (games are just more technically sophisticated today, not any more ethically complex or intellectually engaging; in fact, one could argue that they have regressed in those two areas).



I think that that is the most intelligent and insightful thing I have ever read on the internet. [grin]

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Muji_    122
Thanks for your help, people

And for those of you that no longer play so much because you lack time, does these same time constraints affect how much you watch movies? Or is it always possible to find time to put on a movie?

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Way Walker    745
Quote:
Original post by Muji_
Thanks for your help, people

And for those of you that no longer play so much because you lack time, does these same time constraints affect how much you watch movies? Or is it always possible to find time to put on a movie?


I have less trouble finding time for movies:

1) They're more social. Multiplayer gaming is usually over a network, limiting the interaction between players, and few games are good spectator sports. The Mario Party series, the various kart racing games, and sports titles for consoles are good "counter examples", which is one reason they're so popular.

2) They're shorter. Unless you're playing Minesweeper or some flash game, most of them require an overall investment of 10's of hours. Movie's total investment is two hours.

3) They're passive. I can watch a movie when I just want to veg-out. I can watch a movie while doing homework or playing a board game with friends. I'm watching Along Came a Spider right now.

4) They don't waste my time. You don't see Morgan Freeman talking to every citizen in the city in an attempt to find the next step in the quest to find the kidnapper. Usually, there're very few moments that aren't interesting in some way during a movie. There's also no waiting for the next scene to load (unless your DVD's been damaged).

5) The stories are better. Granted this only applies to those who play games (not necessarily exclusively) for the story, but a mediocre story in a movie is better than a good story in a game. (By the way, I do play some games "for the story")

Not related to time, but other benefits movies have over video games:

6) The classics are still good. About the only NES era games I can say this about are Tetris and Dr.Mario. A couple months ago I watched Cool Hand Luke for the first time. That's still a good movie.

7) They're cheaper. ~$15-20 when they first come out, ~$10-15 a couple months later, $5-10 a bit after that. Sure, games come down in price, but add in (6) and it becomes less appealing (although I've found some treasures in the $10 game bin, and my computer's old enough that there's no trouble running them!).

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Madster    242
Almost the same here.
Movies are (unless made by Tarantino... that was annoying!) self-contained. You go, you watch it, and when it's over, it's over. So you can plan for it, even if on a tight schedule.

And I've done that. Between classes, pack a few friends and squeeze a movie and then go back. But in a game, you'll always be left wanting more and not getting closure (unless you finish it, which takes hundreds of hours these days).

Plus, there's the social aspect. I can call friends to watch a movie. Some console games have this covered though.

Price: can't argue. A movie ticket is an impulse buy, while a game is not (it could be, however, an impulse rent).

I can't relate to the story bit, because for me games are about gameplay first, as movies are about story first, so when we leave a match we talk about what we did, and not about the characters, as opposed to the movies (of course, this is not a black/white thing, some overlap occurs).
Also, I can't relate to the classics bit, since I STILL play the classics. Castlevania for PSX, doom 1 every once in a while... I revive them just like you revive classic films. My only fear is backwards compatibility, but the emulation scene has that covered (even on the PC!).

Where is this question aimed, Muji_? I can certainly see a pattern pointing towards the bonuses of episodic gaming ^^

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Oluseyi    2103
Quote:
Original post by Muji_
And for those of you that no longer play so much because you lack time, does these same time constraints affect how much you watch movies? Or is it always possible to find time to put on a movie?

When I played the original Splinter Cell on Xbox, I got heavily engrossed in the story. After about 10 hours' worth of play (over a few days), I became incredibly frustrated because I wanted to know how the story progressed and concluded, but there was still all this tedious playing to do.

Note that I said "tedious" play. Games put you on a treadmill to stretch out the length of the game - which has become a major marketing point, and you'll even hear or read game reviews that say "at only 11 hours, though, the game probably isn't worth a purchase." Only 11 hours? What do I look like, a zit-faced 14-year old with nothing to do but sit in front of my couch with a zoned out expression while I twiddle my thumb against bits of plastic?

RPGs are the worst at this, with all the irrelevant side quests which not only take up more time but also break the illusion of a coherent story. If I am hurrying to the Imperial City to rescue my master, why am I then competing with an oafish caricature of an Englishman in the Philosopher's Garden, or helping a moronic artist escape the wrath of his patron's stubborn husband? I would ignore these quests if I could, but the game is often structured such that I can't, or that I am lead to fear a severe amount of backtracking for an "item" I would have received in "reward" if I don't complete the quest.

A film, on the other hand, aside from 7-hour Hungarian art-house monstrosities, barrels along a path of inevitability for less than three hours and presents me with a thoughtful, concise narrative. (Yes, not all films are all that, but the ones I elect to watch and spend my hard-earned money on are.)

The compactness of a movie gives it a huge advantage over a game. The ease with which one can view a film over from beginning to end in order to share with someone else is a huge advantage over a game. The shared experience of linear narrative, even if consumed separately by each viewer, makes discussion and analysis of a film infinitely simpler, from a structural perspective, and more enjoyable than doing the same for a game.

Film, being a presentational medium, is inherently more social and scales better than games. You can watch a film alone, with a friend, with a class, in a theater... and with a well-behaved audience, the film might even get better the more people you watch it with. Large audiences are the best ways to watch high-octane action flicks and riotous comedies.

So films take less time but easily involve more people. In essence, films multiply your effective socialization-time (number of people × time spent socializing), making it a better return on time investment for people with comparatively little leisure time. Also, films fit naturally into a sequence of socialization activities - dinner, the bar, the club - in a way that games don't for the majority of adults.

Comparing games and movies on a time utilization basis is a dismal activity. Games lose hands down.

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