Choosing Favorites: When Games Compete for Your Attention

If I had to say that there was one thing I didn’t like about being a game blogger, it’s that writing about games takes away from time I could be playing games. Adult life is full of responsibilities, and the more stuff you commit to the less time you have for each thing. I personally have a job, a spouse, a child, a hobby, and a blog about that hobby. And only because my body raises some serious objections, I have to fit sleep in there somewhere. With only an hour or two an evening to spend on games, and so many different games I want to play, I find myself torn on how to spread out the time.

Right now, for example, the first DLC pack for Breath of the Wild has dropped. I really want to complete the Master Trials and I think that the new Hero’s Path tool will help me to find the shrines I haven’t been able to locate. I also just purchased ARMS and I want to get better at that game, because even though I suck it’s still a fun game. So imagine how much fun it would be if I was good! Then there’s my Nuzlocke of Pokemon Moon, which I haven’t made much progress on just because there is SO. MUCH. TUTORIAL. TEXT. If I could just have a few consecutive hours to push through the nonsense I think I could get plenty of enjoyment out of this Nuzlocke. There’s also Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney that I want to finish; I only recently stepped into the world of Phoenix Wright, but the experience has been awesome and I want to play more so I can catch up to the modern games.

That’s four separate games that I am motivated to work on, but there just isn’t time in the day. By the time I finish this blog post, for example, it’ll probably be between 9-9:30 at night. With me having gotten up at 6:30 this morning and needing to get up at 6:30 again tomorrow, I am gonna feel bushed if I don’t go to sleep around 10:30. That gives me one hour to split between multiple titles that I want to play. And let’s be honest, I’m not about to play each one for only 15 mins. ARMS is the only game that I could get much out of in such a short amount of time, and I’d still be hungry for more. So how the heck do I choose which one to play?

Pokemon Coin.jpg
Heads I play Zelda, tails I play ARMS, if it rolls away and I’m too lazy to pick it up I play Apollo Justice, and if it lands perfectly on the edge and stands up I play Pokemon. Easy.

I feel like many of my fellow bloggers deal with this struggle. Many of us you who are reading this are a lot like me – an adult with a career and a spouse, and maybe even a child as well. We all post about the backlogs of games we never beat because we moved on to something else after getting burned out or simply because each individual game takes too long to complete. I used to think a 30 hour game was a piece of cake and that I could easily handle something longer – then I look back on the ridiculous 80 hour slog through Dragon Quest VII and wonder how I ever managed to finish such an atrocity with everything else going on.

Part of my problem is that I don’t necessarily have quality time management skills (hope a future employer isn’t reading this!). Last night, for example, I was trying to play through some of the tutorial mess in Sun and Moon. I wanted to play some YouTube in the background, maybe a discussion about the E3 presentations or an analysis video of a new trailer. Instead, I got sidetracked and ended up watching a couple dozen Honest Game Trailers. My Pokemon progress was reduced to taking a couple of steps during the ads between videos, and I also wasted some time customizing my character’s outfit instead of progressing the story. By the time I was ready to call it a night, literally all I had accomplished was walking from one side of the town to the other.

Another part of my problem is that gaming is the time when my lack of sleep tends to catch up with me. Phoenix Wright is particularly bad for this – I’ll be in the midst of an investigation or trying to sift through some complicated testimony and I can barely keep my eyes open. The next thing I know, I’m lifting my face out of a puddle of drool because my wife is waking me up at 1 AM to ask me to move over so she can lay in the bed. Those nights are a double-whammie because not only did I get almost zero gaming done, but the sleep wasn’t quality so I end up being dog-tired the next day. I used to think the only reason one would fall asleep during a game was because the game was boring – now I understand that exhaustion can win the day no matter how intrigued you are by the game you are playing.

Paper Mario Asleep.PNG
Actual picture of me falling asleep during important dialogue.

Today’s post isn’t the kind where I have an answer. If I knew the solution to fitting more games into my schedule, I’d probably be talking about a video game right now instead of rambling about backlog. I mean, I guess I could work on my time management skills, and maybe when I am tired focus on playing games that are more active instead of story-driven – but that all sounds like hard work! Who wants that?

So what about you, adventurers? How do you choose between games when there is limited time in the day? What prevents you from being able to play as much as you would like? Let me know in the comments below! And if you’re a blogger reading this on Friday, June 30th, 2017, you do not want to miss the amazing Blog Party happening over at Later Levels. It’s a great opportunity to meet other bloggers and to share your content with them while also enjoying their articles, so be sure to stop by and enjoy the fun!

5 thoughts on “Choosing Favorites: When Games Compete for Your Attention

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  1. I play different games on different days. I usually have two going, so I switch back and forth every few days, and I stick to my schedule like clockwork!! But that’s just me and my weird little personality. I’m a big fan of having designated times for things, otherwise, like you mentioned, the day can get away from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to only ever play one game at a time. Unless it was a console game, then I might have a side portable game I played when the console was unavailable. These days I get burnt out quicker if I play the same game constantly, so I jump around mkre.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tough thing to deal with, I hear ya. Between family, work, and my hobby outside of gaming, including gaming and the blog, there’s not alot of time. My commute to and from work is also killer, so that’s already 2 hours gone from my day.

    I started this year making a big list of my backlog, and tracking progress completed as percentage. I got very tired of continually buying games to not finish them. So I made a conscious decision to not buy any games unless I actually was going to play and finish them right away and not give it a huge break where I lose interest, and lose the context of what the game was really about. This happened to Witcher 3. Fabulous game, but I can’t feel like I always know what’s going on each time i get back to it. The game is too disjointed because of how i treated it. Which is a shame, because otherwise it’s stellar.

    The only games I consider and actually buy will be big titles that I know I’ll play. Breath of the Wild was one of those. I literally played that since March 3rd and didn’t touch any major title. I only played 2 other titles on the 3ds, so basically mixed 1 big and 1 small title to play parallel. Because sometimes it is really hard to just stick to 1 game. You do need small breaks in between. So far it’s worked wonders as I did complete BOTW in 2 months and loved every second of it, while taking a couple of small titles out from my 3DS backlog.

    What I’ve done since completing BOTW is planning out each month. So far I’m sticking to small games so I can knock more than one out of the way. So far I’ve done OK, but this month I lost alot of playtime due to family wedding events. But still i wouldn’t do it any other way. Discipline is the key, and I’m proud I didn’t bite on any eshop and steam sales this summer. There were some tempting purchases to me made. But I know i wouldn’t played them right away so I withheld from the purchases.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s awesome! I wish I was that organized and responsible, haha. Although I do have a pretty good rein on my purchases. My last legitimate impulse buy was Human Resource Machine, and not liking it has helped to curb me for awhile. But when it comes to organizing my schedule, that’s another story. I do find, as you said, that it is helpful to have some smaller titles going alongside a big one to give you a break. That’s changed a lot from when I was a kid.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yea, and just like you said. Back in the day, a 40 hour title actually seems too short and as a kid is actually be scared of finishing it too quick sometimes. Now… A 10 hour game gives me a run for my money

        Liked by 1 person

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