Adulthood is not easy. Back in the 1980’s and early 90’s life was delightfully simple. Go to school, play games, rinse and repeat. Of course, we all have different hobbies in addition to videogames, but in general terms it was simple to balance everything out. Long gaming sessions were frequent and easy to arrange. 50 plus hours games seemed not daunting, but a rare treat to savor and dissect. It were friendlier times, when you couldn’t get games fast enough to satisfy the amount of free time you could assign to them. But then, as it is said, shit happens, and said “shit” is growing up. Apart from a few lucky exceptions, I believe most gamers in their late 20’s and early 30’s have to push gaming into de background, it is an insidious process, happening over time, starting when we have to give more of our time to our education in college, or in some cases very time consuming training. And before we know it, in spite of still considering it quite an integral part of our personality and idiosyncrasy, being a gamer begins to fade away. It is a bittersweet and ironic event, when you have enough financial resources to purchase every game your heart desires, yet you can’t, or won’t give enough time to the actual playing of it.
I began to notice the change when the then heated discussion about “hardcore” and “casual” gamers arrived at the spotlight. At first it seemed important to me, and shared the concerns of the “core” for the future of our media of choice, but little by little, I lost focus, and interest in the discussion. The true conflict began however, when the reality of the massive amounts of media we gamers usually consume, be it movies, comics, books, television serials, and games proper, began to conflict with the huge amounts of information and complex skills my training and job required me to master. At first it was easy, I simply stole a little time here, a little time there, and managed to keep playing, and finishing several games a year. Unfortunately, work tends to become more absorbing and complicated as you advance, and days do not get longer, no matter how hard I wished them to. In the end, the amount of time I ended up conceding to games, and game related media began to dwindle down to basically podcast that I can listen to while driving, a few select websites with fresh news, or quality writing, and the sporadic search for reviews. Yet I don’t stop buying games, both on consoles and on my phone.
I apologize for the long exposition, but what I wanted was to ask a question. How do you do it? How does one choose which of the dozens of fantastic games released every year to play? How to discriminate which media to consume? How can you manage not to end up with a stack of unopened, unplayed games on the shelf?
I bring this question to the community because I believe that it mirrors my situation better than any other. I do not plan to stop gaming, but I must find a compromise between adulthood and the stubborn remains of my childhood desires.