How Do Gamers with Actual Lives Have Time to Play Huge Games?

As the industry continues to embrace bigger, deeper and more dynamic experiences, some veteran gamers are left scratching their heads.

There was a time when I could play 20 hours a week, no problem.

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There was a time when I could spend 6-8 hours at a clip, playing something like Final Fantasy Tactics (yes, still my favorite game of all time).

There was a time when I actually had too much time on my hands. That’s pretty standard for a student, by the way.

But then life happened. It happened to most of us. We graduated, got jobs, did the relationship or family thing, moved around, tried new things, etc. Therefore, it stands to reason that we don’t have the time we used to have; time rapidly becomes a prized commodity among those over the age of 30. So, I keep wondering if the following is true:

I guess only those under a certain age, or those simply without lives, can take the time to play all these crazy huge games

Oh, I don’t mean to imply that you have to be a shut-in to enjoy the likes of The Elder Scrolls, or something like that. However, if you haven’t noticed, the current trend in the industry is obvious: Bigger, more immersive, more dynamic, and more realistic. Dragon Age: InquisitionThe Witcher 3: Wild HuntAssassin’s Creed: Unity, the new Fallout; these are all going to be humongous games. Even this year’s Batman: Arkham Knight has gone more open-world.

Yes, I am aware that you don’t have to spend 100+ hours with each, although you feasibly could. You can beat each of these games in maybe 30-40 hours, if not less. But what happens when so many of these titles get clumped together; i.e., they all release within a few months of each other? And what happens when so many other developers adopt this formula?

Linear games are taking a back-seat to open-world games, I think, and that’s becoming a problem for those of us with time issues.

Many complain about a lack of “hardcore” games but I’m not sure I see that

I understand that games were harder back in the day, but to say there aren’t enough titles for the hardcore avid gamer makes zero sense. Just about every new game that’s coming out this year demands a lot of time and attention. I’m still trying to finish the likes of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black FlagGrand Theft Auto V, and inFamous: Second Son because these games take time. and they all came out within three or four months of each other.

Yeah, there was a time when I could play a lot in three or four months. But no longer. Toss in that Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster and I’m totally screwed…and what’s coming out next week? Oh right, Watch Dogs.

I don’t consider any of these games to be “casual” because in my estimation, the “casual” label is applied to those who really don’t play games that often. I wouldn’t call myself a casual enthusiast but I guess I’m a core gamer without as much time on their hands and admittedly, it’s frustrating.

Am I the only one who feels this way?


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Fathoms_4209
A gaming journalism veteran of 14 years, a confirmed gamer for over 30 years, and a lover of fine literature and ridiculously sweet desserts.