Game over

I am computer gamer. I love Arma3, a military simulation which can be played tactical or not. Just flying, landing a helicopter in this game is a challenge of its own and me and my colleagues do sometimes just exercise this. Flying a helicopter like a taxi driver for an hour in a game where you could normally just bomb everything into the ground, shows a bit how deep this piece of the simulation already goes.

The other game I played was DayZ, a survival game, settling on a large map (2 hours by foot from one corner to the other). Completely different, but exciting never the less.

Both games require you to at least play 2 hours plus. DayZ because it can easily be that you meet your friend only after 90 minutes, Arma3 because in the mode I used to play, a round easily takes 120 minutes or more. And just playing one round – is in best case a compromise.

Playing took recently the upper hand in my private life from a time perspective. I spent time playing more than anything else, besides working. Essentially I worked about 10 hours or more a day (+ driving) and then had brief meals with my family (sometimes no meals, as I was coming home just in time to bring the kids to bed) and then went straight to the computer to play.

Both seems unhealthy, I wrote about the unsustainibility of my working time, now I am talking about the unsustainability of my playing time.

Yesterday night, it was past midnight, actually early morning, my wife and I debated this a little. She is such a patient person, but yesterday she grew a bit impatient with me playing and the mood I am in if I can’t. And I could see the damage I am dealing with being impatient because I am being disturbed in a session which lasted already 4 hours…and should last another 4h from my opinion. But then there are kids, wife, family and a few other things which need attention – and I simply can’t do them, as a round of any game easily takes 2-4 hours…

It’s not the first time in my life, but it didn’t happen so often yet – but I am taking a break from gaming. At 2:30 this morning I removed my graphics card from the system and configured the Bios to take the internal graphics card instead. This morning I put it to ebay and in 23 hours it will be at the post office and going to someone else.

I intend to take a break of 3 month (end of March that is), so that I can properly see how things evolve until then. I am debating so called media-time with my kids – they have 30 minutes a day right now. And I arguing that adults don’t need media time, as they well know what the natural limit is. One day it might be 8 hours, on others not even 1 minute. Seems I am adult, seems I realized it’s going to be zero for quite a while.

I don’t count writing a blog entry, reading newspapers or watching my graphics card going over the counter. I wouldn’t count book reading too. But this gaming, where I am living in this world, where there is no pause button, where disturbances turn into bad mood – that’s something which can’t continue. And especially not with the current intensity.

So how does it go from here? I don’t know yet. I wanted to use the 3 month and the approximate 300-400 extra hours to think about it.

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