When you’re young it’s easy to lose yourself in hours and hours of game play; playing games well in to the early hours of the morning isn’t unusual (well it wasn’t for me), there’s all the time in the world to explore other worlds, but then grown up life smacks you in the face… work and family become your main priority and video games fade away in to the background, all your time is taken up by the responsibilities of adult hood, leaving you to squeeze in small gaming sessions wherever possible. It’s a difficult truth to take in for a gamer, but don’t go selling your collection yet! Let me explain to you some ways to manage this, some ways to get the most out of your gaming and how to get it.
You see, I’m an editor for a newspaper and a part time studier, so getting a gaming session in every now-and-then is hard between all the work and homework, but after a few months I think I’ve found a way to get everything done and quench my gaming urge. The first thing you’ll have to realise is that console and PC gaming may have to step to the side, in most cases those platforms will be too difficult to fit in, mainly because a majority of the games on them will take up hours of your time in one go (they’re hard to pull away from). You need to find a new way to game, a way that can be managed in small intervals, you’ll find that:
Portable Gaming is Your Friend
Nintendo’s 3DS, Sony’s Playstation Vita, Smartphones, they’ll all become your best friends because they all allow you to fit in small gaming sessions, anywhere, that can be left in an instant. When you’re cut for time portable gaming can be a godsend (even more so now that it has progressed to almost the level of console gaming) as it can be done on your daily commute to work, on your lunch break, anywhere! And it can also be broken into short intervals as all these devices have the ability to sleep or put a game in to the background for later play, meaning you can take that call, tend to that screaming baby, or whatever hails you, without losing any of that precious game play. Maybe you don’t want to break up the story though by putting your device to sleep, maybe you want to play a game for about 20 minutes or so but all the cut scenes really drag on and are taking up your time, what can you do? How do you get all the gameplay you want without skipping those long cut scenes? Choose games that are already broken in to short intervals, you’ll find that games like Mario that require you to play through one stage then choose the next are fantastic for those quick gaming sessions in that they don’t have overly long cut scenes (if any at all) and you can play one level for 20 minutes then leave. Recently I’ve been partaking in Luigi’s Mansion 2 on the 3DS and it’s fantastic for those short gaming sessions in that it’s broken up in to levels as I said; I get engrossed in one level, really enjoy myself, then once I’ve finished the game saves itself and I can come back later, perfect!
Integrate Gaming with Your Life
If you don’t own a portable gaming console or they haven’t quenched your urge to game, why not try integrating gaming in to your everyday life. There’s a large variety of ways that this can be done, for example: let’s say you’re at home and you have to spend time with your kids, have one of those bonding moments, well why not switch on the console and have a gaming session together! The kids will love it, nothing like spending some time playing Mario, Lego games, or whatever you know will get them excited for bonding time, and it’ll give you some gaming time also. You can do this with your partner too; instead of going out one night suggest a romantic night in gaming together and pull out the co-op games to really work together as a couple (playing competitive games together may end badly). If you’re lacking in the partner/kid department though, or if you just don’t want to game with them, that’s ok, no one will judge you, there’s other options! If you check the App Store or Android Market you’ll find a large array of gaming apps that can integrate with life; like ‘Zombies, Run!’ a game that works with your exercising regime, just plug in your headphones and run! You’ll hear zombies behind you, they’ll be chasing you down, so just keep on running and you’ll also collect supplies to grow your base once you get home. Not keen on running though? Ok, well how about ‘Code Runner’ a game that uses an overhead map and your phone’s GPS system to track you as you play as a secret agent in your very own neighbourhood, you’ll be given tasks to complete and areas to head to so that you can collect evidence, it’s a game that promotes exploring and outside activity at your own pace, no stress.
There are many ways to fit those gaming sessions in to your busy, busy life, these are only the two I find most effective, I’m sure you’ll discover your own ways in time. Just remember to: Prioritise, never choose video games over your family, work or study, because if you do it will lead to stress, arguments or even job loss which is not only bad for you as a healthy adult but it will also impact your gaming sessions causing you to enjoy your game less due to stress or worries. Be selective; it’s tempting, I know, to go out and buy every new release that catches your eye, but you’ll realise that doing that not only impacts your wallet but will also leave you with half a collection still in its wrapping, you don’t need that extra temptation and guilt of unplayed games, not with your life being as full as it is, so keep your collection beautiful by only filling it up with those games that you love and not those that you just want – If you’re hesitant about buying it you can’t be that excited for it and will probably never play it.
So enjoy your life, never choose gaming over it just find ways to fit it into the puzzle and you’ll eventually find that perfect balance between the two. There’s no need to give up the virtual world.