Gaming is my life outside of work, my girlfriend, and my band, so I guess you can say I have four part-time jobs. I would have said four full-time jobs, but obviously only one of them takes up 40 hours of my work week, the others shift time when needed. I can’t recall any serious point in my life where I wasn’t a gamer. Aside from before I had cognitive reason or basic motor skills, I’ve always played video games in one form or another.
Back in the 80’s, my Dad bought the original NES. He then bought a computer, and back then you didn’t really buy an IBM (PC) to play video games on. So he bought an Atari ST. The NES became mine, and I found my love for video games. Aside from having owned the NES, I had a Colecovision, Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Atari Lynx, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, PS2, and various PCs over the years. Currently I own a PC, Nintendo Wii, and PS3. I’ve seen my share of games over the years, and have most definitely spent my share of money.
I’ve gone in waves where I did nothing but play video games during every bit of free time available. If I wasn’t at school or work as the case may be, I was playing video games. Women tend to knock the average down a bit, some more than others (I’m sure my Dad could relate to that comment, as can I). Other social activities cut this down even more. So my relative free time has decreased over the years, but I can still say I spend all of my free time playing video games. But instead of considering “all time outside of work” free time, I consider “all time not spent doing x” free time. X would equal any of my part-time jobs.
I’ve found different ways to fit gaming into my schedule without effecting any of the other facets of my life in a negative fashion. For example, I don’t ever call off of work to play WoW, or any other video game. Now, if I happen to be sick and call off, then gaming is a theraputic way to avoid the discomfort. With my interesting work schedule, I have days where I get home from work and nearly go straight to bed, and others where I stay up far too long and lack sleep for work, but I still go. I’ve also managed to balance my love life and my band life in there, and I still keep buying and playing new video games. Having the consoles around was not a luxury I had during my first bout of MMO addiction. I only had my computer, and I didn’t really purchase any other single player games for it, so I played my MMO of choice til I got burnt out, on multiple occasions. It’s definitely nice to step away from the MMO for a couple of days, without feeling the pressure to “be there or miss out”.
I’ve enjoyed having an in-depth story-driven game to play on days when I don’t feel like grinding random dungeons or quests. But on other days I enjoy nothing more than grinding out levels and whatnot in WoW. For the casual MMO gamer, WoW seems to be the way to go for me. Seeing as how I have to split my attention in so many ways, I can still log in and not feel any farther behind than I already am, but that could have to do with the fact that I’m barely over level 40, when my pace had been so brisk.
Dragon Age: Origins Awakening (DA:OA) was released a couple weeks ago. I picked my copy up last weekend. I played it for a few hours here and there since, and have managed to complete quite a bit, and yes, my WoW time has suffered. I have needed to make preparations for a move. Because of this fact I spent more time at Hollee’s this past week than at home.
Which leads me to a larger announcement. As of April 1st, I will be residing with my girlfriend. I’m actually going to move in two days, on Sunday. There are still preparations to make but we made some plans on what to do with furniture, when to move, got the cable turned on, secured a truck, etc. I will pack over the weekend in between the party we have planned for Saturday, and the gaming I intend to do as well. Which means I will pack Sunday morning and move in the afternoon, spend most of the evening arranging, and do the unpacking and organizing on Monday, followed by work that evening. I’m not the kind of person that will let shit sit in boxes until the next time I move, unless the boxes are for permanent storage uses. Luckily I’ve moved so many times in my adult life that I’m pro, and have packed/moved/unpacked in one day before, by myself. I’ll have a little more help this time.
The party on Saturday is for my other guitarist. Yeah the one who left to Northern California and came back. It’s his birthday, so the band will be playing on my back patio, and we intend to get a bonfire going as usual. So far I’ve heard a lot of people say they’re heading over, so hopefully the turnout is good. Either way, I’ll have to try to chill out so I don’t have a horrible hangover to move with.
Hopefully I’ll get mostly everything done before Monday so I can relax before work.