How Do You Budget Your Gaming Time?

Illustration for article titled How Do You Budget Your Gaming Time?

How do you find the time to game? Kotaku commenter Bloodpudding shares his gaming regimen with us in today's Speak-Up on Kotaku. Why not share yours?


I motivate myself to wake up early by letting myself play video games for one hour each morning.

That is to say, I wake up an extra hour earlier than I need to, in order to budget time in for gaming.

The benefit is twofold:
1. There is the before-mentioned motivation to drag my ass out of bed.

2. After playing for 1 hour, during which time I usually drink two cups of coffee, I am alert and awake and ready to start my day — it seems to take an hour for me to warm up, regardless of the amount of sleep I get, so why not wake a little early and give myself the time I need?

At night, I will often play a family friendly game (LBP, Mario Kart, etc.) with my tiny Japanese wife for 20-30 minutes.

Often I'll even sneak in 20 minutes at lunch time, when I can.

I know from my past what it is like to play compulsively — I've had the experience of playing deep into the night and missing out on sleep (actually, one of the reasons I prefer to game in the morning.)


But I haven't done that in years. Games never keep me up at night past my bedtime. I get my work done. I never regret spending time with my games thinking I should have worked more.

But when you add it up I'm playing games between 1 hour and 20 minutes up to almost 2 hours on weekdays.


I probably play 3-4 on Saturday, my recreation day, and 2-3 hours on Sunday (my CHORES and recreation day.)

Again, I don't ever feel regretful or miss sleep, I get my work done. I've asked my wife if she ever feels I play too many games, or if she feels neglected and she says no, she's completely fine with my hobby.


I very actively find joy in games. It's not just something I mindlessly do because I can't think of anything else to do, like the way some people watch TV ("Why are you watching that crappy ROSANNE rerun?" *shrug* "There's nothing else on.")

No, I am actively involved and enjoying my time spent.

And I feel emotionally fine. But I was just thinking about the numbers when you add them up — even if I'm still getting my work done, and not playing compulsively, not feeling any remorse or regret about spent time, is there a quantitative upper limit to the amount one should devote to one's hobby each week?


About Speak-Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have that little box on the front page of Kotaku. You know, the one with "Got something to say?" written in it? That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Just make sure to include #speakup in your comment so we can find it. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best #speakup posts we can find and highlight it here.


Yeah, I've run into the T.V. vs. Games conversation before with non-gaming friends and family. Usually along the lines of "You put how many hours into beating a game??" with an answer of "You spent how many hours watching every episode of Friends/Lost/Simpsons/ or any given sport?" Honestly, if it weren't for my girlfriend and the kid, I wouldn't even bother having cable television.

I'd rather play a game of Madden than watch a game (except the Super Bowl...I like the commercials). I'd rather play The Sims than watch Friends. And I'd rather play Uncharted again than watch Lost. It's not until you can get people to be honest about how long they spend each week staring at the t.v. vs. how many hours I'll put into a good game (also staring at a t.v., obviously) that my hobby doesn't seem so overwhelming.

1 new game (2-3 used ones) a month is cheaper than what I pay for television, and that's enough to entertain me. And I'd argue that gaming is better for your brain than most shows.