A recent article on Wired had me nodding along at the beginning and standing on my chair shouting “Yes! Yes! Yes!” by the end.
Clive Thompson focuses in on The Mythical 40-Hour Gamer. From the article:
[A] recent study by the NPD Group showed that hard-core gamers — those capable of truly monklike devotion — are, as you’d expect, aged 6 to 17.
In contrast, folks like me — “soft-core” gamers? — also crave to play these richly narrative, long-lasting titles. But we can only play in dribs and drabs — an hour here, an hour there. The unspoken truth of gaming is that this creates a vastly different, and vastly inferior, mental space for game playing.
“Yes!” I shouted.
I can’t count the number of recent games that I was excited to get into, but had to ditch before finishing. Because while I’m slowly chipping away at the 40-hour beasts, the siren call of new gameplay experiences drift across the sea of newly released games.
In the last year, I ixnayed three epic RPGs, and what did I recently drop sixty bucks on? A Final Fantasy XII preorder… God, I’m dumb.
And when that rare moment of freetime comes up, what do I do? Boot up a game and dig in? Nope. Recently, I find the short “hour here, hour there” playstyle exhausting. I’d much rather just watch a TV show.
The majority of my free time is actually at work, in between classes. I usually have two free periods a day, and during those two hours I certainly can’t boot up a Playstation in the teacher’s room (although it would be cool if I could). I sit quietly at my desk making games, which I’m currently finding to be a much more rewarding hobby than playing.
Edit one day later: Slashdot just posted this article again and misquoted the TITLE of the article! How incompetent can you get? “The Mythical 40-hour gamer” was represented as “The Mythical 40-hour game” which is a completely different thesis. And judging by the comments on Slashdot, the users rarely read past the title and short, oft misleading, summary…