General Gaming

Adulting And Gaming: My Struggle To Do Both

Bit of a moany post today but please bear with me. I’m hoping for some advice from fellow bloggers so if anyone fancies giving a bit of game-related agony aunt advice please feel free to advise away.

The long and short of it is that I’m trying to adult and it’s taking away from my gaming time. I wish it wasn’t the case, I didn’t even notice that much until I recently started playing Planescape: Torment, but it’s true. I’m not the same gamer I used to be. I’ve changed a lot since my teens where I used to dedicate my evenings and weekends almost entirely to playing games without a care in the world (I was a popular teen…) but now all I can manage is an hour or two in the evening on some days, and maybe a few hours on the weekend. While that may seem a lot to a non-gamer it is nothing compared to what I used to do back in my teens or when I was at University. The reason behind this is not rocket science, it’s just that I now work full time, because of this I don’t expect to launch back into the day-long gaming stints that I used to be able to do, but even so I don’t seem to be able to reach the levels of gaming time that some people seem to be able to achieve. After a long day at work followed by cooking dinner, making lunch for work the next day, and maybe some exercise I only end up with about an hour or maybe two of free time, if any free time at all. I slump to the sofa, exhausted, and lament my lack of time as my other half, usually working his way through a game as I look on jealously, points out yet again that I have too many hobbies. Now we get to the point where I get a bit confused and annoyed. I have two fitness classes a week after work, I manage this blog, and I sew occasionally. On top of that I have a weekly driving lesson which is a bit of a pain but that’s only temporary and once it’s over I get a free evening (and a car). When you say it like that it’s not really a lot, is it? Most of my time in the evenings is actually taken up by cooking which I enjoy doing because I’m a big foodie and my cooking skills have increased dramatically since I’ve been watching what I eat a bit more, but it does take up a huge amount of time. Dan will simply not eat if food is unavailable and will happily forgo a proper, home-cooked dinner for a microwave meal to maximise his gaming time and while I don’t mind a microwave meal occasionally I don’t want to eat them all the time. Finally, I want to get a good night’s sleep so going to bed late to get that extra gaming time in always makes me stress that I’m going to be too tired in the morning.

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As I said before, I recently downloaded Planescape: Torment and I like it but I’m struggling to get into it. This isn’t the game’s fault it’s more that it’s so immersive and there’s so much to explore and do that I need to set aside a good couple of hours to get a decent amount of progress in. I don’t want to play it in the week because it’s on the PC and I spend all day at work looking at two PC screens so the thought of spending a few hours at a desk in front of another PC when I get home makes me feel slightly nauseous. Instead I’ve been playing it on the weekend and during the week I’ll either play through a couple of days of Stardew Valley or a few Overwatch matches (the TV screen is not on par with a computer screen so it’s OK). Even then though there’s more adulting to do, socialising is a big part of my weekend because I don’t get a lot of time to see people in the week and while I love my friends and don’t want to sacrifice my time with them it does still take up a large amount of my weekend. Even when I do get to sit down for a long time and play I’m constantly thinking “you could be doing some exercise right now to help with that thing you’re doing in your exercise class, you could be sorting through your spending to see how you could save some money, you could be making a big batch of food so that you don’t have to cook as much in the week… Could be doing this, could be doing that” and I can’t switch it off. If I keep on playing I will feel angry with myself at the end of the weekend because I don’t feel like I’ve been productive.

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I don’t think that playing games is a waste of time but I do make myself feel guilty for playing them because for some weird reason I seem to think that they are things that should be put on the back burner and only played as a reward when I’ve finished the never-ending, constantly-being-added-to list of things to do that I have. I know that that’s ridiculous because some of the things are not really that important and I love playing games, I never used to feel guilty for playing them. Weirdly “could have made some stuff with your sewing machine” is one of the critical thoughts going round my head in these moments but sewing is just another hobby, it’s not something that I consider to be more important than gaming (if it was then my blog would be about sewing instead and I wouldn’t have met all you lovely people), they’re on equal footing in terms of enjoyment and time consumption but the fact that I end up with physical proof after I sew something sort of makes me feel like it’s more valued.

I guess I just need to de-stress and stop thinking about all of these things (much easier said than done) because the fact is even if I didn’t have any hobbies I would still find a way to distract myself and procrastinate instead of completing the ever growing, self-improvement list.

How do you regulate your time between gaming time and ‘adulting/chore/hobby’ time? How much time do you get to game a week? Do you ever get to escape from the black hole of ‘ unrealistic things to do’ as an adult?

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I relate to this 100%
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49 thoughts on “Adulting And Gaming: My Struggle To Do Both

  1. I’m not full adulting at 19 but I definitely feel that I struggle between work, University and other everyday tasks I don’t get to game as much as I like.

    In saying maybe for me it’s not as much to do with time but that feeling of guilt, “I shouldn’t be playing games I have work/chores/studies”.

    I feel like I spend more time thinking about playing games than I actually play games then wonder why I procrastinated so much instead of just playing.

    It’s so hard to find that balance…the struggle is honestly too much

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Glad I’m not the only one!
      I know what you mean, sometimes to procrastinate or ‘take a break’ when I was at Uni I used to look up stuff about games or think about them and then I’d just get distracted. If it wasn’t games it would be something else though like binge watching TV shows or browsing the internet or something. I even used to avoid study groups because everyone would just talk through it instead of working to procrastinate.

      It’s a difficult balance but hopefully I’ll eventually manage to get it and not get so stressed out about stressing about it!

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  2. I’m not a good example as I swore off MMOs and am now hooked on Destiny 2…. BUT

    Actually there’s no but. I have to accept that given the number of hours my body needs for sleep even a couple of gaming hours per night is unsustainable. It irks me that my clan mates have emptier real lives or need less sleep and can therefore put in triple the time I can, but that’s the compromise of maintaining relationships, housing and a full time job to support them.

    Hmmm. Depressing…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I really envy people that can function on a small amount of sleep every night, it baffles me. My other half can sleep for 4 or 5 hours and then feel fine the next day but if I tried that I’d be knackered. When it comes down to it housing and relationships they are definitely the better parts but I want it all! 30 hour days, 8 hour sleep, gaming and housing for everybody!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Husband, father, chef, 11hour working days. I feel your pain. I came to the conclusion that it’s less about finding time to play and more about being discerning with what you play. I’d love to play Persona 5 but I’ll never have the time to enjoy it, so I decide not to play it. That’s the key in my mind.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, I feel bad for complaining now, I bow to your superior business 😛
      That’s a good point, there’s no point in trying to play something I will not be able to spend time playing. It will probably take me years to finish Torment at this rate but I’ll persist as I’ve spent money on it now.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah, the age-old problem! Hitting that myself lately. I pretty much quit playing PC games for the same reason you listed – I spent 8 hours a day at a computer (software engineer here) so coming home to.. sit down again simply made me feel horrible, mentally-speaking. Working out was a godsend for my physical and mental health, but it made gaming make me feel super lazy, so I don’t do it a lot compared to how much I used to.

    Priorities and hobbies shift, like anything else, and it seems like you may be unhappy that gaming isn’t currently top of the list? I say, just let it play out, you’ll get back to it. In the meantime it’s great that you’re keeping a fitness regimen, I see a lot of folks gloss right over the fact that sitting down all day isn’t doing any favors! If you’re gonna reconfigure hobby priorities.. well, let’s just say we all could use more physical activity and less sitting…

    My only suggestion that I think will apply is to meal prep on Sundays. That will free up at least 5 hours during the week. My fiancee and I do exactly that and it turns our already extremely limited freetime into at least usable free time instead of time washing pots and pans. Just quadruple the size of everything. Make 8 potatoes, 2 pounds of green beans, etc. A slow cooker is your best friend. Also, look into a standing desk! I find I just.. don’t get tired when I use one. Best investment in my home office yet!

    Good luck and keep us posted! This is a great topic, particularly for this branch of WordPress where everyone seems to be around the same age and to be in the midst of a similar plight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the advice! I definitely won’t be stopping my fitness regime, it makes me feel really good in general, especially after a bad day. Hoping to become an instructor for my class soon as well so I’ll definitely need to keep it up then!

      I do usually intend to do loads of meal prep on Sunday but it usually gets pushed aside because my other half doesn’t really help that much in the kitchen so it’s a lot for just me to do, I gave him a kick up the arse last night and told him he has to help now.

      Funnily enough our office is actually getting a standing desk soon so I’ll give that a go!

      I’m glad you liked the topic! It’s certainly getting a lot of feedback from lots of different people, which is great! I didn’t know so many people would be in the same boat.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah memories of my youth, having march break off and playing mech assault on the og xbox all week long and ranking in the top 10… gone are those days where i have the luxury of doing such things.

    One of the appeals to start this blog was to see how others handled this, but i don’t think there is the perfect solution. I’m a man of many hobbies so fitting in gaming time I think will always be tough. For big immersive games, it can be tough to get into them just because in a 1 hour session even, you might not get alot done, or if you’re playing on and off, have to get re-aquainted with the controls and structure of the game.

    The Nintendo Switch has been a big answer for me. Being able to have this nifty little thing at my bedside and put games instantly on stand by and resume helps me squeeze in some time for quick pick up and play games. Stardrew Valley works great under this setup.

    I’ve also tried playing smaller games more recently, things that I can make quick progression and beat in a decent amount of time, and have had much success and enjoyment from this. I am also trying to play Mass Effect Andromeda, but I find a game like this, I have to wrestle with so many things just to get re-aquainted and there’s just too much grinding at times.

    I never feel like i waste time gaming, but when something like Andromeda comes up, I feel sometimes it’s wasted gaming time, and that’s a worse feeling when you can only get a few hours a week. But it’s not to say all big games suffer from this. I was able to consistently play something like BOTW since launch and make good progression, have fun and beat the game within 2-3 months, which is pretty good for me.

    I usually try to time my gaming on nights where I’m home alone and my wife has plans. One of the other challenges is gaming getting in the way of family time. I’m the only gamer in the house so I make sure it doesn’t get in the way of this. But never feel bad for gaming, it’s a hobby like anything else, and it’s not fair that gaming gets a bad rep for being a hobby while other things don’t. Gaming brings many great things to the table that you simply can’t find anywhere else, so keep gaming on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been wondering about getting a Switch actually but thought that maybe it wouldn’t be worth it as I’m struggling enough as it is to get enough time with the PC and the PS4 but the way you put it does sound good!

      I have really gone off games that involve a lot of grinding recently for the same reason that it’s wasted gaming time, when I was playing a Final Fantasy game and I had to run around grinding for ages I got really annoyed with it because it seemed to be all I was doing and now that you mention it, I do seem to enjoy smaller games now, or games where you don’t need to rely solely on a huge amount of XP to level up or get stronger.

      I think I just need to get my head around the fact that I don’t need to feel guilty for spending more time on it than anything else just because non-gamers don’t tend to consider it as a valuable way to pass the time, I just hate the look on some people’s faces when I tell them I spent most of the weekend on the PS4 but then they will say they binge watched something on Netflix and that’s considered to be fine. Thank you for the advice! No more feeling bad for it!

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  6. I’m currently not playing at all Tuesday to Thursday, then Friday to Monday I play whatever I want, whenever I can. This could be socially doing multiplayer stuff, a quick hour of something like DOOM single player, a quick blast on Horizon Zero Dawn. This might be at 1 or 2am though, even on a “school night” as it were (I left school nearly 20 years ago).

    I think the key things I’ve discovered for me are variety and not letting the feeling of guilt for doing something I enjoy eat away at me. Yes I need to take the car in for new tyres, but that’s SO boring. Hey you know what, that’s much less boring if you take a gaming magazine with you, or pop across the retail park to piss away an hour looking at 4K TVs because the Xbox One X is right around the corner.

    A bit of Don’t Starve on the iPad, some Forza on the Xbox, some Overwatch on PC. Don’t fancy playing or can’t at all? Watch someone else play something, I sometimes do that when I’m cooking.

    You are definitely not alone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s good advice! Thinking about it, I used to play my DS on the way into work but since I changed jobs I cycle in rather than take the train so I can’t really do that anymore (well I could, but it wouldn’t end well) and I didn’t realise how much gaming time that was until now. I’ll take it in for my lunch break instead 🙂

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      1. Someone I went to EGX with purchased a Switch while we were at the event, so many people queueing had DS or Switch etc to pass the time. He showed us his Switch the other day, it’s the first time I’ve seen one in the wild. If certain games were released for it, I’d be all over that. We sat in the office playing Mario Kart for crying out loud! It’s no wonder Nintendo are selling so many of them.

        Being able to stream from consoles to my PC and from my PC to the TV has been a game changer too, forgive the pun; I can play anything anywhere in the house.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I tried SnipperClips at Rezzed and that was really good fun, I hadn’t expected the controllers to be so small! I’d love to try out Mario Kart on it, that looks so cool. Nintendo really have the portable gaming thing down.

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      3. I used to take my PS3 to work when I was at a small company, plug it into the conference room TV while I waited for the Mrs to finish work. That’s how I got through most of The Last of Us..

        Sony apparently think there’s no market for portables, the Vita is all but dead at this point?? I would totally buy one if I could play modern titles as well as stream to it, particularly over the internet. It might already be capable of that for all I know, but everyone is saying avoid them now 😦

        I just don’t think I would play most of what will be released on Switch.

        I tried that Nvidia streaming thing over the internet with Chrome the other day, it was pretty impressive, so maybe I could just bring a controller to work haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I would love to carry Stardew Valley or something around with me in my pocket, that would be amazing. I think there’s definitely a market for it. Apart from Legend of Zelda there’s nothing that I’m really desperate to play on the Switch so I’m still a bit unsure.

        That would be cool! Gaming at work would be nice.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I completely understand the adulting versus everything else difficulties. At the moment being an adult has meant a lot of overwhelming things happening at the one time for me which is making it even worse.

    Generally my gaming time varies week on week or by month. I try not to let this get to me, but sometimes it feels like I should be managing to do more – not just related to gaming but any other hobbies. But then I’m not a superhero… shame as that would make things easier.

    Finding a balance is so hard, and I think that balance changes over time anyway so there is no perfect solution. You aren’t alone but I realise this is not the most helpful ramble/comment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a very helpful comment! It’s always good to know that other people are in the same boat as you!
      I moved in with my boyfriend and changed jobs a couple of months ago and while I didn’t think it would be that tricky to adapt to it’s actually been quite hard and it’s only now that I’m finally relaxing into a routine I’m quite comfortable with. Gaming still has a back seat though and I’m still working towards getting back into it normally. If only we had longer days!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are lots of people in this boat, which is mildly reassuring at least.

        Moving in with someone and changing jobs in the last few months is a lot to cope with and adjust to. No matter how ready you were for both of them they were big changes and will alter the balance for a while and take time for adjustment. Once you adjust to that then you might find a more happy balance between all areas of your life.

        Hopefully mine will settle down too but there is a lot going on at the moment. I know that once this plays out I will find a level of balance between adulthood and hobbies/relaxing time that is a bit better than now. Until then I just keep going as that is all I can do.

        Longer days would help! But only if you could use the extra hours for fun stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve gotten a butt ton of adulting recently because of my current full time job and I feel you on this. My solution has been to navigate to more indie games since most can be done 30 minutes to a few hours. I would try not to feel guilty about gaming because it is a reward. You’ve worked hard at work, you can enjoy your hobbies. Games for me are my self care and I’ve come to terms with that. You’ll find your solution that fits your needs, just give it some time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve actually found myself drifting towards the Indie genre a bit more as well actually, or games you can play in short bursts, it’s so tiring to try and get into a long game now. I’m sure it will get better =) I just need to get into the flow of everything a bit more =)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You know, I’ve recently gotten started on my blog as a way to supplement my YouTube channel and I’m thinking about making an even bigger post about this on my own blog. Now, my philosophy in life is as follows: find a job that you work less hours and get paid more money.

    I’m currently stuck working ten-hour days five days out of the week. Thankfully, I’m single with no children, but there is still much responsibility to take care of such as cooking and ensuring the laundry is done. My recommendation for you is to try and focus on improving your career path so that you can make it some where that gives you more free time in your day.

    One thing that I still struggle to do is find the will to enter a big title. Games like The Witcher 3 and Shadow of Mordor. Those games look absolutely amazing to me, but even on my days off, I sit there looking at them in my library and I don’t play them. I find that games that aren’t big 30-50 hour sandboxes tend to give me a little more bang for my buck since my time is absolutely limited.

    Here’s one thing to remember: your dilemma is not unique and with the right mindset, it can definitely become temporary. Everything you do, make sure you do it with a clear goal in mind. If you’re exercising, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons (wanting that Bond Girl body, or just being healthy). If you have other hobbies aside from gaming, ask yourself if they’re really worth it. If you find that you enjoy them as much as gaming or maybe even more, continue, otherwise, that’s more time you could spend gaming. No matter what, as long as you’re happy in the end, gaming or not, that is what counts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the advice! Like you, when I get a big title game I struggle to get into it, I know that if I get immersed in it during a day off then in the week I’ll want to play it but won’t have the time and it will make me frustrated so I tend to try and stay away a little more now.

      I would love to get to a point in my career where I can work less hours, that would be incredible, long way off though as I’ve not been out of Uni long so I’m still on quite a low rung of the corporate ladder. This is where the fitness side of it comes into it actually, I’m hoping to get my own studio and be an instructor instead, that would be amazing. Need to make the money to get the studio first though!
      I hope that you can gt through all those 10 hour days! It sounds like you have the right attitude towards it so keep it up and maybe one day we’ll all be happy, lots of free time gamers!

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  10. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts! I definitely understand how you feel. I believe it’s super important to get what you need to done in life, whether working, taking care of children, exercising, all the non-gaming necessities. And I also feel that as a result, you may not find yourself enjoying games after all that. My best advice is cherish that time spent with your beloved hobby by playing what you most feel will help you relax and destress. Video games are meant to be fun (most of them haha) and some games just don’t fit everyone’s needs at the same time. I know plenty including myself who have just cut out long RPGs out of their gaming diets. Thankfully, games are getting shorter, more accessible, more “casual” (I use that in the best way), or are set up so that you can have a fulfilling experience even after only an hour. Gaming has changed to follow both the people making them and the aging audience.

    Anyway, point is play what will help you most to get you through the hardships of life. Life is tough for pretty much everyone, and that’s why distractors, fun hobbies, and people are there to help get your mind off of it. That’s actually why I like Nintendo games and also slower-paced games from time-to-time. They help me escape into a whimsical unrealistic land or help me calm down during periods of high-paced stress weeks. And don’t feel guilty for playing video games. We all love them here. 🙂 If you can still get everything you need to done, then there’s no reason to feel bad about a well-earned play session! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This blog post really gets me. I just bought a PS4 for 50% off on Black Friday this year. I barely got to play it. I’m maybe an hour into the Last of Us. It also feels that if I ever get stuck in a video game, it takes me weeks to pick it up again. It’s sad to me! You’re right though, I mean free time isn’t readily available like it used to be. Plus during this time of the year and the holidays I have even less time.

    BLAH!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I struggled with this for a bit. For me it’s all about what games I play and when. The games I play during the week involve little thinking like some Mario kart or dying light (mindless zombie killing is so good after some days at work) and the weekends are for sprawling RPGs. I think as you get more stuff in your life games just take longer to finish but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Liked by 1 person

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