Readers discuss the number of hours per week they spend playing video games, as they try to fit into family and social life around them.
This week’s hot topic was suggested by reader Ishi, who asked how much time do you yourself spend playing games, on average per week? Do you have a routine or time of day that you set aside for games or does it just depend on whether something new has come out?
As you might expect, everyone said they didn’t have as much time as before, but few felt it was necessarily a problem, and just a fact of modern life.
If I’m lucky with some free time and I’m really into everything I play, I’d say around seven to eight hours on weekends and on average maybe another three hours a week. It really depends on what I’m playing and what platform I’m playing on.
If it’s a Switch game, I can happily play anywhere in the house without shutting down everything else, so my weekly total can go anywhere from 10 hours to maybe 15 (which is why I still like them. Switch versions of games that interest me in). If this is a game on PlayStation 5, I kind of have to lock myself in the bedroom for a session, although often my wife sits with me and the dog while looking at stuff on her phone. so that I don’t feel like I’m completely blocking out the real world.
So maybe 10-15 hours a week if there is nothing else on the weekend? I think it’s enough and I don’t know what I could do to extend it if I wanted to. My dog is not very maintenance-friendly, so she only takes maybe an hour and a half of my day; I don’t watch much TV now, and some of my other hobbies have now taken a back seat.
I spend a lot of time on my phone getting updates from my routine sites, so this is the only area I can afford to narrow down. But if I did, I would probably prioritize exercise or some other hobby. I have no idea how some people I know who have full time jobs and kids seem to be able to play more than 20 hours a week, but I imagine they don’t get much sleep.
Game over, daddy
Games have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. From our first family console, a Texas Instruments giant whose model I now escape, the green screen Amstrad CPC 464, to the powerful Amiga 500, Amiga 1200, and the golden age of consoles in the 90s, the games have been my constant companion in warding off a rainy day or escaping the misfortunes of life.
The 2000s brought me social gaming in a massive way with PlayStation and then Xbox Live, then by the age of 40 it was almost over. What happened? I became a dad.
So almost immediately the marathon sessions until the wee hours of the morning, or the days off spent spending hours sinking into endless role-plays, were replaced by an hour or two steals at the end of the day. day when my boy is sleeping.
It has dramatically changed my playing habits as I can’t get so involved in long-term scripted adventures anymore. Thanks to the Game Pass, I have more games than I have time to play, but at least I’m not wasting hundreds of dollars on games that I probably won’t have time to finish.
An interesting question, because I had never really thought about it before. It obviously depends on what games I’m playing at the moment, so I would say it falls into two general setups. If it’s a normal week, with no big new game, I probably play a few hours every other day. It would either be a multiplayer game like Call Of Duty or Valorant, or something I’ve played before, including retro games.
If a major new game has come out – the most recent one I have had is Returnal – then I probably won’t be spending much more time during the week, but will try to have a ‘night’ on Friday or Saturday. . It obviously depends on what we do socially, but when my girlfriend watches Strictly and all of her other shows, I happily work on the latest game.
I make sure I’m not an ogre about it and I won’t just look at myself in the spare bedroom or whatever, but if I know she happily occupied myself, I am also happy to make me happy.
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Maybe this weekend
I haven’t played anything substantive in ages. I even bought a new gaming laptop during the first lockdown and thought it would bring me back to gaming, but it doesn’t. I bought Metro Exodus when someone mentioned it in the inbox. I downloaded it but didn’t even open it to do it as quickly as possible.
It’s not because I don’t have the time, I have a lot of free time, but I’m just not in it. Instead, I am wasting my time watching nonsense on YouTube, so it’s not like I’m doing anything better with my life. Maybe the games are a little too stressful and complicated and watching people get hurt doing silly things just gets easier.
I could try Metro Exodus this weekend. I’ll tell you how I’m doing or if I haven’t bothered.
Really interested to see what others are writing about this hot topic – thanks to Ishi for suggesting it!
I don’t really have an “average” week. If I do an F1 race with my pals on the weekend (and it’s not every weekend these days) I’ll spend up to an hour training for it, then two hours for the right race. A few weeks, and often a few months, that’s all I do!
After the initial playtime lockdown boom, things calmed down and I also spent more of my free time on my other hobbies. This means that I don’t always have a running game I play. If I’m currently playing something (by the minute it’s XCOM 2) then it’s normally for a few hours one or both days on weekends, and maybe an early evening session during the week if my wife comes home late.
Very rarely, we’ll play something together and spend a few weeknights playing that, as well as the weekends. We did that with the Overcooked and It Takes Two games this year.
None of this is really affected by new releases – I hardly ever get a game out and will normally pick it up when I have a decent amount of free time to devote to it. Except with Nintendo games, this also has the advantage of being much cheaper (XCOM 2 cost me five cents).
I imagine like most people, playtime has diminished as I get older, with entire sessions of the day (and even the whole evening) long recorded in history, as responsibilities come first.
I sincerely think that the little time I spend reading about the games (maybe 20 minutes a day in total, here and elsewhere) is more than what I spend playing them most weeks! I’m happy with it though – I will prioritize quality over quantity, although in an ideal world I would like to have a little more time to play!
I think the simple answer to this question is that I never have enough time. Without becoming an irresponsible loner, there is little I can do for a few hours here and there.
Every now and then my girlfriend goes out for a girls night out, or there’s even a weekend at her parents’ house, but beyond that, I don’t really get the chance to do anything more. And it’s going to get even worse as we have a baby on the way. I’m not complaining, of course, but there’s no question it’s a sacrifice.
A healthy balance
I have too little time compared to the number of hours of games that have been accessible to me. To be fair, I play a lot but when the usual excuse of work and daily chores kicks in I feel like I’m too tired to play too many more hours. Sleep is needed and even while currently working at home which has given me more time to play, I still feel like a lot of games end over a longer period of time than before.
I have more time on the weekends and after work now, which I can’t complain about, and I play a lot. But the choice of which games I play doesn’t help when they average over 60 hours. I also like the full experience of these games and can often be a kleptomaniac.
If my passion was to regularly play five hour games, or shorter independent games or the like, then the time would be perfectly proportioned! But even though I play these games, it’s still the longest adventure that attracts me.
My evening sessions are time-controlled, so sleep patterns are observed, and the weekend stretches with more dedicated use of longer leisure time, but is still managed for sleep-related needs and household chores.
This routine is maintained for most of the year outside of holidays and special occasions, etc. but she gives me a healthy and balanced work and play ethic that seems to be working right now! But I could do with that little bit more time just to be more relaxed and not check the clock for fear of being too engrossed in an exciting gaming session and losing track of time!
Nothing that coffee, tea and lattes can’t fix when I’m tired, but I feel like over the years I have less play time, although it could be a lot worse. . The worst part is losing the fun of playing games, but luckily that hasn’t happened yet. So with a few small adjustments in life, family, work and play are very healthy right now. And may it continue for a long time.
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