When we are young time is meaningless and something that can be wasted all the time. As we grow older the time just seems to slip away, moving faster and faster. Each day moves along quicker than the previous. So now I know you’re thinking; what does this have to do with games? Well, everything.
Video games are a great way to pass the time, or as a non-gamer would say, waste it. As any gamer would know, playing games is not a waste. Really using you’re time in any way is not a waste as long as you enjoyed it. This is where video games really come into play. Games are a way of immersion, a black hole that is somehow enjoyable. A great game will have you playing for hours and you look down thinking only a few minutes have passed. A great game will let you forget about a terrible time you just had, or a good one for that matter. It passes the time in a way that is so enjoyable you can shut out the world and just be the quarterback for the Super Bowl champions, the most deadly assassin of the time, or maybe just another Elf in a thriving world. Whatever your gaming choices lead you to. The idea of wasting time is in the eye of the one using it. If you don’t think you wasted it, then you didn’t.
Many of us can look back at the multiple years of gaming and see how much time was spent with a particular console or game and really see just how much they mean to us. I personally spent hundreds of hours on my PS2. Playing Battlefront, Socom, or maybe just that year’s sports game. Have you spent hundreds of hours with everything you do? Probably not. If you actually try and add the time up it is mind bottling (Blades of Glory reference, not an accident). It really makes you think. Could I have used this time more wisely? Was it all a waste as our parents like to try and say? What could have been done as opposed to playing games all those hours? Well as I said earlier, time is only wasted if you think it was. So if you enjoyed yourself then your time was not wasted, your time was spent doing something you love. If you are willing to spend this much time with a game then obviously it must be love. People in love have quarrels or even part ways for a short time. It’s the long term that really matters. Sure Demon’s Souls may have made you break your controller, but you still came back. I personally did not enjoy that game, but I’m sure a lot of people did. Sure you were furious when your 360 got the infamous RROD or the PS3 YLOD, but that didn’t stop you from playing games. Hell, maybe you had a significant other leave you over games, but if you are reading this then that obviously didn’t stop you. Love is something that stands the test of time, goes through tribulations, and can bring great joy. Sounds like games to me.
As we grow older time is more fleeting and precious. There are so many more things pulling you away from things you want to do like games. So many more things you have to do that aren’t necessarily things you want to do. It starts with a job or a girlfriend and it never stops. Your list of responsibilities just keeps growing, slowly taking your free time/game time with it. The love of video games never goes away, but the time to play like you can when you’re younger is constantly dwindling. That may sound terrible, and it kind of is, but it makes you appreciate them that much more. You can’t overdo it, the all night sessions are few and far between. Having a job is great for buying games, loved it when I was still in school, but now I find myself buying all sorts of great games. The problem is time. Uncharted 3, MGS Guns of the Patriots, AC Brotherhood and Ico and SoTC collection are all gathering dust. The only one that is even open is the Ico collection. It’s not that I don’t want to play them or don’t know if I’ll like them or not. It’s time and the lack of enough of it to play all the great games there are now. Things are different than they used to be. When I first started playing games there were no games that took hundreds of hours to complete. Now it either has to be a very long single player game or it has to have an engaging multiplayer to even get noticed. That’s not really a bad thing, but it is also making it harder to play every game I would like to. Who’s got all that time?
So in closing, take the time to fondly reflect on your gaming of years past. Think of all the great games ahead. Cherish every minute of your love for games while you can. Girls (or boys), friends and pets will come and go, but games will always be there for you. As long you don’t sell them! Take some time and go back to that first love, take some extra time to just enjoy it. Remove all the hate and bigotry that is online gaming and just enjoy your love. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s almost gone.