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Finding Balance In Game & Life

Wow, a couple of days without posts. I haven’t had that happen in a while.

I’ve been real busy with work the last two weeks. So much so that it’s been a struggle just to keep up with posts, let alone read any blogs. I ususally do both at work. When I’m at home, I want to do other things. Anyway, I was busy enough that I was surprised that I had forgotten about April Fool’s and in turn all of Blizzard’s jokes. In fact, I still don’t think I’ve seen them all.

It was with even greater surprise, a bit of sadness, and a sense of irony that I found out about BRK a few days after he closed shop. Although I have enjoyed playing a hunter, I’ve never gotten one above level 17. Too much to do with the main toons I suppose. I, like thousands of others, love his writing and humor. I too wish him all the best in real life and he will be missed. The irony is that this is somewhat reflective of my own real life situation.

The Game

A few months ago I would come home from work on any given Mon-Thur, log in at roughly 4:30pm and log out roughly between 10:30-11:30pm. On Friday it was usually from 4:30pm to 1:00am. Saturdays were usually from 6:00am to as late as 1:00am again with minor breaks in between or even a 4-5 hour break if the family decided to go do something. Sundays again from 6:00am to as late as 11:30pm. In total, I would average around 60-70 hours per week depending on what was going on.

Excessive? Just a teeeeny bit.

So what was the fallout? The wife would complain, storm around the house obviously not in a good mood, and I’d spend the next week trying to do a little better until the storm blew over. But then I was back in game, same as it ever was.

Since then, I’ve transferred servers, joined a more relaxed guild with a smaller raiding schedule. I still spend about 3 hours every night online, but now I’m spending time with my kids after getting home from work and logging on a little later. Some nights I’m only on for an hour. On weekends, I’m spending anywhere from 5-6 hours each day. So in all I’m probably around 20-25 hours per week, a far cry from the 60-70 hours I was once at.

Real Life

Spending less time online is giving me more time to do other things, like play with the kids, talk with the wife, watch TV, play Call of Duty 5, go outside as the weather is getting better, etc. Last night I logged off and actually read a book! I haven’t made time to read a book in ages! It’s amazing to me that I never missed these things until I started doing them again.

Who wouldn't want to play with these goobers?
Who wouldn’t want to play with these goobers?

img_0957

Finding Balance

There’s lots of reasons why we like to play WoW. For some it’s the MMO experience of interacting with other people. For some it’s the end-game raiding experience. Some quest. Some level. Some spend hours sitting in Dalaran just watching people run by. They remind me of mall lurkers, but seriously they’re out there!

Everyone plays for different reasons. Everyone is at different stages in their life. Everyone has a different balance. So whether you’re someone that plays 1 hour every week or someone that plays 100 hours each week, only you can decide where the balance lies.

A college student that spends 70 hours each week playing WoW while getting straight A’s and having a social life might find that it works for her. A college student that spends 70 hours each week playing WoW while failing every class and possesses skin that hasn’t seen the light of day in two semesters might want to rethink his priorities.

A father who’s missing his kids growing up and a husband that’s neglecting his wife because he’s playing too much WoW might want to rethink some things too. 🙂 (All right, all right! I get the picture!)

We play for different reasons, but whether it’s for social, raiding, PvP, leveling, questing, playing the AH, or achievements, remember that there’s one achievement we cannot afford to miss that limits how much we play.

Achievement: Once In A Lifetime
Quote: No other success can compensate for failure in the home. -David O. McKay
Points: Infinite 

So out of curiosity, where does your balance lie?

* My Achievement got deleted or something. I’ll recreate when I get home and link it in.

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7 Responses

  1. Nice post man. I think I have it pretty well balanced and have mostly avoided any fiancee aggro (helps that I got her playing). I generally play a bit if she has to work late, but other than that, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday nights are my WoW nights. The rest of the nights I spend with her. Keeps both of us happy.

  2. Very true.

    I have the same problem only husband does not game, we (kids and self do). But Iv’e always set limits on gaming time, otherwise its too easy to do ‘just one more thing, then I’ll log . . .’.

    Although gaming can be seasonal too – new game we’re a bit heavy on play time. Winter (less outside time) we play more.

    On a regular basis though during the week, I do not log on until 9 or later (so still 2-3 hours a day). Weekends – I’ve never been to the fishing tournament, and rarely play all day yet as we tend to do family things.

    I’ve always looked at it as playing WoW or any aspect of your life if its causing other areas of your life (health, relationships, job, other interests, etc.) to suffer – you need to rebalance things.

  3. Wow, 60 – 70 hours a week on top of a full time job and kids is pretty amazing. You couldn’t have been able to keep that up for long. I only play when the kids are in bed or the wife is gone, probably about 20 hours a week. You can still get a ton of stuff done playing 20 hours a week.

  4. Your kidlets are adorable.

  5. @ Darraxus – Thanks! A happy significant other makes for a happy man! 🙂

    @ Ziboo – Didn’t think about seasonal situations, but I’m sure I’ll play a little less during the summer and more in the winter.

    @ Celton – Yeah that was nuts.

    @ Elleiras – Thank you! 🙂

  6. I quit raiding…

    Quit arena….

    Quit questing/alts….

    Friends left…

    Class imbalance larger than ever. (Pally, DK OP)

    Time to quit wow. 🙂

  7. My public comment says it all: “Does not tank instances before kids are asleep”.

    It helps that I am a popular 10-man raid leader and I have no trouble finding groups to start raiding at 10 or 10:30 PM local time.

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