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One-Liner: Just Unplug It on Game and Player

One-Liner: Just Unplug It

Michael Ubaldi  //  November 22, 2009

When, why, and for how long do you take breaks from gaming?


tarcraft led me to discover a sense of restraint when playing video games. In 1998, I was a junior in college. I had my curriculum under control, an internet connection to the computer in my dorm room, and a growing fascination with challenging remote strangers to matches on classic maps like Orbital Relay and Bloodbath. On a reasonably open afternoon, after bringing assignments to some measure of completion, I would enter and, two or three hours later, emerge from the world of planetarily obliterative actions-per-minute.

But I often did so with a twinge of having lost the time passed. This was new: since third grade, when my father bought a Tandy 1000, I had invested long stretches in the family PC and never gave it a second thought. Maybe this was guilt for shirking studio time and classwork? Or a finer sense of how to seize the day? Whatever the cause, I felt satiety; and for hours couldn't have been bribed to return to the game.

It continues today. No matter what the beloved game — World of Warcraft, Call of Duty or Halo — I'll have my fill eventually, and if too much, may not return for more before a few days have passed. There are practical reasons to put down the controller, too; just last week a correspondent on Twitter quipped that preparing for Christmas became more efficient when the Xbox 360 was shut off.

The point is the same. It's a delectable hobby best taken in judicious portions. We all must have our limits.

When, why, and for how long do you take breaks from gaming?

Lilikka // November 22, 2009 // 9:11 AM

I have to take a break during the day to take care of my kiddo, so that leaves me being pretty efficient for the most part. Other than that, I don't really take much of a break at night lol

Jessica Johnson // November 22, 2009 // 4:46 PM

The guilt of playing something for 2+ hours seems to get worse each year, unless I am playing with other people or just feeling under the weather. I have tried to play the same game day after day, but the guilt gnaws at me and I end up just dropping it until the mood hits me again.

Chris, on the other hand, loves Borderlands so much he has played it just about every day in the last week for 6+ hours (each day) without batting an eyelash. That man loves his games. In fact, he is playing it right now . . .

Michael Ubaldi // November 23, 2009 // 3:14 PM

I make the same distinction between single-player and group activities, Jes.

Ed Kirchgessner // November 24, 2009 // 10:35 AM

My obsession with certain shooters (i.e. "the good ones") is downright legendary in some circles. CounterStrike has robbed me of sleep on more than one occasion, and more recently, I've played CoD:MW2 until my eyes watered.

Generally, I'm able to pull myself away from video games when needed -- part of my problem is just that I have a particularly long attention span ;)

James Day // November 25, 2009 // 9:15 AM

There is definitley a difference between single-player and multiplayer for me.

Its been a tradition for the best part of ten years for me and my friends to spend all Saturday afternoon and evening playing games together.

Playing by myself though I've normally got a shorter threshold unless I'm completley engrossed in a new game. I did used to play for untold hours when I was a kid though.

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