A game’s length is a common complaint these days. As a child, video games were the cornerstone of my daily life to which I would dedicate countless hours. Few things in the world matter more when you are ten years old and in charge of saving the princess/defeating the ninja terrorists/blowing up Hitler’s head. As I got older, those blissful hours dried up and my daily goal transitioned from princess saving to rent paying and from fighting ninjas to fighting the endless despair of human existence. Few of us have the capacity to play most of the games sitting on our shelves, or at least as much as we would like, but are we to blame or are the games?
Video games, as a medium, are completely unique from any other type of entertainment in regards to length. A popular saying I used to share with people in high school who would ask me if why I like video games went something like, “Well, they are longer than movies but are more fun to look at than books. “ Even after all these years, I still hold strongly to this despite my world looking drastically different now than when my face was significantly more pimple infested. Games are engaging enough to keep us coming back time and time again to see what happens next while providing us the interactivity necessary to claim the achievements of characters as our own.
With that being said, most games blow movies out of the water when it comes to run time. While many games can be completed in couple of dedicated weekend afternoons, many more take dozens if not hundreds of hours to complete. This is most often attributed to the life-draining nature of Role Playing Games but can also be said of games requiring hours upon hours to perfect your skills such as Ninja Gaiden or Mega Man. To be good at video games requires having no actual life of your own, or so the old stereotype goes. This was easy to scoff at when the only serious bind on your time was homework, but this becomes truer and truer the older you get.
I have recently found myself laid off and with a bit more free time than I have been used to the last few years. In between my duties as a respectable adult, I have been able to dust off some of the games I may have been neglecting on my shelf. And then I realized how depressing it was how it took such a drastic and unfortunate change to my lifestyle just to allow me to dedicate more time to my favorite hobby. It dawned on me how few people actually have the amount of time to spend on games these days. Most people are lucky if they are even able to find an hour let alone the dozens it takes to complete the latest Final Fantasy or Mario title.
I am afraid I do not have much of an answer to the question I posited. Think of this as a man pondering the grand questions of video games to the universe that is the Internet. So I beseech you, oh spirit of the interwebs. How are you able to find the time to enjoy the games you buy? Let me know in the comments and until next time, happy gaming.