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danutz_plusplus April 4th, 2014 22:04

Is gaming-entertainment worth it
For some time I've been dealing with a quandary over how does one spend ones time.

I've spent most of the free time I have split between either gaming/movies/books or talking with friends about those same subjects.

And looking back over all the time I've spent, I can honestly say that only about 10% of those were really worth it. When I say worth it, I mean something that truly makes you think, that truly makes you appreciate the medium, that flips your reality and makes you question stuff in real life.

I've also been into software engineering for most of my young adult life, and have always had difficulty balancing either learning new tech stuff or just gaming/movies/entertainment. I love programming, and I also love the entertainment. But looking over all of it, from a simple pragmatic point of view, my time would be way better spent learning new stuff, and developing as a software developer. But then again, I also love the entertainment side.

I've also recently re-started to train and work on my physical condition. And have found new pleasure in that. Not nearly as much as in programming/gaming/movies, but this one really is a must in my field of activity, where exercise is a rare activity. So basically I'm doing it mostly to make sure I can do the other stuff I like.

Anyway, I've recently been thinking (again, since I've had these thoughts before) of giving up this entertainment and trying to get all my pleasure out of something that's also really constructive and beneficial to me, both professionally and health-wise. And since I love doing it, it would also serve as entertainment in some way.

As I said, I've had these thoughts a couple of times while playing different games, but it really struck me right after finishing the main campaign in D3 Reaper of Souls, where you can start in adventure mode, and just go on endless dungeon runs for items. I just stopped and thought what the hell am I doing. I could be spending this time to better myself in something a lot more constructive.

I know I won't give up gaming/entertainment forever, but I think I'm gonna try and give it up for 1-2 years, see how it goes. I also thought about putting gaming/entertainment on a full pause for like 10 years, and then come back into it, and this way time would have filtered all that's not even worth playing, and I'd just have 4-5 titles which would really be worth it.

And I'm mentioning gaming a lot in this thread because I do believe that games have a bigger time investment cost burnt into them, compared to other forms of entertainment. At least the way I like to play them, in that I like to get fully immersed and drain every last drop of lore/story/etc from them. So they tend to be story-driven experiences that really require multiple play sessions, in multiple fashions etc.

What do you guys/girls think? Anyone with a similar problem?

Fluent April 5th, 2014 01:40

I recently gave up gaming for awhile. Mainly because I'm starting to feel like it's a waste of time.

Let's put it this way. I took up playing the piano and studying music theory instead of spending time gaming. I feel like doing this is a way to better myself, learn something useful that I can actually apply to a career I hope to have one day. I also enjoy it quite a bit, so it's a form of entertainment as well as being constructive.

When I'm gaming I'm basically just throwing that time away. And in order to become successful one has to work hard, so budgeting time working vs. playing is important.

I won't give up gaming forever (probably not), but it's good to be doing something more constructive at the moment.

Drithius April 5th, 2014 02:30

It's all a waste of time on this Pale Blue Dot :) The question of what matters in the end is a very subjective matter. But a good balance is always important.

danutz_plusplus April 5th, 2014 02:52


Originally Posted by Drithius (Post 1061248467)
It's all a waste of time on this Pale Blue Dot :) The question of what matters in the end is a very subjective matter. But a good balance is always important.

Yeah, of course it is. But I was wondering more about the ratio between time spent doing something and quantity/quality of worthwhile rewards received for that time. And of course it's all subjective. It's all based on what one considers worthwhile. But I've just recently realized that gaming imo has a pretty bad ratio. Or maybe I'm just not enjoying games as I used to.

joxer April 5th, 2014 02:57

Again the best attitude I see from you, Drithius?
What's going on? :D

Extremes of any kind are bad, a poison can be a cure and vice versa.
Noone should abandon gaming completely (in fact having fun with something*). But noone should play games all day long and do nothing else.

While having fun may be seen as a time waster from CEO point of view, we're not robots and we need it.

* By having fun with something I didn't mean pretending to have fun with a second job online namely cow clickers, okay?
We may talk about gaming today, but in the past having fun with something was called a hobby. This may sound sexist, but males need a hobby. Females can get their portion of fun only with chitchat… We just can't and we need to do something with our hands while we're not working. Otherwise we go loco.

sakichop April 5th, 2014 03:08


Originally Posted by danutz_plusplus (Post 1061248459)

And looking back over all the time I've spent, I can honestly say that only about 10% of those were really worth it. When I say worth it, I mean something that truly makes you think, that truly makes you appreciate the medium, that flips your reality and makes you question stuff in real life.

The problem is is your looking for all this while playing Diablo 3.;)

On a serious note, If your asking yourself this question then you must feel like your missing out on something because of gaming. So maybe for you gaming is not worth it. Although I would think with a little balance you could enjoy things that "better you " and still find a little time to game.

For me gaming it 100% worth it. I workout, spend time with family and friends, run a successful business, watch sports (go Tigers), watch a few shows regularly and game.

All of that adds up to a pretty fulfilling life for me and I never do one thing to the detriment of another. I balance them all and keep my priorities straight.

Gaming is a relaxing, fun, stress reliever for me (even dark souls :biggrin:) so it's definitely worth it.

I would think if I only did things that "bettered" my life I'd get burn't out rather quickly.

danutz_plusplus April 5th, 2014 08:30


Originally Posted by sakichop (Post 1061248474)
All of that adds up to a pretty fulfilling life for me and I never do one thing to the detriment of another. I balance them all and keep my priorities straight.

I know what you're saying, and I also like to believe balance in all things is the way. Problem is, I'm very obsessive about things I do and I tend to go to extremes in everything I do. So when I decide to game I do so to the detriment of other things. That's until I start feeling guilty and then decide to do something else. But then, after a while of doing that, I start thinking back on what else I could be doing with my time.

And gaming is a lot less easier and effortless to do, then say, learning. So, being that I'm sometimes kind of lazy, I instinctively jump at what's easiest. And I just think that if gaming weren't an option for me, I'd stop jumping to it whenever I have some spare time, and maybe even stop jumping from it, to learning, and back to it again. I'm hoping that by taking a firm stand and taking it off the table, I simplify my choice.

And of course, I know it's going to be very hard in the beginning. As is with giving up anything you've been doing most of your life.

EDIT: And I just thought of a perfect time to jump back into gaming. When Witcher 3 launches next year. But then, I'd like to replay Witcher 1 and 2 once more before that. And I'd like to finish all the Witcher novels also, to get the full experience. And then … You see how this goes? I could easily find explanations for myself as to why I really need to game as much as I do. Currently, all in the name of fully experiencing what this game has to offer. And I'm sure that this has a lot to do with me not having enough willpower to just be in control and stop when I need to. But I just think that taking it out of the equation would make things easier for me.

Fluent April 5th, 2014 17:09

Everyone will have a different opinion on if gaming is "worth it" or not. You just have to do what works for you. If you feel like you can spend your time better doing something else, go for it. Learn a new skill or something and have fun with that instead.

MinorityReport April 5th, 2014 23:06

Well… you're asking if gaming is 'worth it' on a gaming forum.

Imagine you are a dedicated fisherman, spending 20 hours a week doing nothing but sitting next to a river, drinking beer and eating sandwiches with the occasional fish breaking your concentration.

Now imagine you go onto a fishing forum full of similar fisherman and make the sudden claim "I'm done with fishing, I want to do something with my life".

What kind of response do you want?

You've just finished playing a grinding based aRPG, one of the most notorious forms of burn-out gaming it's possible to play. And now you're burned out.

Some of the best RPGs are extremely long and involving games, that's what often sets them apart from other forms of games, they are very rarely designed purely with the 'light' gamer in mind and, if they are, they are often quickly derided.

My suggestion is to take some time to experience some 'lighter' games which don't require you become addicted to them for an extended period of time in order to put a bit of gaming-perspective back into your life.

In terms of RPGs, one of the best loved 'lighter' RPGs is King's Bounty: The Legend:

There are many flash games which offer a slice of nice, such as Plunder Mars:

And there are always hidden object games that often only last a few hours but offer a strangely relaxing and comforting feeling to gaming:

DArtagnan April 7th, 2014 12:51

This is as subjective as you can get, but it's an interesting question.

I'd say 95% of my life hasn't been "worth it" - because in the vast majority of cases, there's always been something that would have been a better use of my time.

Now, if you think an ideal life is one spent doing the things that will be best for yourself and for others - which I think makes good sense, then the first thing you have to accept is that such a life is impossible to achieve.

The next best thing, of course, is one where you've simply done your best at the time - in all those cases where you've had a choice. Now, I hardly ever do my best at any point in time - and I don't see myself accomplishing such an approach on life.

So, what can I do to make life bearable? Well, one thing I've learned about human beings is that we're extremely flawed. As in, I think we're pretty much a joke overall.

Another thing I believe about myself is that I don't have a responsibility to make the world better. I don't understand people who believe that. Well, except if they're religious.

But I do think the world would be better if we all contributed in one way or another - and we did whatever we could manage not to make it worse. That's a constant challenge and I don't think a life that's 100% about other people can be a long and fruitful life - because you have to enjoy helping other people. You can't do it out of a sense of duty, or your life will end up being rather miserable, and you'll likely crack eventually under the pressure.

So, if you can find a position or job in life where you're actually enjoying yourself at the same time as you're doing something truly helpful to others, I would consider that a very, very fortunate way of living.

I'm definitely not there yet, but I'm trying to position myself in such a way that I might end up making an actual contribution that I can be happy about.

Oh, I do small things here and there to help and to support - but I do know, deep inside, that it's a joke in the grand scheme of thing.

But I'm one of those people who're quite capable of realising my own weaknesses and flaws without inventing excuses about why I am that way. I just accept it.

As for gaming, it's simply one way of passing the time. There's really nothing about it that makes it objectively better or more satisfying than any other way of merely passing the time.

For me, it was incidental - and more or less completely because of the influence of my older brother. I got into gaming because of him - and it's simply what turns me on when it comes to spending time where I don't see anything better to do.

Worth it? Hardly. But it's still entertaining and I tend to enjoy it a lot.

joxer April 7th, 2014 16:20


Originally Posted by MinorityReport (Post 1061248504)
You've just finished playing a grinding based aRPG…

Oops. I didn't in fact notice this!
Now I understand the thread.

And the solution is always to go for quality over quantity.
Abandon gaming and instead go watch study movies. If you will watch only action B movies, sooner or later you'll ask yourself why are you wasting your time on that.

We all need to socialize. Apart from some animals among us…
Assuming you and your friend play the same game, try to imagine your talk about the grinder you're playing. Now switch to a possibility you're both playing an epic game and go for a coffee. Just for the sakes of an example, imagine you're playing Fallout2 and just learn your friend also plays it but with completely different stats. Will that one coffee be enough to share the experience?
I mentioned movies. Make a review on some recent Steven Seagall movie. Oh, you made one sentence on it? Whatta surprise. On the other hand, how about arguing over the suitcase content in Pulp Fiction? We may write a book on that and still never really know what was inside.

And if anything you can see on this site, that's recommendations on quality games. Try one of those please. Not only you won't feel like wasting time, but you will have enough time and energy for "learning new stuff, and developing as a software developer".

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