Bite-Sized Gaming

When I play games I find I want to optimize the experience. I am not good at just picking up a game when I have time.

At this point I have a GIGANTIC game backlog. I have way more games than I do time to play them. When I started to really start gaming seriously I was in college. While I had classes and homework, I had a lot of flexibility in when I worked on things and therefore I had a good bit of time to dedicate to games. Back then I had more problems affording the equipment and games that I wanted, then I did finding time to play them.

Now, as a working adult, I find I have exactly the opposite problem. I have been extremely lucky when it comes to the opportunities I have had since college. I have a good job, with pretty flexible hours and good pay. The thing is I am working 40 hours a week, and it is much more tiring than school was. On top of that, I am spending my whole work day sitting inside in front of a computer.

I want to come home and play games, but there are a lot of days that after the full day at work I am pretty wiped and end up not feeling like I can do a game justice, and end up not playing.

When I am looking for gaming experiences now I find that I am not looking as much at the traditional AAA style game experiences. Instead I find that I value games and Devs who value my time. Don’t get me wrong, I still spend time in plenty of larger games. I love guild wars 2, and have dedicated more than 1000 hours to that game in the 3+ years I have played. However, I value the more bite sized gaming experiences more than I used to.

I have been picking games that I can play in less organized settings. I have been playing a lot more on my handhelds, so 3DS and Vita, since I can play those anywhere. I spend a lot of time at other people’s houses after work, so the ability to take a game with me and play on anyone’s couch is definitely valuable in the attempts to get through some of the backlog.

I have also found that some of the features that have been introduced with this generation allow me to do take advantage of the portability. For example, Sony has made it so I can remotely log in to my PS4 using the vita. I have found that this feature is actually good enough that I can be at a friend’s place 15 miles from home and play something that is on my PS4. It isn’t perfect, and I wouldn’t choose it to play something that requires really precise timing and controls, but for games like Transistor, never alone, and even little big planet it has worked really well.

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Maybe someday things will settle down some and I will get better at the more opportunities for the traditional sitting in front of my PC and console for hours to get sucked into more big story games. But for now, I am pretty happy having the ability to take advantage of bite sized chunks of time to still get to feed my gaming habit.

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