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Author Topic: Gamers with families, how do you manage playing time  (Read 5449 times)
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Xmann
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« on: October 13, 2006, 02:58:29 AM »

I probably should ask this in January when i'm finished with RN school, but i thought i'd pose it now. 

I'm constantly reading where alot of you guys are getting large amounts of playing time in a week, more than i get sometimes in a month.  Sometimes i go several days without the opportunity to even turn my systems on.  Finishing a games that takes 30 to 40 hours could take me several months to complete, where some of you guys are doing it in a couple weeks.  I gotta get some advice or tips because i'm starting to get jealous.  And with the dozens (literally) of games i want to play on my new ps2, i have to work more playing time in somewhere.

So how do you guys with spouses and kids do it?  My wife isnt a gamer at all.  She recently got interested in Guitar Hero, so i do have that she'll play with me.  But besides that, she has ZERO interest in gaming.  Now she doesn't mind that i game, but i just can't work in any time to play.  Maybe an hour or so here and there, but nothing beyond that.

When i get home from school, i have about an hour before i have to run and pick my little boy from school.  I get home and play outside with him or watch some cartoon network.  By this time, my wife is home and me or her is cooking dinner while the other is hanging out with our son.  Time dinner is done we watch a little television and then i'm having to do some school work.  Come 9 or 10 we are ready for bed. 

Wake up the next day and rinse and repeat.  Weekends are a little more flexible, but not getting alot of time with my boy during the week because i'm busy with school, i try to spend alot of daddy/son time.  The wife also likes me to spend extra time with her because we dont get a whole lot with each other during the week either. 

So the little time i do get during the week is nights i might not have alot of studying and i stay up after she's asleep and play for maybe an hour or two.  Weekends is really scattered, never anything set.  Now i realize that studying at night takes some time away that i could be gaming, but i foresee the wife wanting that time for "us" when school is finished in December.  I dont want to sound like a bad hubby here, but i want a couple hours a night for gaming too!  I dont expect 4 or 5 hours an evening, but one or two at a minimum is reasonable i think.

So how do you guys do it?  What kind of "deals" or schedules have you worked out with the kids and spouse to get gaming in?  I love my family and wouldn't put gaming above them, but even when school is out, i cant figure out where i'd fit a couple hours in daily. 

Anyone got any advice or tips to help maximize my playing time?
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« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2006, 03:04:26 AM »

My wife isn't a gamer but she goes to bed at about 9pm which is pretty much the next best thing.  I'm a night owl and bedtime for me during the week is typically between 1 and 2 am.  So I get four or more hours of gaming every night if I want.  I do have an 11 month old daughter, but she's been sleeping through the night since she was three weeks old so no worries there either.

Plus, my wife is a big shopper so weekends usually have her going off with friends and family for shopping which gives me even more free time. 

The time from when I get home from work until my wife goes to bed is family time though.  The only gaming I'll do at all then is maybe some portable stuff but for the most part it's spent doing dinner, playing with my daughter, and then we catch up on Tivo once the baby goes to bed. 

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« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2006, 10:47:20 AM »

I'd say I probably play between 3-8 hrs a week.  Most of that time is on the DS during visits to the library, but I can usually sneak in an hour here and there on a consle after the kids have gone to bed.

I used to get almost all of my gaming time in on Friday and Saturday nights when I'd stay up until 1 AM or so (I know crazy late!). However, I'm not able to stay up late on the weekends and game right now due to marathon training (what was I thinking...again?!) but that ends at the end of the month.

We're not big tv people either- our totals this week are in the neighborhood of 6-7 hours so I don't lose much time to that.

My time is so limited and I have such a backlog, I don't know why I'm even getting a 360...
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coopasonic
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« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2006, 02:00:18 PM »

After the wife goes to bed and on sundays, when she has a hobby that takes her out of the house for ~6 hours. I used to get 90 minutes or so after work before my wife got home, but my wife is home first now so I lost that. I wouldn't sacrifice time with your son for gaming. Games time is "lost", son time is an investment.
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2006, 12:53:18 AM »

You sound like you are managing fine for now.  You are in a place and time in your life where you can't game much but that changes over time.  For me, I've share my gaming (age appropriate) with my kids as they've grown up.  When they were 3 and 4, I found some Pokemon Gameboy game ROMs that I could run on my PC.  My kids would take turns sitting in my lap and directing what Ash should do next, what attacks to make and such.  Even better, the first words my son could read were the Pokemon attacks he learned during those games!  Thanks Nintendo!

As they've gotten older, we branched out to playing games like Myst (easy and nothing inappropriate) to more recently Pirates and more.  Now that they're 10 and 11, we still find some games the three of us can play together although that gets harder to do since each wants to be in control.  In fact, I need a 2nd PC because my kids don't watch TV on the nights and weekends but they love gaming (like Caesar IV, Civ IV and so forth). 

Good luck icon_lol
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Luminescent Pubes
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2006, 12:06:30 AM »

Quote from: coopasonic on October 13, 2006, 02:00:18 PM

she has a hobby that takes her out of the house for ~6 hours.

<---- The Hobby
 ninja2
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2006, 01:41:20 PM »

Quote from: Luminescent Pubes on October 18, 2006, 12:06:30 AM

Quote from: coopasonic on October 13, 2006, 02:00:18 PM

she has a hobby that takes her out of the house for ~6 hours.

<---- The Hobby
 ninja2

*shrug* she gets her needs taken care of and I get my game time.  icon_twisted I dont want to ask why she takes both dogs with her when she goes to see you.... ya freak.
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Xmann
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2006, 01:52:06 AM »

Well i guess when i'm done with school in a few months i'll have more available time like i did before.  I'm not willing to sacrifice time with my family for gaming, but i do want to get more time in.

And if the ps2 wouldnt stop releasing such good games weekly, maybe i wouldnt need more time!
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2006, 03:37:11 PM »

Sadly, I had the same sort of issues and in the end, it pretty much has ended my gaming days.  crybaby

My wife and I like to spend time together and I have a tendency to lose track of time if I get involved in something like a game.  Obsessed is the wrong word, I prefer "Hyperfocused".   icon_smile  Bargaining seemed to work for me but I am pretty lazy so in the end it wasn't worth the effort to me.

By bargaining I mean something like this:

My wife likes for me to go to bed when she does because it's an important part of spending time together for her.  So I worked out a deal with her to go to bed when she does during the week as long as I could have Friday and Saturday to stay up late and game and sleep late the next day.  smile  It worked out well until I ran out of games to play, got lazy, and lacked the hardware to play the new games. 
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2006, 12:16:39 PM »

For me the trick is encouraging them to do things independent of you.

For example, I always tell my fiancee she should go out for a girl's night.  While she's gone, I get to do anything I want.

Also, sometimes I'll just candidly explan that I'd like some time to play games.  The ones who love you usually understand.
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« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2006, 08:54:12 PM »

Quote from: hornysax on October 29, 2006, 12:16:39 PM

For example, I always tell my fiancee she should go out for a girl's night.  While she's gone, I get to do anything I want.

Does the same policy apply for her?

The time I have anymore is after my daughter goes to bed or when she's with her mother. But even then I'm splitting my time between other hobbies more than I eve have in the past. I'm sure it helps that I don't watch television and I'm not a big movie buff anymore but I spend that time elsewhere (books, other gaming hobbies, etc). I get next to zero gaming time when I'm in a relationship (mostly by choice).
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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2006, 04:56:49 PM »

Xmann.....I sacrifice sleep for gaming. 

Like you, from the time I get home from work until the kids go to bed is family time.  You say you go to bed around 9:00.   I'm up until midnight at the earliest, 1:00 at the usual, 2:00 if I'm finishing up that level.  My day schedule gets me up at 6:50 am. 

If there is any 1 on 1 spouse time for the night (and not just sex), it happens between 9:00 and 10:30 or so.   

- shaggy
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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2006, 05:52:23 PM »

Quote from: shaggydoug on November 02, 2006, 04:56:49 PM

Xmann.....I sacrifice sleep for gaming. 

Like you, from the time I get home from work until the kids go to bed is family time.  You say you go to bed around 9:00.   I'm up until midnight at the earliest, 1:00 at the usual, 2:00 if I'm finishing up that level.  My day schedule gets me up at 6:50 am. 

If there is any 1 on 1 spouse time for the night (and not just sex), it happens between 9:00 and 10:30 or so.   

- shaggy

I sacrifice sleep for gaming as well.  I have also purchased a laptop and have demonstrated time and time again that I can watch TV and write a review at the same time.  This means I get "family time" without "hibernating" in my office.  smile  During downtime at work, or during my lunch, I'm usually writing.  During this time of the year, I'm writing any waking moment that I can...
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« Reply #13 on: November 29, 2006, 12:10:11 PM »

I'm suprised nobody mentioned mobile gaming yet.

With a DS or PSP, you can bring it with you wherever you go.
Or even better, as I've just done recently, you can pick up a Pocket PC phone (I got the T-Mobile MDA) and play games wherever you are, including a perfect translation of Age of Empires (with the exception of online multiplayer - though you still have skirmish with the computer AI's) which uses the stylus as your mouse.

Just joined up with the RealDice.com community as well, so even at work when everyone's asleep (I work the night shift) I load up a game of Poker or Chess against real people.

As of late, I've been finding myself spending more and more time on my Pocket PC than any console or PC combined.
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2006, 07:51:39 AM »

Being a Married gamer with four kids 2-11 years of age. The quality time I get in with a game depends on the type of game it is. Anything Rated Teen and under minus the military/shooter type violent games would get lots of play time because my kids are all gamers too and just love to watch me play. Teen military\ shooter type violent to Mature would be play after 12am until...
When I play games with my 11year old we get a lot off father son bonding time in and a trust to the point he tells me stuff like I am one of his friends in school. Which is good because I can give him good advise and not peer pressure advise.

Some People may say to much gaming is not good for young minds. They may or may not be right. I believe Its how they game. Here is my story and this is solely so you don't think involving you kid this way is not productive.

My 1st son came along when I was living with my mom, and she had mad restrictions he did not really get into gaming until he turned 8 years old. Now he plays sports and racing games and dose just enough in school to pass. I personally feel the boy is lacking in the logic dept.

My step daughter on the other hand, same age, started sitting with me when ever I played the Sims and at 6 she had and unusual intrest in the game, That quickly progressed from watching Sims move up and down to actually being goal oriented in her gaming. That game Became such a livelyhood to her it became priority one to learn to read. She been the top reader in her class ever since. Today at 11 years old she has her own Sims forum with about 75 registered members and countless gust every day. She host lots of stories and fashion show for her site. She carries an A average in school, she is also does Gymnastics and a Hip hop dancer/choreographer.
(Could her early gaming interest contribute to her achievements?) 

My now four year old son have been holding a gaming controle ever since he could sit up (Key word: Holding) . With me and my wife well on our own there was no one to say stop have that kid sit up in front that TV with you for so long  icon_biggrin. At that time my wife worked 3rd shift so when the bigger kids went to bed it was gametime. He normally hung in there until around 2am before he was down and out I would follow about 2 hrs or more later. This would happen 4 days a week the night before my days off and the nights prior to the days I work at 1pm.
This routine lasted for 2 1/2years . At 2 years old my son got futher ahead in burnout 2 than I did. He Is so good I loved to see the faces of my friends when he would beat them in a 2player match. Today my son plays strategy games, flight sim. has a thing for puzzles 100+ pcs and currently learning chess and we are working a coop in Marvel Superheros 360. In school his teachers credit him for being very logical.

Remember I' am not handing them a controle and having the game babysit. We are actively gaming finding secrets planning strategies and bonding all at the same time.
GTA, Saint Row, Gears of War are game they know are there but rarely see in action and the few times they did they got the Game and real life lecture.

Hope this help you to get more game time in by incorporating the  kid ask him for suggestions or clues or a simple should I get that? should I go here? everyone wins.

Oh my Wife. Well she sits still for 5Min's and she goes right to sleep where she is at. If she has a medical problem it been like that since I meet her and it hasn't killed her yet so shell be alright.




 
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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2006, 11:04:39 PM »

I'm single and I find it difficult to find the time to game right now! Gamers with families must be more hard-pressed for time than me - I'm impressed that any game at all.

One thing I've found that works for me - and this works not just for gaming but any activity - is that when I do game, I focus on the game for that amount of time without allowing myself to listen to music or tv or conversation. I know it sounds ordinary but 15 minutes concentration is worth an hour of casual this-and-that "let the time drift by" activity. Haven't you ever been the gym and seen someone spend 10 minutes talking to the fellow next to them instead of working out? Or been at work and let an hour slip past without making much progress? And then, you wonder where did the time go? I may not spend as much time as other people but that 20 minutes on X3 or Mount&Blade or CivIV was intense. Anyhow, I find it works for me.
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« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2007, 01:42:56 AM »

Sometimes it is hard, like the last couple days with a sick baby.

Generally, the wife is in bed by 9-10PM, so I game from 9-10PM to as late as 2-3AM.  Thats a good 5-6 hours of gaming per night, but not every night.  Weekends are easier to fit in more time because I don't have to rush to get the kids off to bed and do homework with them and such.  We rarely ever go out, we don't go to the theater, we eat out only 1 time a month on average, and we aren't drinkers or party animals.  So that leaves a lot of time around the house that many people wouldn't have.

Right now is extra tough with so many new things competing for our time.. Tivo, Blockbuster, NintendoDS, PS2, GameCube, PC, ZenV, Boardgames, Books, Magazines etc.  So I just do some things in "Bursts" then move on to something else.  Now that I finished up Battlestar Galactica, I am not nearly so far behind on Tivo stuff as an example, and I caught up with that series in bursts over 3 months.

I can easily see how people get overwhelmed.  We were a household with only Boardgames + Blockbuster + PC Games for the longest time. I kinda miss the simplicity of those days.  I *WAS* going to cancel Blockbuster, but at $8.99 a month and all the trimmings, it is staying around.  So much for my plan to bring back a measure of simplicity.  :icon_confused:


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« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2007, 04:50:42 PM »

How do people stay up and game until 2-3AM?  I guess if you don't have to be up, but I know people who do that and get up and go to jobs.  If I make it to 11:00PM, I'm just barely awake. 
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« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2007, 04:53:41 PM »

Quote from: Austin on January 12, 2007, 04:50:42 PM

How do people stay up and game until 2-3AM?  I guess if you don't have to be up, but I know people who do that and get up and go to jobs.  If I make it to 11:00PM, I'm just barely awake. 

I get up at 7-7:30 am to be at work around 8am.  I only have a 15 minute commute though.  I used to have a 45 min to an hour commute and would have to get up about 5:45am just to make it to work on time. 
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« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2007, 10:38:32 PM »

Quote from: Austin on January 12, 2007, 04:50:42 PM

How do people stay up and game until 2-3AM?  I guess if you don't have to be up, but I know people who do that and get up and go to jobs.  If I make it to 11:00PM, I'm just barely awake. 

I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.
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« Reply #20 on: January 18, 2007, 02:14:10 PM »

Quote from: Austin on January 12, 2007, 04:50:42 PM

How do people stay up and game until 2-3AM?  I guess if you don't have to be up, but I know people who do that and get up and go to jobs.  If I make it to 11:00PM, I'm just barely awake. 

It's because we're old now!

I actually get about 30 minutes in the morning before work (with my killer commute), 30 minutes at lunch, and then after QP Jr goes to bed anywhere from 6:30-8:00 (depending on napping) I can sometimes play for the evening (unless I am watching shows or something with my wife). 

Also in a new development, I've been playing Assault Heroes with QP Jr (he's 3).  Kind of makes things a bit challenging (the last level escape is just not possible as I can't coax him to keep running)  But it's fun for us for twenty minutes or so anyways.

And Tuesday they go away for 2 weeks, so other than some business trips and work, I'll actually have more gaming time then I want I think smile
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« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2007, 02:10:01 PM »

Quote from: Austin on January 12, 2007, 04:50:42 PM

How do people stay up and game until 2-3AM?  I guess if you don't have to be up, but I know people who do that and get up and go to jobs.  If I make it to 11:00PM, I'm just barely awake. 

Same here. I used to be able to stay up until 2-3AM no problem and play games....but that was before I was married and had kids. Now I am beat when I get home from work, then I spend time with the kids and wife. Once my kids go to bed, there is a window of time that I have to game, usually about 2-3 hours a night. There is no way though that I can stay up past 11 and be a functional person the next day for work.

Weekends though, well that is a different story....   icon_smile
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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2007, 07:07:10 PM »

Heck, I can't even stay up that late on weekends.  When my body is ready to shut down, there's not much I can do to stop it.  Ask they Friday night GoW crew.  I pass out in between matches sometimes.
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« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2007, 06:33:32 PM »

Well 1 more weekend of bacheloring it, I have gamed quote a bit (the family comes back on Tues.), but I've also ended up watching slightly more TV then usual.  But what seems to keep sucking me in and making me stay up late is the book I've been reading, been awhile, mainly because I tend to go to sleep when my wife does, but I think even if she was here I'd still be reading away.  (it's Assassin's Quest, third in a series)
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« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2007, 06:44:49 PM »

Quote from: QP on February 02, 2007, 06:33:32 PM

But what seems to keep sucking me in and making me stay up late is the book I've been reading, been awhile, mainly because I tend to go to sleep when my wife does, but I think even if she was here I'd still be reading away.  (it's Assassin's Quest, third in a series)

Robin Hobb is quite awesome. 
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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2007, 06:02:09 PM »

Ever since the FDA banned ephedrine, my gaming time has been reduced drastically.
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« Reply #26 on: April 03, 2007, 02:57:46 PM »

Well, I could suggest you get Hep C, spinal stenosis, and have been born a Hemophiliac..that would ensure you being home alone most of the day with nothing but time on your hands.........But then again..........I wouldn't wish it on my worse enemy.

But I am thankful for gaming.......It was introduced to me when I was hit with my disabilities and has been a time-filling, sanity-saving hobby.

Wife is in school till August...3 kids mostly grown....22, 20,18. All at home still though...I love it.
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