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What's this casual gaming?

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This is a question I've been pondering real hard as of late. The question has taken me back trought the bysantine labyrinth of my own motivations for gaming in the first place. Why do I spend my time staring at the monitor and clicking away trought hours at an end?

The first most obvious answer would be, I guess, to have fun. But from what is this fun made of? Is gaming fun because it takes me out of my everyday surroundings into a wonderland where I can do stuff that would be impossible in the normal real life world? Does gaming give me a sense of accomplishment that the real world just can't deliver? Is fun hanging out with other like-minded gamers and sharing a laugh?

Take Battlefield 2142 for instance. It can pretty much deliver for everyone of these questions in a positive way. Neat little package that makes it possible to just hop in and have some casual fun without too much pre-planning. It gives you different surroundings compared to your real life haunts, being good in your role gives you a sense of accomplishment and in-game Voip or TS makes it possible to hang out with your buddies while capping the enemy team out. Is this fun then? Well, sure it is!

In multiplayer surrounding you can't really accomplish anything on your own. You will at least need some poor sod to be your target, goal, nemesis, whatever. Everyone probably knows that doing 1 on 1 fights is more fun than seeding with just standing around or just moving enough not to get kicked from a server for idling... This, of course, is even more fun when you can do with a buddy. You can even get a sense of accomplishmet if the buddy of yours is real tough guy to beat and you're able to pull it of on occasion. The settings for all of this can be a near future theatre of war, near history theatre of war or a funny ice cream land if that's what you and your buddy prefer (there's bound to be mod of this kind somewhere out there). This doesn't really sound too fun in the long run, even if it technically has all the same ingredients as the BF2142 example, now does it?

So is gaming casual, or even remotely fun, if you have to work to achieve even the most basic settings to be able play in a worthwhile way? Does anyone really have the time for this? This is the crux of this post. Where can I find time for this casual gaming? If I actually do, like the awesome BF2142 action the other week, does anyone else find the time for it in the same time? If no-one else is around my casual gaming time is in sense wasted, as I'm just waiting for someone else to pop in. If, against all odds, someone happens to be about, does he/she fancy on playing the same game as I do? This is getting #%&%%/ complicated to be called as casual gaming.

To solve this I thought of a master plan. Let's have these scheduled gamenights (tried this with the TG-SC too back in the day). Of course this wasn't my original idea by any means. Easy. Setup vote, decide on time/game/map/roles/funny paper hats and have at it! The irony is, of course, not being able to make it yourself to the gamenight you organised in the first place. Lol. This doesn't sound like a succesfull way to have some casual gaming time.

In the end it seems that, to be able to have some casual relaxing fun, there's a ton work I have to do first. And there are still no guarantees for success. Gives me a sad face it does.

This was one of those rant like blog posts. A couple of years back I could easily spend twenty to thirty hours a week on gaming, without any negative effects on my daily life. With those hours I could give a bit of my time for example seeding. Now there's no extra to give. I have tight schedules, where my gaming experience has to fit, as there really is no leeway, as I need to sleep too after all. Nowadays it seems that there isn't time for anything. It's all about writing, job hunting, getting back into shape after a long sick leave and whatnot. Real life (which is a complicated term in itself I think) in other words.

I could have used this time, that I used for writing, for some gaming...

I'd like to throw a question to the rest of you. Where do you find the time for this?

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  1. Medic's Avatar
    For me it's only from 9 pm GMT+1 to some late night/early morning time (blaming Jazy and a few americans mostly ). Other times are for the kids, wife and work. Free time is not written in stone though.
  2. FINArsi's Avatar
    Feels like I could have posted this almost from word to word. Im having time issues too and no time for seeding just wanna hop on for a game or two. Just keep putting up those votes Hablos its best way to organize a gamenight.
  3. MrMojay's Avatar
    I could play for an hour or 2 everyday but do not have the motivation to play anything, mainly because I am waiting for a game to come along that gets me excited and makes me "want" to play it just like 2142 did when it was filling up servers day and night.
  4. big-eye101's Avatar
    Where do I find time for gaming ... hmm ... interesting question that.

    I guess as long as I have done what I set out to do for the day, and nothing else (eg.: going to the pub with a friend) pops up, I turn on the PC. I may just be overly organised (I have been accused of that before), I lay out my day in my head and make sure to put a mental checkmark once a task is done.
    For example the other day looked something like this: after the morning routine I will work on my course work until I am hungry and then get some lunch. I had a meet up with a uni-friend scheduled at 3 PM and once I am home agian I will put about 1-2 hours into the grafix-design project and then will either watch some TV-series or do some gaming. Day over, bring on the next

    I think one of the key-feature here at S7 is that we don't care about how many hours someone spends in a game. It does not matter if you show up for a game every two nights or once every two months; you are still most welcome to join in when ever you have time and have some fun!

    ps.: sorry for reading this lovely blog this late ...
  5. Gromkara's Avatar
    oh dear lord... i guess sadly this question is easy to answer for me. this year i didn't find time for it at all. ok maybe 10-15 hours this year. the reason is, because of my mobile internet stick and all the connection problems which are coming along with that ****, i'm able to play online at the weekend only. but due to the fact that i'm a soldier and located far a away from home i see my girl only on weekend. so when you don't spent the weekend with your girl, when you a "weekend-relationship" you probably will no relationship at all when you do that several times. then you have your friends and family back home too and they would be glad to see you once in a while. then you have to subtract ten hours of driving, so your time at home is approximately from friday 5pm to sunday 7pm. so that ~50hrs. minus round about 16hrs of sleeping you have 34hrs left. then normaly i have to play handball so another 8hrs are gone. now you see it is problematic enough to spend time with friends and family when you have a girl because you have only 26hrs for yourself.

    i would love to get back into s7 more and to find more time to beeing a part of this awesome community, but it is pretty hard to manage...