Life is a struggle, more so for a gamer!
For anybody who is an employee and has to put in 9 to 5 every day, the struggle to play video game is real. From having little to no time, or having to do office work even at home at the expense of our personal time, the list of problems is endless. If only we were blessed with enough moolahs not to ever work again, but again that is not happening anytime soon. The biggest challenge with working is the fact you have to work, it is soul crushing and there is no point system after every task that we complete. The rush and adrenaline from video games should be present in the real world to help us push through challenges, on the contrary, we are burdened with projects and assignments that upon completion offers no reward. If that wasn’t enough, we are ridiculed for not watching the latest episode of game of thrones or missing the premiere of Spiderman: Homecoming when we talk about the new copy of a game that we just bought. Here are six struggles of an employed gamer.
1) You are considered anti-social
When an adult does not engages in hobbies like hitting the club, dating, drinking or eating out he/she is considered abnormal. Now add video gaming to the mix, you will be considered anti-social. What nobody realises is that we choose to play video games over partying and are not against partying. With growing polarisation of opinion, it is hard to remain balanced because you are either in favour of an opinion or completely against it, there is no in between. Time is a constraint especially for adult working gamers and we have all the more reason to play video games for the limited leisure time we get every day.
Now there are adults who watch series on Netflix and binge watch the entire season of sitcoms like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Suits etc by pulling an all-nighter, we are similar to them, only except watching multiple episodes we play single or many games, as we like. Well, no matter how often we justify that we love people, we would always be termed as misfits, so be it, and maybe all that bigotry did make us a little thick skinned. Although we aren’t anti-social and if you wish to label us as such despite our love for people, ignoring such an accusation is our best option.
2) Inadequate sleep and perpetual exhaustion
Video games are time investment and games like the witcher, Horizon Zero Dawn or Final fantasy have worlds of their own. A world that requires as much engagement and absorption as the real world. As a result, gamers live multiple lives and each of them is as big as the real world and it is not hard to imagine the responsibilities that rest on our shoulders. Hence when we commit to fulfil our duties in every world, we burden ourselves 2 to 3 times more than non-gamers which cause us to cut sleep and other downtimes.
Moreover, in order to complete a game we cut back 50% or more of our sleep so when we resume working the next day, we should have had completed a substantial number of quest in our games. At times due to the overwhelming amount of attention required to complete a quest, we forget to eat food and hence feel fatigued. We do exercise but virtually, we do eat only virtually and as a result, we are virtually refreshed but really exhausted. It is the story of our lives, especially those who have to get up early to attend to their pathetic employer. Yes only if we had truckloads of moolahs to sustain our gamer lifestyle.
3) Video game expenses form a major portion of our budget
Every Tier 1 white collar employed gamer has to choose between a glossy cell-phone with a bitten apple logo or a Nintendo Switch. For anyone who works as Tier 2 white collar employee or a blue collar employee, has to manage with a single console and make a budget on monthly game purchases. If there is a salary cut for leaves taken to play games, then choices become harsher to make. There are times where eating a double cheese chicken burger has to be sacrificed for the greater love of buying a game title.
Also, the frugality takes an unprecedented peak during those months when there are several game titles releasing in a month. The pain becomes exponential when due to lack of moolahs, several games have to be passed on the day of its release or in some cases when few have to be permanently overlooked. An alternate to this is to put the extra time to a part time job or a side hustle but then, doesn’t that defeat the purpose?
4) Commute is a waste of time unless….
Where most of the employees are frustrated by the wasted commute time, video gamers who own a mainstream portable game device rejoice at long travel time. With lots of portable hardcore video game device, we have the luxury of throwing ourselves immediately into playing video games while we commute. The time of commute is truly ours, it belongs to us, and we shall play as if there is no tomorrow. However, in populated countries where public transport is yet to be effective, playing while commuting may not be a choice. It becomes difficult, if not impossible to immerse in video games when your body is sandwiched by fellow passengers. Not to mention, the number of times you will have your feet stepped on by dumb brash assholes.
Other than that, for countries where public transport has evolved to become effective, pulling up your Nintendo switch or DS or PSP and playing undisturbed is not a distant dream unlike with countries having less than decent public transport. The ecstatic feel of getting a few extra hours to play video games is equivalent to winning a lottery. And besides, why would someone want to sit idle for an hour long commute when you have a chance to makes yourself happy by playing games.
5) A day off or holiday ends up in the game room
Like every other employee, video game employees are always excited in anticipation of the work offs on the weekend. The reason is always different for a gamer and a regular employee, a video gamer plans his weekend and allocates most, if not all of his time to playing video games. There may be additional plans such as cooking your favourite meal or stocking the choicest snacks, ultimately all of these are conjoined with pulling all-nighters with a controller in hand.
The joy and awesomeness intensify if there is a public holiday during the week, more so if it is the day before the weekend. Few gamers purchase a game before hand to whole heartedly immerse themselves into beating the game during the span of their work-offs.
Also, when the nation is busy celebrating Independence Day, we are playing The witcher, similarly during vacations and season offs, video gamers are playing Horizon Zero Dawn or Killzone shadow fall as witnessed during the release of Playstation 4 in the winters of 2013. Time is scarce for a job going video gamer and a serendipitous work-off is a messiah for time-strapped gamers.
6) Filtering video games before playing
I don’t know if this resonates with you, but due to less game hour, I had to put aside certain games which required a great deal of my time investment. This is one of the biggest sacrifices we make because games like The Witcher, Persona 5 etc which are the most defining games of our times have to be left incomplete. In such moment of despair, I really appreciate game developers who understand our condition and make games that provide a compelling storyline with lesser time investment than the popular counterparts.
On the other hand, there are certain games like Call of duty, Overwatch or Rainbow Six siege that offers highly engaging and satiating multiplayer battle grounds that require a minimal time investment. These games are equivalent to multi-bagger shares or companies stock that provide the highest return on minimal investments. In short, they offer a bang for the buck. However, these games make you lose your mind if their servers are rickety and in tatters. I get absolutely infuriated to the point of smashing the controller on the TV when games take not 5, 10 or 20 but 30 minutes to complete matchmaking. One such game is Rainbow Six Seige, which is fixed to a certain point by the release of Operation Health, which made me almost crack open the controller because of the painfully long wait time. I tend to avoid games with broken servers despite my love for the game title because the fucking time it takes to get started outplays the joy of playing them. I hope game developers understand our pain and get this shit sorted from next games onwards.
As I continue to grow older every year, responsibilities continue to rise as well and this is bound to increase with every passing hour. I wonder how my life will pan out 3 to 5 years from now and imagining lesser, if not any time for video games aches my heart. What do you guys think? Are you an employed video gamer? Do you think government should support video gamers by financing their life?