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Frank Hovis

How Much Time Do You Spend On Computer Games?

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The jury service one yesterday served to confirm my personal experience. Most people never get a sniff of it whilst others keep getting called. Which seems very odd.

This one is harder to set up as a poll so I have done my best as it needs to be relatively simple or people won't complete it. You will need to add your moans and addenda in a post.

My expectations are that there will be very few low / zero users and very few very high users but a lot who spend a surprising time playing. I have included a choice of game as I know somebody (woman aged about 60) who spends 4+ hours a day playing Windows solitaire, and just that. I mainly play Windows chess, though for a lot less time than that.

Age / gender inclusions would make the poll too complex so I've left these off.

I say average as I've recently got into Civilisation again (last two weeks) and have rapidly fallen out with it again. Chess is probably 1/2 hour a day so I count myself as a low user averaging well under 10 hours a week but certainly more than 2 hours. Since I bought a computer I have had phases of playing 15 hours a week (Civilisation, Championship Manager, Total War) and periods without a computer (probably 4 years, old ones broke and I didn't want a new one immediately) so again say under 10 hours, but not much under 10 hours.

I'm probably revealing my ignorance of a lot of these sort of things in my options of games played. I will amend these as required.

I was going to add another question so people could answer anonymously, but it won't let me add that so here it is, answer if you want:

Has playing games significantly adversely affected you: socially, professionally or physically?

I would say socially when I lived in big cities. I was only there for the work and didn't like living there so welcomed an opportunity not to go out. I did the sensible thing each time and left the city after a few years for somewhere I wanted to live and didn't have the need for games anymore. I may have missed out on a lot by doing this so my answer is yes - socially.

By all means add anecdotes:

Not computer game related but these days it could have been. Everybody on my small course at college (about 12 people) was up to see their finals result when it was posted. Congratulations / comiserations but everybody got 2.1 or 2.2 so nobody was that upset. Except.... at the bottom of the list with a third was... who's that? I didn't recognise her name, two people thought they had been on a few sessions with her but she didn't say much and they assumed she was a graduate student in another school taking a few extra lectures in and she didn't volunteer any information. This was a course where lectures were usually attended in single figures (that's all the people there were, no skiving) and everybody knew everybody. A prime lesson in doing a degree whilst taking zero part in the course or school and not knowing anybody. Instead of playing computer games it turned out she was an older (late 20s early 30s) single parent who, presumably because of this, hadn't had much time for the course and so took nothing from it socially or professionally. Waste of time doing it really.

Edit - for anybody who was very quick the third question wasn't multi-choice but is now.

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14 hour stints 5 days a week were not uncommon for me on Championship Manager back in the day between 1996 and 2003. Since then I've tended to play strategy games like Civilisation 2 and recently really got into Call Of Duty WaW and MW2.

I'm very busy in the week so I play for about 10 hours spread over the weekend mainly on MW2.

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Edit - for anybody who was very quick the third question wasn't multi-choice but is now.

I think the last question could do with a "none of these" option. I don't play any games at all, but it won't accept my vote unless I select something in the last question.

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I think the last question could do with a "none of these" option. I don't play any games at all, but it won't accept my vote unless I select something in the last question.

Done.

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Can occasionally get suckered into something for hours on end. Dwarf Fortress is the latest of these. Massively complicated (someone has apparently built a functional computer in it using levers, floodgates, gears and so on), text character graphics, can slow a very powerful computer to a crawl. Can also be surprisingly gruesome for something with next to no graphics.

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BC2 these days mostly.

An extra poll question would be how much do you spend on computer games and hardware in an average year....

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BC2 these days mostly.

An extra poll question would be how much do you spend on computer games and hardware in an average year....

No more questions were available or this would have been the mother of all polls.

Just mentally totted it up. Averages to a shade over £140 a year which is more than I would have guessed. Excluding ISP payment.

Bought two computers for full price, received one free from work and bought another one for £100 from work.

I accept that this is a pittance for a gamer.

Go on then, what is BC2?

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multiplayer games are the ones that will have the most longevity

i've played thousands of games of starcraft over the past 12 years or so but i won't play it for more than say 2 hours a week nowdays

most newer games just aren't that great , don't have the replay value.they spent so long coding the graphics they didn't have time to improve the gameplay.

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multiplayer games are the ones that will have the most longevity

i've played thousands of games of starcraft over the past 12 years or so but i won't play it for more than say 2 hours a week nowdays

most newer games just aren't that great , don't have the replay value.they spent so long coding the graphics they didn't have time to improve the gameplay.

That's why the aforementioned Dwarf Fortress is great. It doesn't bother with graphics at all. You just have to be happy putting up with the world's worst user interface and a vertical learning curve, and hope the guy developing it on his own doesn't drop dead or get bored and give up. It's also a game where all the fun comes from things going wrong (such as not bothering to label levers and then forgetting which one opens the drawbridge and which one pumps everything full of magma).

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I think the last question could do with a "none of these" option. I don't play any games at all, but it won't accept my vote unless I select something in the last question.

Ditto.... the minimal option of 2 hours a week...... wow..... My kids dont even play 2 hours a week. I dont play any computer games at all. I'd rather argue with Injin.......

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Battlefield Bad Company 2

Aye. And anyone getting by on £140 a year is running a pretty tight budget... specially for a gamer.

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I'd like to vote but can't because I have to manage my time so that I don't play games during working week - I'm not too good about switching off and going to bed. So I tend to uninstall (my self-discipline is crap) when I'm not supposed to be playing, then during holidays I re-install and play all night. :)

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My days played on "that ******ing game", was insane, I quit, again, in Feb. I'm never going back. Really.

But, I'm still a heavy user. Strategy and fps's mostly. Tend to be older games, and I'm playing Bioshock, Fear, Masseffect and Tropico at the moment. Cost about £15.

But what does one do with ones recreation time? TV is rubbish. Movies, well I've watched them all. Internet Pron, watched all of that as well. Decent sport is a distraction, but once the WC is over, what do we have. And after work, gym and class, who has the energy to do much else.

But I do tend to play, simply because I'm bored, if someone has a suggestion for a hobby that doesn't result in RSI, I'm all ears.

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My days played on "that ******ing game", was insane, I quit, again, in Feb. I'm never going back. Really.

But, I'm still a heavy user. Strategy and fps's mostly. Tend to be older games, and I'm playing Bioshock, Fear, Masseffect and Tropico at the moment. Cost about £15.

But what does one do with ones recreation time? TV is rubbish. Movies, well I've watched them all. Internet Pron, watched all of that as well. Decent sport is a distraction, but once the WC is over, what do we have. And after work, gym and class, who has the energy to do much else.

But I do tend to play, simply because I'm bored, if someone has a suggestion for a hobby that doesn't result in RSI, I'm all ears.

Knock on doors. Call it "Meet the neighbours". Once you've knocked on a couple of hundred I reckon that you'll have found someone that you vaguely have something in common with. I'm not talking from experience so let me know how you get on and whether society can be salvaged. ;)

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Knock on doors. Call it "Meet the neighbours". Once you've knocked on a couple of hundred I reckon that you'll have found someone that you vaguely have something in common with. I'm not talking from experience so let me know how you get on and whether society can be salvaged. ;)

I live in Essex.

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Self-confessed geek whom will happily spunk-away hours and hours on the Xbox unless reigned in by the wife. Last year's tally was disappointingly low due to the inconvenience of having a new born child. Thankfully he's down the pits 12 hours a day so my gaming life can pretty much resume its natural course. I'm sure if you conduct this poll next year i'll be able to boast a more respectable tally...

In fact, i'm such a sad b'stard that i've asked the missus to buy me a cheap laptop for my birthday next month simply to play Champ Man 01/02.

And porn.

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Self-confessed geek whom will happily spunk-away hours and hours on the Xbox unless reigned in by the wife. Last year's tally was disappointingly low due to the inconvenience of having a new born child. Thankfully he's down the pits 12 hours a day so my gaming life can pretty much resume its natural course. I'm sure if you conduct this poll next year i'll be able to boast a more respectable tally...

In fact, i'm such a sad b'stard that i've asked the missus to buy me a cheap laptop for my birthday next month simply to play Champ Man 01/02.

And porn.

CM never bettered 93/94 as far as I'm concerned. And it was 96 before I first played that. I think Robbie Fowler is the only player in it who still plays at all. I then tried 96/97 and then was rubbish despite the enhanced graphics and John Motson commentary.

I tried a Football Manager 2010 Demo this year, it was so slow and complex. Answering questions at press conferences and everything, and no quick play option. Odd how that game gets steadily worse.

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Ditto.

The password is 'OT' if I answer the door.

So OT is dominated by Essex and Edinburgh. What's going on there then?

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surely games are just a way of explaining why you are up half the night instead of in bed with the mrs, right?

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CM never bettered 93/94 as far as I'm concerned. And it was 96 before I first played that. I think Robbie Fowler is the only player in it who still plays at all. I then tried 96/97 and then was rubbish despite the enhanced graphics and John Motson commentary.

I tried a Football Manager 2010 Demo this year, it was so slow and complex. Answering questions at press conferences and everything, and no quick play option. Odd how that game gets steadily worse.

Ah right, I must have missed the boat by many years. 01/02 was my first and favourite although I agree that they have got consistently worse with each new season. A bit like Final Fantasy, everyone remembers their first and none will better that experience.

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So OT is dominated by Essex and Edinburgh. What's going on there then?

Well, given that OT is the home for social misfits, I wonder if there's a correlation?

There's a research grant going begging there.

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