Confessions of a College Gamer

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The transition into college life usually changes a young person’s daily routine. The ability to wake up later, not have the same classes everyday, and have complete control over their schedules give students a new sense of freedom in their lives. However, one of the most difficult things to learn is the skillful juggle between work and play. And by play, I’m literally referring to play – playing video games.

I have noticed during my first two semesters at college, that my time spent playing video games has drastically decreased. Yet, when I return home for breaks or long weekends, it becomes the focal point of my time. Why is that?

In high school, I was normally able to put aside a few hours during the academic week to play whatever lengthy game I was working on. Although it took me longer than some gamers to finish games, I would indeed complete them. Now flash forward to my first semester of college. Grand Theft Auto V came out during my first month at university. I played it frequently the first week I got it, then hardly touched it again afterwards. In fact, I played little to no video games until my long Thanksgiving weekend.

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The same occurred when I went back to school for a few weeks, and then when I returned home again for the lengthy winter break, I couldn’t put down my copy of Assasins’ Creed IV.

This behavior cannot be blamed exclusively on my college classes and work. While I had a substantial amount of things to do, I did find myself having quite a bit of time to do whatever I wanted as well.

Instead of reaching for that PlayStation controller, I would immediately grab for my laptop and watch anime on Crunchyroll or TV shows on Netflix. My brain was too tired and lazy to play a video game. It yearned to do something that required even less effort, such as simply viewing a video rather than actively playing it.

This weird phenomena has gone unnoticed to me until the spring semester started, and I noticed I hadn’t touched Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag in weeks. I had also been working on Pokémon X during winter break. I haven’t opened my 3DS since school started, but I’ve binge watched multiple anime and TV shows in the month that I have been back at school. As a matter of fact, I’ve had even more free time this semester compared to last, due to the nature of my class schedule.

Even though I have a PS4 in my dorm room, I still can't bring myself to play it often.
Even though I have a PS4 in my dorm room, I still can’t bring myself to play it often.

This behavior has led me to falling extremely behind in playing the latest games, and I often find myself worrying if I’ll ever catch up. While I have been gaming, I have yet to find myself completing a game since the summer.

While I still can’t completely explain why I do this, I think much of it comes from me being a typical lazy college kid that just wants to lay in bed all day with my arms wrapped securely around my laptop and coffee mug. I find myself not really wanting to play games, despite the fact that I actually DO really want to play something. It’s all a matter of my mindset. It feels like an extra effort that I don’t really want to engage myself in. Then, when I return home for breaks, I act on those cravings and play frequently to make up for my lost time back at school.

I can confidently say that I am not a very good college gamer.

Speaking of going home, I’ve never been more grateful that my school has a four month long summer break. I’ll be gaming ’til I drop.

Have any of you ever experienced something like this before? Discuss below!

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Gabby first delve into the world of gaming with Pokémon Red. Being a 90’s kid, it was practically predestined for her to discover the wonder of the Gameboy. From there on, Pokémon, Zelda, Mario, Kirby, and Sonic became the staples of her gaming diet. At the age of nine, she received her very first home console: the GameCube. She entered the world of JRPGs and simulation games such as Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. With the purchase of a PS3 in 2008, she began the third chapter in her gaming life, embracing RPGs such as Fallout and Mass Effect, action-adventures like inFamous, and even shooters. The well-rounded gamer is also an avid anime fan and devoted cosplayer, and has a fondness for film, writing, and photography that she hopes to take to the professional level after college.
  • I’ve felt the same way ever since I started college and working at the same time. It’s very difficult for me to find a good couple of hours to spend gaming until my heart is content. It’s almost kind of crazy! I feel the exact same way. I used to play a game for days, maybe even WEEKS! And now my work schedule will not even allow me to dive into a game like this anymore. 🙁 I miss the long summer breaks and period where I did not have to work and have all this responsibility to take care of. Ahh, hopefully it will get better soon. And hopefully you’ll be able to get some much needed gaming time soon. 😀 Good luck!

  • Come talk to me, we can talk about how many games we want to play…then never play them. Seriously, besides the game choices, you are totally like me right now…striving to finish something but not actually picking up the controller *sigh* first world gamer problems…On the plus side, I finally finished watching Sailor Moon Super S so that HAS to count for something right?… Right? XD

  • I’ve got some very bad news for you, Gabby. It only gets worst after college lol!

  • I’ve been feeling the same way for a while now; though my predicament was mostly caused by all of the unsavory business practices that plagued the latter half of the previous generation. 2014 might give my gaming life a boost, though. I’m interested in a good amount of the games dropping this year.

  • Girl, I feel you. XD My backlog just keeps growing, especially from the most recent generation. AP classes and then college really messed things up. Let’s just complain to each other about long distance relationships and backlogs forever. <3

  • I remember playing Final Fantasy XIII for a week straight with little sleep. But that was when I was only 14. 🙁

    Best of luck to you as well. ^___^

  • I have so many JRPGs to get through as well. There’s Tales of Xillia, Ni No Kuni, the new FF coming out, then a bunch of 3DS ones….It’s so awful. O__o

    I started watching the first season of Sailor Moon over winter break but haven’t gotten back into it in a while. xD I’ve watched all of Code Geass recently and finished Tiger & Bunny, and I’ve been keeping up with the 4 weekly shows I watch on Crunchyroll, so I’ve been doing pretty well with anime. 😛 I also finally started Fullmetal Alchemist recently too.

  • Nooooooo, please don’t say that. T___T

  • Oh, we need to have a little talk soon about long distance relationships. 😉

  • I definitely felt this transition. I found that it drastically changed my identity, as I really didn’t have enough time to be a real “gamer” like I was in High School. I had countless hours logged in many competitive AAA games and old RTS’s, and when I wasn’t doing that I was playing Magic: The Gathering and destroying. After I lived for a year with 4 classes and a part time job I found that I just couldn’t be my old self again. I found that RPG’s that took hours of investment really weren’t appealing anymore, and the ultra-competitive multiplayer FPS and RTS games just bummed me out because everyone else left me behind. I had friends who would just get 50-60% in all their courses and stay up until 3:00AM keeping their hours up, but I just couldn’t do that. It really caused a gap between some of my friends and I as I just wasn’t hanging out with them online and had nothing to talk about when we did.

    In the end, I gradually switched to games which could be played for a couple hours in between classes and an hour before bed, like Minecraft, Binding of Isaac, and all the older games I already knew. The lack of time and lack of funds for extracurricular hobbies has led me to lag behind as well. I rarely buy a new 60-70$ game unless it’s simultaneously recommended by 3 friends and Yahtzee. In the end though, I’m still a gamer, but the degree to which that term forms my identity has been drastically reduced, which I think is for the best.

  • I’ve found that in college I’ve made more time for gaming then I use to have. Now that being said I’m a horrible student and go twice a week XD. What happens with me is I get a new game, with doesn’t happen all the time but every game that catches my eye, so mostly JRPGs, I’ll buy them and really beat the hell out of it. Just spend all my time until I beat the game on the game. If I don’t manage to do that it ends up like my copy of DIsgaea d2 with is just waiting for me to dig into it. When no new games are coming around I can slow burn some other games like right now I’m beating Donkey Kong returns 3D and Super Princess peach but if I get a JRPG I think I bend time to play the games.