Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Picture of a Casual Gamer

Being what I consider a casual gamer, which is something I reference during my posts here, I thought it would be a good idea to let you know how it applies to me.  First of all, I have time constraints.  Being a husband and a father, with ~2 hours of commuting each work day, I don’t have any time during the week to spend on playing games.  That means that I only have the opportunity to play games on Friday Night, Saturday and Sunday.  Secondly, even when I have the opportunity to play, I normally play only for a limited amount of time in one sitting.  There are exceptions, as you would expect.  Our month Pendragon campaign is an all day affair, but that is more because I have players driving in from afar and I want to make sure we have as much bang for the buck as we can get.

With all of this in mind, you can see why I don’t get involved in big, planned Raids or the like in video games.  Even in MMO’s, I tend to only play in PUG’s or with people I know outside of the game.  That makes it kind of hard to join a large Guild that would even be doing these kinds of things.  If there’s content that I can do regardless of when I’m on or how often, I like it, which is why I tend to solo the games that I play, even if multiplayer is available.  That is one of the aspects that I like about SW:TOR.  They actually designed the game so that you can have a full experience playing it solo rather than in a 25 character raid.  (That’s still not enough to make me pay for it, though.)

I don’t play many Pen and Paper RPG’s.  There is no such thing as a weekly gaming group in my life any more.  The closest I get is our monthly Pendragon game, or the odd occasion I’m able to get to the Adventure’s Dark & Deep playtest.  That’s why I try and make the most of any of the experiences that I have, even if it’s just having a good time with the players.  Yeah, it’s a little disappointing, but Real Life always trumps enjoyment.  Now, if some big company out there wants to pay me to playtest their games so that I can devote my time to that during the work week, I would be happy to talk to you.  (I have about as much chance of that happening as hitting the lottery.)

I have to say, though, that I am able to game, so it’s not completely gone from my life.  I am also lucky enough to be married to a woman who not only understands my enjoyment, but shares it.  One of my players in my Pendragon game is my wife, and she has been playing RPG’s longer than I’ve known her.  The fact that my 3 year old recently sat at our table during the game and demanded dice to play with leads me to believe that our family has a long gaming history ahead of us, and I’m perfectly fine if it’s only casually.

Now if you excuse me, I need to go buy my Powerball ticket.


  1. And remember you're always welcome and missed at the ADD games!

  2. My game-testing company is still in the "pie in the sky" stage. Though it appears I will have no trouble finding employees.

    Though, having done some beta testing for a board game once, I can tell you that serious game testing is *work*. And after a while pushing cardboard (or electrons since stuff like Vassal is used now), handling revisions, pushing cardboard, repeat you get tired of seeing the damn thing.

  3. Joe - I know, it's just tough to work into the schedule right now.

    Zeke - Yeah, I can see how you would get sick of a game day in/day out, but that's why you have to mix it up. Video games, board games, card games, RPG's, etc. ;)