Weekend Reading: Time management and gaming

Work or games? That’s the question that’s been plaguing me this week since I picked up Super Paper Mario on Tuesday, knowing full well that I have a paper due in a week, several articles for Destructoid and Japanator, and the day to day work of my regular classes. So what did I do? I furiosly wrote 2/3 of my paper in one night, and then have been blowing it off up until yesterday for Super Paper Mario. Classwork and readings? Bah. I can do that a half hour before class starts.

So yeah, I suck at time management. This week, I probed the rest of the writers here to see how they balanced their gaming habits with the rest of their lives. I’d like to hear some stories from the rest of you readers to see if you are able to manage your time any better. Hopefully it’ll help me in getting more games beaten, instead of being stuck on Red Steel forever.

What I’ve come to find is that I have less and less time to spend playing console games. Things like Twilight Princess and Final Fantasy XII will continue to sit by the wayside until the summer months come and I have a chance to game more regularly. Unless I can blaze through a game, there’s a pretty good chance that it won’t get completed unless I’m forced to — like in the case of Viewtiful Joe the other week (Thanks, Necros, for getting me off my ass to beat that game).

So, how do the writers and I keep in touch with the gaming world? Well, one of the biggest helps has been the rise of awesome titles on handhelds. For me, playing through stuff like Lunar Knights of Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow while riding on the bus or waiting between classes is sometimes the only gaming I can get in. For a lot of us here, it seems like console games really only happen on the weekend.

Now, here’s the fun part: little tales and quotes about how we actually manage gaming with our life. First, let’s start with our Editor-in-Chief, Robert Summa:

Counter-Strike, StarCraft, and WarCraft ruled my college days. Those always came first before school work.

 This is certainly the attitude I wish I could have. Sometimes gaming really does have to become a priority, otherwise work can get truly overwhelming. Or, the game might just be that awesome. Several of the writers have attested to calling in sick to school or work to blast through a new game on launch day. I have some sort of moral complex against skipping classes for anything other than sickness or sleep. Niero, our Robot-in-Chief, is the worst offender out of us:

I’ve taken a self-granted 4-day weekends for most Final Fantasy games on the PS1/PS2, skipped school repeatedly when the SNES ones came out (I’d give my kingdom for a Kefka reprise) and probably use my DS more than any other console right now. I also remember being broke in 2003 and taking a week long vacation… and stayed home and finished Diablo 2. Good times, good times.

Getting work done really is an important thing — otherwise you won’t get paid or graduate. So, some of the writers gave their words of wisdom for what to do in a situation where you’ve got both work and a game to do.First, let’s hear from resident retro-whore, Aaron Linde:

Here’s how almost every day of my entire senior year of college has progressed: I play lots of games, I write for Destructoid, I sleep. If an assignment is due the following day — oh, likesay, today — I wake up buttcrack early and pound it out before class. This might sound like tomfoolery, but it’s worked so far; I haven’t failed any classes yet, and I’ve got a 3.8 GPA. If you work well under pressure, I highly recommend it. It’s education on the f***ing bleeding edge, like an episode of 24, but– you know, college.

Meanwhile, here’s Fronz’s strategy:

Just learn to deal with never sleeping and things start to get easier.

I really can’t speak from a workplace perspective about balancing gaming and work, but in terms of school things, here’s what I’ve started to do, and achieved some level of success: when I get an assignment, I just blaze through it as much as I possibly can in one night, and then game for a while. Sometimes the assignment is acutally complete, and I can have a free conscience for a week. Otherwise, I have a lot less work to do, and so I can put it off to the last minute…and end up being just like Aaron Linde.

So, what are your habits for mixing work and play, readers?

8BitBrian