Author Topic: How do you feel about PC gaming?  (Read 3084 times)

undercover

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How do you feel about PC gaming?
« on: January 17, 2020, 05:26:19 PM »
Iíve been a lifelong PC gamer but recently started to think about how Iím spending my time and decided to get rid of my most recent build a few months ago. This was in part because I figured Iíd upgrade anyway and wanted to see what it would be like to live without it, and also because my nephew had a birthday and I contributed some parts to his new build.

Anyway, gaming was definitely what got me into learning or caring about technology and probably the result of everything Iíve done to an extent because it got me interested in all sorts of things like art, coding, design, etc. I just canít tell if Iím moved past that and the gaming part is no longer really serving me or if Iím giving up a passion I have for literally no reason other than to be stubbornly stoic or something.

The reason I ask is because I have a newer MacBook with external monitor that does everything I need a PC to do except game. I have a PS4 as well but I donít play it as often. I just prefer playing on a PC. It feels like home. I just thought getting rid of it would force me to be more social or learn and do more but it really hasnít.

I keep having a strong urge to rebuild and give myself permission to play/explore guilt-free. Part of the reason I sold/gave away as well is also because I kept feeling like I was wasting my time and should have been doing other things. But honestly thatís probably something I need to work on myself rather than flat out eliminating things I enjoy. Maybe Iíve answered my own question, just thought Iíd get some input.

I do think gaming ranks higher than passive TV watching, but maybe not above watching educational things that have history/science/engineering in them. I try to only own things that allow me to produce and not consume so yeah.

The money is not the issue. Itís more of a philosophical debate with myself.

Thoughts?

Valhalla

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 05:45:41 PM »
Agree with you 100%.

I used to play with Atari / Nintendo (spent a lot of time on Super Mario Bros / Legend of Zelda, etc) when growing up.

It got to a point where I asked myself where is this all going to?  Would it help me with a job? No.  Would it help find a girl? No.  Would it help me be healthier / more fit? No. 

For me it was an escape from the world and a way to pass idle time before the internet existed.  Now that the internet exists, and I have mostly free access to the world's most precious knowledge, in the form of online articles, blogs, social posts, videos, I can't fathom how I'd spend any precious time doing anything else with my free time.

I'm always striving to learn something, even if it's completely irrelevant at the time, it's still better than nothing.

I feel the same way about sports.  Most people have a massive addiction to sports, and pay a lot of money to watch it on TV or in person.  At the end of day it has little effect on their lives, other than a way to idle time in a social setting sometimes.  Most people won't even discuss this sacred cow, thinking there is nothing wrong with spending hundreds of hours per year passively watching sports.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 05:50:26 PM by Valhalla »

Malcat

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 06:13:47 PM »
You either want games in your life or you don't.
It really is that simple.

There's no rule that says that you aren't allowed to use time doing nothing particularly productive, and no, PC games are not above watching TV, it's all part of the same leisure distraction.

Do whatever you want with your leisure distraction time, play PC games, watch Toddlers and Tiaras, sit on a rocking chair and hum to yourself, read the Twilight trilogy, really, whatever activity floats your boat.

However, if gaming has become a compulsion, and you feel the drive to do it far longer than you would otherwise want to devote to mindless leisure distraction, then that's another matter.

Valhalla

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 06:16:37 PM »
Problem is games are highly addictive, so it's not simple as having it or not.  Like smoking, it is takes a ton of discipline to break away.  Most people do not have this discipline.  I'm inclined to use that discipline on other things, like going to the gym or doing some focused work, than try to waste willpower on this.

marty998

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2020, 09:28:13 PM »
Problem is games are highly addictive, so it's not simple as having it or not.  Like smoking, it is takes a ton of discipline to break away.  Most people do not have this discipline.  I'm inclined to use that discipline on other things, like going to the gym or doing some focused work, than try to waste willpower on this.

Games have always been addictive, but are now increasingly designed to be addictive.

I used to get obsessed with trying to beat games in every possible way, unlock every secret etc etc... in the end I realised that if a console is there, there's not going to be any moderation.

Even fucking minesweeper on hard mode I had to beat in the quickest time possible.

The worst games are the ones with no end. Where your character/account/city can keep growing forever. I like seeing big numbers, and I definitely don't like seeing numbers fall!

Keep me away from these sort of games and I'm a much happier person.

Retire-Canada

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 06:34:29 AM »
Thoughts?

I don't game. It seems like a waste of time to me and if I want to do something passive I'll read a book, surf the web or watch a TV show. That said I wouldn't tell someone else they shouldn't game as long as they:

1. enjoy it
2. are getting a reasonable amount of excercise
3. a reasonable amount of IRL social stimulation/interaction

Everyone needs a hobby where they can chill/relax. If gaming is yours that's cool. Just make sure it balances with the rest of your life in a healthy way.

I can imagine a sufficiently realistic VR gaming future that I'd play. If I can drop into LoTR and feel like I am really there and interact fully with my environment sign me up! That's intriguing to me in a way that controlling a character on my =TV with a game controller is not.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 10:07:13 AM by Retire-Canada »

Syonyk

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2020, 12:31:21 PM »
Games have always been addictive, but are now increasingly designed to be addictive.

Sadly, yes.  Mobile gaming has been mostly ruined by the "free to play" concept that's about building addictive, broken games that then encourage you just buy one packet of in-app-currency to get past that one point, and then the seal is broken, and you're in.  If they weren't broken, you wouldn't be frustrated enough to pay, and if they weren't addictive, you wouldn't care.  They're toxic games.

Unfortunately, even the once safe haven of "I paid for this, it'll be fine" is falling to this, with the various loot boxes and other gambling purchases in the games.

I used to PC game quite a bit, and I mostly don't anymore.  I do make an exception for Kerbal Space Program, but that's more "orbital physics sim" and "atmospheric flight sim" with some progression added, and it's very much what you want it to be.  I put that in a somewhat different category, though it's certainly gaming.

I just like my time spent not in front of a screen lately.  Two kids encourage that too.

Apeshifter

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2020, 02:59:39 PM »
I used to be really into PC gaming years ago. RTS games like Warcraft and StarCraft in particular were my favorites. But then I was introduced to tabletop wargaming, so things like LoTR, Warhammer 40K, Bolt Action and the likes.
I found they scratched my "gaming itch" but resonated more with me and my developing values in terms of having something to show for my efforts, and being far more social.

Collecting, building and painting the models I find really enjoyable (though I still struggle with the transition from being a perfectionist, to a "perfectionist that gets shit done" in regards to the painting part) plus the key hook for me was having something tangible to show for my efforts.

Miniature gaming can be as mustachian or anti-mustachian as you desire. Either flex your abilities to produce awesome scratch builds or go hog wild spending more on a pre-painted army than on a car it could be an interesting and satisfying ride if youíre not being fulfilled by PC gamingÖ

Noodle

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2020, 12:30:56 PM »
Your story reminds me a lot of what Cal Newport talks about in Digital Minimalism...that when people try to give up screens or social media and it doesn't work out, a lot of the time it's because they didn't put equal effort into finding other off-line things to do with their time. That's meant as an observation, not a personal criticism...we often talk about "retiring to something" here, not just retiring  "from" because I think it's very common to assume that as soon as we get rid of X, something better will just naturally fill the void.

So you did the first step, to eliminate something and see if you missed it. Exactly right...it's surprising sometimes the things that just become habit. Awhile back, after reading about digital minimalism, I hid Facebook and got rid of notifications on my personal email, and realized that I hardly noticed I was checking them a lot less. At another point, the older TV I had in my bedroom died and I was about to reflexively replace it when I thought, hey, how often do I watch TV in here, and could I just use my tablet instead? Turns out I never noticed it was gone.

So now you know that you do miss gaming. I think before you take it back up again, it might be worth it to mindfully see if there are other ways you'd like to use that time. Cal Newport is doing an Analog January with some specific goals about non-digital ways to spend your time. What if you tried that for a month or two, and then if at that point, you still miss gaming, take it up again with a clear conscience?

studentloanobliterator

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2020, 01:50:28 PM »
I'm a casual PC gamer. I used to be the type that would scour the great deals every time Steam had a sale. A couple things broke the spell for me.

First, I realized that my Steam library is massive, and yet I haven't played most of the games. Almost all of them were very cheap, probably part of a bundle, from one of Steam's periodic super sales. But I don't have time to get through all of these games, and I'm pretty sure most of them I don't even want to play. And yet I was still buying more games because they were on sale. It was the latte problem: Steam sales are so cheap that you forget how often you're buying.

Second, I realized that in addition to the first point, there really are only a few games that I really liked playing often. I love the story-based games and will get those, but I'm also a fan of the, well, game-based games. Stuff like Civilization, or other games I could play with people. And the magical thing about those types of games is, if the game is fun, it doesn't get old. We don't get a new edition of chess every year. So why do we feel this need to get the newest version of [insert game franchise here]? I happen to really like Civ 5, and found that after I bought 6 I still found 5 just as fun.

Third, I realized that the hardware is a racket. Higher numbers on graphics does not make me have more fun. It's pretty eye candy, and I love seeing people pushing the boundaries of technology and art, but am I really a happier gamer for having the latest-and-greatest hardware? Most games are just as fun on the lower graphics settings. (If they aren't, maybe that's a sign that it's a shit game and I've been fooled.)

Between these factors, I feel like it's easy to have a more "balanced" gaming diet. All in all, games aren't about grinding x hours per week; they're not about sinking boatloads of money into the most badass rig you can put together; they're about fun.

Khaetra

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2020, 03:12:30 PM »
I am an old gamer, meaning that my first system was an Atari 2600 and I was in my teens (I am over 50 now).  I still game, love it and always will.  I say do what makes you happy.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2020, 11:15:19 PM »
At various periods of my life, I spent an unhealthy amount of time playing video games. These days I limit my video game playing to only when I'm A) at the gym or B) commuting to work.

From my experiences, gaming offers a fantastic value in terms of the amount of entertainment received per dollar spent. Even factoring in the cost of hardware, it's still a good deal. When I mostly gave up on gaming and took up "productive" hobbies, the amount I spent on hobbies skyrocketed.

Ozstache

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2020, 03:16:41 AM »
Now that I am FIREd, I game more than I ever did for the simple reason that I love it and have as much time as I want to dedicate to it. I used to PC game exclusively but then bought a PS4 to play Horizon Zero Dawn. I then ended up loving how slick the UI is and how consistent the gaming experience is on a console that I gradually transitioned to PS4 gaming only and gave my gaming PC to my son. I probably play about 3-4 hours a day on average and don't see that changing any time soon.

LonerMatt

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2020, 02:48:46 PM »
I play DOTA 2 which, for those in the know, is not a game one can play casually. So I'm committing 2-3 hours most days just to tread water and stay mildly competitive.

js82

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2020, 04:39:24 PM »
There's no rule that says that you aren't allowed to use time doing nothing particularly productive, and no, PC games are not above watching TV, it's all part of the same leisure distraction.

I agree with the first part of this statement, but I disagree with the 2nd.  What gaming is or is not depends heavily on the game, and on how one chooses to approach it.

"Gaming" encompasses a broad spectrum of activity - this ranges from nearly-passive gaming that's a TV substitute like you describe, to something resembling an interactive novel(certain well-written RPG's), to sophisticated, intellectually intense competitions with a long steep learning curve.  Of course, there's a whole continuum of games(and gamers) that exist somewhere between these extremes.  Gaming is very much what you make of it.

That said, to the original poster I'd simply suggest being mindful about what you truly enjoy and not worry too much about the rest - after all, being mindful of how one spends on's time/money is the dominant theme of this community.

Ready2Save27

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #15 on: January 20, 2020, 05:51:32 PM »
I think PC gaming is fine if you find it fun. Personally, I love gaming (Nintendo mainly) and find it fun. Yes it does serve as a distraction from life sometimes, but it also is fun to overcome a challenging platforming section or to solve a tricky puzzle. I think it is about as useful as watching an educational video on history/engineering that doesnít apply to your daily life- games can teach you to think in new ways, persevere in difficult situations, and bond with people over a shared interest/experience. For context, Iím very early in my FIRE journey and work full time; my opinions may differ significantly if I were retired.

Phone games and other addictive games, on the other hand, donít have much value in my opinion. They are generally designed to be tedious and get money out of you. So Iíd say as long as you find games fun/meaningful, go ahead. But if it is addictive or not fun, do something you enjoy more!

Malcat

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #16 on: January 20, 2020, 06:03:36 PM »
There's no rule that says that you aren't allowed to use time doing nothing particularly productive, and no, PC games are not above watching TV, it's all part of the same leisure distraction.

I agree with the first part of this statement, but I disagree with the 2nd.  What gaming is or is not depends heavily on the game, and on how one chooses to approach it.

"Gaming" encompasses a broad spectrum of activity - this ranges from nearly-passive gaming that's a TV substitute like you describe, to something resembling an interactive novel(certain well-written RPG's), to sophisticated, intellectually intense competitions with a long steep learning curve.  Of course, there's a whole continuum of games(and gamers) that exist somewhere between these extremes.  Gaming is very much what you make of it.

That said, to the original poster I'd simply suggest being mindful about what you truly enjoy and not worry too much about the rest - after all, being mindful of how one spends on's time/money is the dominant theme of this community.

I know, I lived with video game developers in university.
No matter how immersive it is, I still consider it leisure.
Games are not fundamentally superior to television, some games are more engaging, and some shows are more enlightening/educational.

I really enjoyed the puzzles of Portal, and definitely consider it more enriching than watching Honey Boo Boo, but I'm going to get a lot more out of watching Planet Earth than playing Grand Theft Auto.


Ecky

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #17 on: January 20, 2020, 06:52:00 PM »
I used to be a huge PC gamer myself. I have some appreciation for its part in the development of my skills, interests and character, but I've largely outgrown it.

Where once I enjoyed spending hours playing Internet Spaceships, building spreadsheets and running numbers, making online friends, and paying monthly for the privilege, I now do things like modify my car for better fuel economy, optimize my home, fix things for myself and others, learn new skills that are employable/save me money/make me more useful to the world.

I won't say that I don't ever play games anymore - I spent a few weeks really lost in the new Zelda when it came out - but it isn't like it was. I'll go weeks without ever turning on my desktop.

Fish Sweet

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2020, 10:52:14 AM »
Funny enough, I used to be a heavy PC (& console) gamer and over the years really lost the spark.  Now I'm trying to get it back.

For me, it correlates with a desire to claw back my solo leisure time from the all-consuming benevolent altar of Productivity.  I did in fact learn and do and achieve and accomplish more in the last couple of years.  It was great!  I've also honed my drive to achieve and accomplish into a fine edge that cuts both ways.  I ended up cutting out a lot of leisure hobbies that I once enjoyed, because I felt that it was a waste of time.  I can no longer lose myself in the wilds of Skyrim without a niggling voice in my heads telling me that I'm still wasting my time, now go be productive!!!! and it's driving me to distraction and burnout.   Not so great.

There's a balance to be found in there (no duh), but I don't think it's in cold turkey cutting out an enjoyable leisure activity that's been a large part of your life.  IMO, people need leisure/entertainment/unproductive time to be their best and most productive selves.   If you feel like you're gaming too much and need to reset and re-establish its role in your life, or you're cutting back on your screen time to make room for activities that will help you grow (personally, professionally, etc.), then yes by all means, take a break, set limits, etc.  But some of that time you spent gaming should still be going into an equally enjoyable activity that you can lose yourself in.

J.R. Ewing

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2020, 09:55:52 AM »
I've got a pretty big video game itch.  I know I'm prone to getting caught up in a game and burning hundreds of hours.  I fully plan on deleting my Steam account before I retire.  If I don't, I know how early retirement will go. 

JLee

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #20 on: January 22, 2020, 09:59:21 AM »
Funny enough, I used to be a heavy PC (& console) gamer and over the years really lost the spark.  Now I'm trying to get it back.

For me, it correlates with a desire to claw back my solo leisure time from the all-consuming benevolent altar of Productivity.  I did in fact learn and do and achieve and accomplish more in the last couple of years.  It was great!  I've also honed my drive to achieve and accomplish into a fine edge that cuts both ways.  I ended up cutting out a lot of leisure hobbies that I once enjoyed, because I felt that it was a waste of time.  I can no longer lose myself in the wilds of Skyrim without a niggling voice in my heads telling me that I'm still wasting my time, now go be productive!!!! and it's driving me to distraction and burnout.   Not so great.

There's a balance to be found in there (no duh), but I don't think it's in cold turkey cutting out an enjoyable leisure activity that's been a large part of your life.  IMO, people need leisure/entertainment/unproductive time to be their best and most productive selves.   If you feel like you're gaming too much and need to reset and re-establish its role in your life, or you're cutting back on your screen time to make room for activities that will help you grow (personally, professionally, etc.), then yes by all means, take a break, set limits, etc.  But some of that time you spent gaming should still be going into an equally enjoyable activity that you can lose yourself in.

I lost the spark too - and then found it again with Elite: Dangerous.  It came back so hard that I am now very conscious of how much time I spend playing and I'm ensuring that I don't ignore other obligations that should have much higher priority.  It's all too easy to let it become an infinite time sink.

Stimpy

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2020, 11:10:49 AM »
So first off, it IS ok to play video games if you enjoy them.   I think that has pretty much already been stated here but I want to make it 100% clear.

2nd, If you want to give up gaming on a PC, which is 100% fine, you have to ask yourself what other interests you have that will fill that gap.  Cause if that is not there, the gap won't get filled and you will feel the need you seem to feel now.  That seems to be just the physiological nature of giving up something you've done for, what seems like forever.

From an other gamers perspective (I PC game, and have far too many consoles), I would say to do what you feel you need to do.  If that is to quit gaming on a PC, that MIGHT mean cold turkey and finding an alternative set of activities to do, or building a less expensive gaming rig and maybe adding in other activities to slowly occupy you time till you no longer feel the need to game.  If you really determine you just want to play games you actually don't need to build a new pc.  Macs do have more games then they did "back in the day", even some decent ones are appearing there now a days.  Look on steam, they often list the games that are ok to play on a Mac.   That little bit of gaming just might scratch you itch your getting and that might be all you need.   There are not as many as on Winblows, but I think you'll be surprised.

Droog

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2020, 02:35:50 PM »
I've found it useful (as others have pointed out) to first find an activity that I don't have enough time for, like, for example: learning to play guitar. Since Steam keeps track of your play time you can get a pretty good estimate of your video game time. You will need to find the answers to two questions:

1) How many hours a year do I spend playing computer games?
2) How many hours a year do I need to have enough time for my new activity?

To continue our example, If I want to have time to practice guitar for 30m a day, that's 3.5 hours/week or about 175 hours/year. I then look at the games I currently play and the games that I might want to play and estimate my play time. This is easier for story or puzzle games you can finish than it is for strategy or skill games where there's no real "ending" to your playing time. When you've figured out your time budget for games per year, (say it's 200 hours) then you can plan your game time budget  around that. It doesn't really matter how you do it; You could be very disciplined and give yourself a few "game nights" a week, but not play the rest of the week, or you could look at the estimated play time of games you're going to play that year and only buy enough games to fill 200 hours.

Like others I would strongly recommend abandoning free-to-play games and especially games that make money via ads as they tend to go on forever and also often rely on you playing X hours a day Y times each day in order to keep up. This puts the game in control of your gaming time rather that you being in control of your gaming time.

blingwrx

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Re: How do you feel about PC gaming?
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2020, 11:25:25 PM »
I grew up playing P.C. games since high school up until college and partly at the start of my career. I always knew it was a waste of time and addicting. I recalling spending every waking minute playing when I wasnít in school, sometimes even cut class just to play.Needless to say I didnít have a whole lot of friends on HS. It definitely isnít a healthy hobby physically and socially. At some point I did quit and told myself I should use my time more wisely and go out to hang out with my friends more and try to find a GF, also instead of playing games work on advancing my career or finding side hustles. It was definitely a good choice as I achieved most of the things I wanted with all the freed up time. Now I live by the mentality that If there isnít anything to gain from an activity just skip it.

I donít think you can really casually game with some online games which are never ending and require you to play a lot to be competitive and have the best stuff.

Now a days I really donít want to spend much time in front of the computer at all since my work has me on it all day already. My eyes are also getting bad and quite strained from 2 decades of being in front of a computer screen all day and night. Iíll definitely be reducing the computer time to a minimum once I FIRE and spending more time outdoors.