All The Time In The World

January first - the day for positive change. Off to a good start this year, let's see if it continues!

Unfortunately, as with most people scurrying around in the rat race, there’s either never enough time or what little time is afforded to us by our hectic lifestyles is undoubtedly squandered or ignored.

I recently made the decision to move to a four day week, given that most of my working day was spent helping clients to operate their own PCs or explaining how to set up email accounts on their systems – none of which are actually my responsibility, but somehow ended up being part of my job description that first time I spent time replying to a question which should actually have returned the response “Use Google”.  It is therefore my belief that, by becoming the “Inverse Yes Man”, I will be able to achieve a week’s worth of work in four days rather than starting my work at 6pm once everyone stops emailing and calling me.  That’s the idea, anyway.

It's quite incredible that eight or ten hours of each day can be spent telling people what Google could tell them if they bothered checking

Now that I have this luxury of an additional 24 hours at my disposal, I have another quandary on my hands – what to do with the time.

The answer should be relatively simple, being summarised with a short and snappy “everything you’ve not been able to do thus far, my friend”, and yet the more I think about what I could be doing, the more difficult it becomes to actually decide on a way forward.  So much so, that I now live in fear that my time will be swallowed up thinking about what to do with the time.  I know there’s an obscure Red Dwarf reference here, but I’m not aux fait enough with Red Dwarf and if I tried to cite it I would likely do it an injustice… therefore I’ll refrain.

The logical response, however, is that I should embark on a project to play through as many cellophane wrapped games as I possibly can before I do what I always do – become involved in one single game months, or years, after the buzz has died down and there’s nobody to enthuse with.  Out of the thirty or so original XBox games that I had, I only ever played Sims (briefly), Robot Wars, Jurassic Park Operation Genesis, Morrowind and maybe tried out a couple of driving games but the remainder still sat proudly, albeit radiating loneliness, on my shelf while I indulged myself in only a few titles.  The XBox 360 has been the same, with three years worth of back catalogue taking up more space as each month goes by and another new addition takes its place within the silent ranks while I concentrate on one title for months on end.

If I continue to buy games without playing them, I'll have to take driving lessons to get through the stockpiling

I’ve yet to play Assassin’s Creed even though all around I hear people boasting about their completion of Assassin’s Creed 2.  The same goes for Left4Dead, it’s one more game I’ve yet to even play a demo for while all my friends are taking part in multiplayer nights with the follow up.  That’s the problem with being what I’ve coined as a “selective gamer” – when the choice is between cuddling up to a familiar game or wading through unknown territory like The Hoff in the “alcohol free” aisle of ASDA, I tend to side with my old friends rather than taking the plunge with something new.

Having said that, I have a pretty damn decent list of “must play” games at the moment, some of which are PC based and the others are Xbox.  As soon as I’m done playing through Risen on the PC I’ll be deciding between Dragon Age: Origins, Divinity II: Ego Draconis, Borderlands, Brutal Legend and hopefully borrow Assassin’s Creed to give that one a shot.

On reflection… I’m looking forward to my four day week!

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  1. Garvaos says:

    How can you have such a back up of un-played games. I would kill for a back catalogue like that.

    Well I am currently playing through Boarderlands at the moment and I can safely say that is a must play, so give it a shot. Its a bit like Fallout but in my mind I think its better.

    Also give Brutal Legend a shot. What I have seen/played of it, it does take you by surprise. Not a generic hack and slash game in the slightest :)

  2. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    *points* it’s that Garvaos guy!

    My back catalogue is primarly down to two things – the first being that the games I play are very immersive and I play them until the entire map is uncovered… every pixel. Two Worlds was waiting to be completed for months but I didn’t want to go for the end (which does end the game) until every area of the map had been unfogged and every single item available had been picked up… every living creature killed etc. That means a game which may normally take 40 hours to complete may take 300 hours instead.

    The other reason is work schedules… when you get finished at midnight after working from 9am you really can’t even think about booting up the Xbox as it’d just be a massive blur. Way things are going though, I’ll be through that entire back catalogue in a week!!

  3. Pete Pete says:

    Dood…….. have we invented time yet? ;)

  4. Ben Ben says:

    Know the feeling all to well, and as such have installed a system into my brain that refused to allow me the bodily functions needed to purchase a new game until I was finished with my previous, it’s worked so far although some bugs were found in the system when I realised my card details were saved into my steam account over Christmas.

    “the first being that the games I play are very immersive and I play them until the entire map is uncovered… every pixel. ”

    Christ, you’ve got Dragon Age to come…

    Chuckled at the Hoff reference :)

  5. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    Please don’t tell me that Dragon Age’s map is going to eat away at my life!! When I decided to uncover the Two Worlds map (which is fogged until you uncover it a screen at a time) I had no idea that it would take me so long to do it. To this day I look at the map and wish I could get that last morsel of map from atop one of the mountain ranges but the coding just wouldn’t allow my character to get any higher on the terrain… and so it remains unfogged forever!

    I can’t WAIT to play Dragon Age, even opting for the PC version so I could enjoy it in full glorious detail. The GTX 295 is an incredible card and I really want to put it to the test :)

    That Hoff reference was a rewrite… originally it was Kerry Katona in a salad bar but I figured she got enough grief just for being her :D

  6. Ben Ben says:

    Dragon Age doesn’t have a fog of war, but you are still left with the feeling of “I NEED to check that last remote corner”. Games with fog of war are a bit dangerous for me, Civilization is notoriously bad for bringing out my exploring streak.

    Dragon Age was my game of the year, probably best RPG I’ve played for many a year :)

  7. Lorna Lorna says:

    I always end up spending all my free time trying to decide what to do with my free time :( Best thing to do is make a list and either pick something at random or give yourself 2 minutes of decision time…if you haven’t picked something to do, then it will be the first list item! Hyocrite? Why yes…yes I am.

  8. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    It just struck me that I’ve not even played Risen since I started chapter three just before the christmas break! I really need to get my finger out and get back to playing otherwise I’ll lose my flow. After that… I think it’ll be Borderlands, as I know Dragon Age will seduce me in and corrupt me for a very long time :)

  9. Tania Tania says:

    @ Ben: I agree, Dragon Age is awesome!

    @ Lon: If you know that you will choose the first thing on your list after 2 min, then surely you will spend ages deciding what to put in the top sopt of the list! Round and round… ;)

    @ Markuz: Nice piece. Gotta love the Hoff jokes :) Let D.A seduce you… you know you want to ;)

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