Putting In The Hours
Malcolm Gladwell once wrote that “Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness”. He was referring to a supposed scientific rule that, once someone commits ten thousand hours to a particular task, such as playing a sport or practising a craft, they will have become a master at it. Nobody that I am currently aware of has ever been able to give ten thousand hours to a video game, something which would require 2.5 hours a day of gaming every day for ten years and so, as of yet, there is no such thing as a so-called ‘master of gaming’.
Whether or not a master of video games could actually exist is impossible to tell, especially since I have no idea what that would actually mean, but it is possible to look instead at the next best thing – the currently ranked number one players in the world – and determine just how many hours it takes to achieve their levels of greatness. To do this, I’ve chosen three incredibly popular Xbox 360 games and looked at each one’s global leaderboards to find out who the current best in the world are and how much time they’ve put in to get there. The first game I looked at:
Release date: September 25, 2012
It’s been 141 days since the game’s release, which equates to around 3,384 hours. Current No.1 in the world: IIDandyMatri32
This gamer has played a total of 1,996 games in Fifa’s Seasons mode. Each Seasons match is played with six minutes in each half, which means a minimum of 12 minutes is played each game. IIDandyMatri32 has so far given at least 400 hours to Fifa 13, which is the same as playing 2.8 hours every day since Fifa 13’s release.
That’s roughly 11,376 hours, or 474 days,since the game was released on the Xbox 360. The game time is easier to measure, since Battlefield’s leaderboards track how long a player has been playing. Current No.1 in the world: Carlos Evil1
Carlos has played 153 days and 21 hours of Battlefield, which is about 3,693 hours of play time. This clocks him in at an average of playing just less than eight hours a day, each day, for 474 days. No slacking here.
Release date: November 6, 2012
Halo 4 doesn’t have a leaderboard inside the game so I used HaloTracker, filtering the leaderboards down to Slayer game types only. The game has been released now for 97 days, which is around 2,328 hours. Current no.1 in the world: tD We3zy
Infinity Slayer matches last for 12 minutes and Big Team Infinity Slayer matches last for 15 minutes. I used the match-length of normal Infinity Slayer, since it’s the more popular game type, so it’s more likely to have been played the most. We3zyhas currently played 2,186 games which, if we assume are all Infinity Slayer matches, means 437 hours has been sunk into Halo 4 (about 18 days straight). This is the same as gaming for 4.5 hours every single day since Halo 4’s release.
None of these gamers are even close to ten thousand hours, probably because only one of the mentioned games has even been out that long, so no ‘masters’ yet, but these statistics have shown us that to stand a chance of at least being ranked the best you need to be putting in some serious amounts of time. To be more precise, you need to be putting in somewhere near three hours a day on Fifa 13, eight hours a day on Battlefield 3 and around five hours a day on Halo 4.
There are many more games out there other than those I’ve mentioned that also manage to lure gamers into giving up literally weeks of their lives playing them. The reason a player chooses to do so will differ for each individual, but there are similar elements found in these games that seem to warrant their dedication. If we look at the games I’ve already mentioned, they all offer the chance to triumph against real players in an online competition, they all offer a sense of significant achievement through rankings and promotions and, perhaps most importantly, they all prove themselves to be just REALLY great games.
Please note: all information is as accurate as I’m able to manage at the time of writing.
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