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Times Up

i love gaming

By Sid MarkPublished 4 months ago 6 min read

I had originally intended to make what I’m about to say in this post a topic for conversation on the next episode of my new podcast, but I felt like it might feel better to get these words and thoughts out of my head and on to paper – or the closest thing to paper that I have. I feel like getting things off your chest feels differently, depending on the method in which you choose to do it.

Lately I have been feeling very overwhelmed. It started right around the time that the release date for Mists of Pandaria was confirmed. The officers of my guild had decided that they would like us, the raiders to be 90 ideally within a week, but for sure within two weeks of release. This coincides with the pre-release weekend for Return to Ravnica, a highly anticipated expansion of Magic the Gathering that I and many others are very excited about. Since I have come back to the game, I have made it to the last two pre-release weekends without fail. I had every intention of making this one, too, but with the race to hit level 90, I realized I may not be able to make it. This really bothered me.

Then my boyfriend and I decided to reconcile and start down the path of giving our relationship another shot. He lives in Chicago. One of the issues that came up during our initial break up was the fact that we weren’t spending enough time together. Back then we were seeing each other every other weekend, sometimes every third weekend, mostly due to his work schedule. When we agreed to give things another try, it came up in conversation that we may have to try stepping things up to every weekend or three weekends out of the month. This was something I was fine with at the time, but when combined with everything else that I have going on started to make me feel like I was suffocating.

So, let’s see. Three days a week raiding, plus Fridays for Friday Night Magic, plus my podcast, plus being a guest host on other people’s podcasts, plus finding time to socialize with my friends and to see my family, plus work 40+ hours a week, and have weekends to spend traveling for the occasional Magic tournament or other type of event, and manage to maintain a healthy relationship with my boyfriend. How am I supposed to juggle all of this?

Even the first two weeks of Mists seem incredibly daunting to me. The expansion comes out on September 25th, which is a Tuesday. I’m not going to burn a vacation day on launch day, for various reasons. I decided to take the one vacation day that I had available and use it on that Friday, instead. So starting on Tuesday, I will be coming home from work around 4:30, eating dinner, leveling from about 6pm to 11pm, going to bed, and then doing the same thing on Wednesday and Thursday. Friday through Sunday would be spent primarily leveling, most likely missing the Return to Ravnica pre-release, and then doing the same 6pm to 11pm grind every day the week after until I’m level 90. Then comes the grind for gear and rep, so that I can be raid ready. I’m exhausted just typing this.

Let’s say that I eliminate World of Warcraft from the equation. Admittedly, this clears up a lot of my week. Let’s say that I play only Magic and podcast, while posting occasionally. I’m already only playing Magic one day a week right now and that’s on Fridays. Every weekend that I spend with the boyfriend rules Friday Night Magic completely out. Typically I take the Amtrak to Chicago on Friday afternoons after work and I get down there around 7:30pm. Most Friday Night Magic events start well before then. I could start playing Magic Online and play during the week, but I’m leery about having to build an online card collection, in addition to an actual one. I also worry that playing Magic Online will simply become a substitute for World of Warcraft and I’ll find myself tethered to the computer again during the week. It would be like substituting one addiction or vice for another.

Then there is the issue of traveling. One of the things that excited me the most about getting back into Magic again was the opportunity to play in more large scale events across the country. I had originally intended to stick to states that were nearby, like Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois, etc. But I have been very fortunate to meet people in states that are a bit farther away from me that I could go visit and even crash with, too. I could visit Seattle if I wanted to, or Los Angeles, or even New York. The possibilities are endless. I can’t do those things if I have a boyfriend, or a boyfriend that my weekends are pretty much devoted to. Most of the Magic events I’m interested in take place on the weekends. How would I manage that?

I’m pretty sure this would be an issue, even if my boyfriend didn’t live an hour or so away from me. Even if I met a guy locally, what guy is going to be okay with a girlfriend who is essentially booked a minimum of three days out of the week (for a computer game, no less) and possibly an additional day or even a weekend (for a card game), and who spends most of her free time work writing and a podcast about said games, even when she isn’t playing them? Having all of this going on doesn’t necessarily make me serious girlfriend material. It all leads back to the inevitable feeling that I have that something has to go.

I talked about this a little bit with the boyfriend last night and he didn’t have too much to say about it. He is someone who was a hardcore gamer for a long time and made the switch to being extremely casual, to the point where he now only plays a handful of X-Box games and board games with friends from time to time. That was something he was glad to do. He was happy to give up the schedules and the responsibilities and to make other things in his life a priority. I’m not so sure that I’m at that point yet. I like my life the way that it is. I also like being able to do things to the level of satisfaction that I want to do them. I don’t want to do eight different things, just to say that I’m doing them. I want to do them and feel like I’m doing them well. I don’t feel like I can do that right now. Something is going to suffer. Something would have to suffer.

I really don’t know what to do. I don’t know how I can pull all of this off. I like where I’m at and I feel like I worked hard to get here. It would be one thing if I weren’t enjoying something anymore and I chose to walk away from it because I hated it. It would be one thing if something was being taken from me against my will, like Blizzard was no longer making expansions or Wizards stopped making Magic cards. I have so many things that I love to do and so many people that I love spending time with and seemingly not enough time to spend on everything. That doesn’t sit right with me. It feels like a cop out to say that’s why I would be giving up something.

It’s just like Moroes says, “Time… Never enough time.”

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Sid Mark

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