How Long Do You Play a Game?

lh_comic_book_guy_time_spentThe upcoming tenth anniversary of World of Warcraft has me thinking about the shelflife that games have with me. After the rampant glee of a return to Molten Core for a Perdition’s Blade subsided my next thought was “Holy F&*#, I’ve been playing this game for a long a$$ time!” I then proceeded to spend the next hour or so attempting to determine exactly how long that’s been. A limited stint during the final moments of The Burning Crusade and an even more limited attendance for the opening of Mists of Pandaria will put that mark around a solid seven years.

No, you can’t have my /played.

WoW, without a shadow of a doubt, is the game I’ve spent the most time in during my long gaming career. It’s the exception to the rule. For me, and most gamers, it’s often one game to the next. The AAA sequel, random indie success or super cool original IP, they all fall by the wayside within a few months normally.

That’s how it goes for me, for most games, but not for my brother. He spent years on Command and Conquer Red Alert. Followed that up with a shift to Diablo 2 and its expansion before moving to Warcraft 3. StarCraft 2 held his attention for some time, largely through eSports, before he, and many others, shifted to MOBAs; his battle of choice being DotA2. Between these titles he’s had a handful of monthly entries, mostly sports games. Me, well, I can’t hold a candle to his singular dedication. In fact, I found, neigh, find it a failing if I haven’t completed at least one game per month, in addition to maintaining an MMOG subscription.

There are very few games that have consumed my time outside WoW. Red Alert was also a love of mine, the first game that lasted on my PC for years. I mixed it in with Quake 2, later adding Quake III Arena to my repertoire. From there it was StarCraft into Blizzard’s other RTS Warcraft III. It’s been all WoW since. The list and times are so short that even SMITE, a game that’s not technically out yet, makes the cut at 2 years from those early closed beta days.

What type of games capitalize on your limited time for months to years?