Computer Games: My Biggest Crux

October 24, 2008 Posted by Tyler Cruz
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The number one thing holding me back from putting in a lot of work hours is definitely my computer game addiction. Number two would be lethargy.

I simply love computer games… I always have. Now, while I can spend a lot of time gaming, I’m not quite as bad as some of the real hardcore players who play World of Warcraft 90-120 hours per week.

But even so, when I get into a game, it can be scary just how much time I spend playing it. I was into Starcraft for the longest time (ever since it came out in 1997), and it remains my favourite all-time game. I still love Starcraft, but snapped both my CD’s a few months ago because I was spending too much time playing and not enough time working.

I could just play all day, day after day and never get tired of it. Hell, I’ve been playing it for 11 years now so what does that tell you? A great computer game is just unbelievably fun for me. Anyone who is a gamer will know what I mean.

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Unfortunately, being both an Internet entrepreneur and a gamer can be extremely dangerous. When you work from home, for yourself, in a very casual manner like I do, it’s very difficult to balance between work and play. I love money – absolutely adore it, and I have high goals and expectations for myself, but even so, it’s difficult to force yourself to work when you could easily be gaming all day or taking a day trip somewhere.

I’m fortunate enough to where I could indeed only work 2-3 hours a week and basically make close to what I’m making now. The difference is that I wouldn’t be growing my businesses, I’d only be keeping them going; stagnant.

But when you’re spoiled like I am, it’s difficult to justify working when you could be playing instead. While I like to work and love my "job", I like gaming even more.

So, what I usually do is "work hard, play hard". I’ll play a game intensely for 2-6 weeks, working only around 14 hours a week, and then I’ll uninstall the game(s) and force myself to work. I give myself a strict rule of no movies, games, entertainment sites, etc., only allowing TV or reading as my basic entertainment. I keep this up until I meet a certain "work quota" I give myself.

Right now, my "penalty" is 60 work hours. That will take me about 10 days, I’m assuming. I’ve already done 9 of these 60 work hours, so I have 51 more to go before I’ll allow myself to play again.

I’ve used this system for a while now (as well as many other systems and formulas I use) and it works quite well. The nice part of it is that during these hyper-intensive "work weeks" I usually get a fair bit of productive work done because I’m focused on work and can concentrate better.

Then, when I’m finished, I reward myself with my computer games again.

Starcraft 2 was announced over a year ago by Blizzard, and while there is no ETA on the game yet, my guess is that it will be released in either spring or summer of 2009. When it does come out, watch out. You may not see a blog update from me for weeks or months ;)

I was absolutely crazy about Starcraft, so we’ll have to see if Starcraft 2 does the same for me. Hell, I even registered a bunch of domains for Starcraft2 including Starcraft2.net and SC2.net

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I used to also play a scary amount of online poker. Now, I only play online poker in short bursts (a whole lot of poker for 1-2 weeks, then absolutely none for 3-4 months). Playing in private home games in town here and going to a few casinos helped feed my appetite. Also, losing $3,000 in one hand playing $5-10NL at the private club in town helped as well :P

Lately, my game has been Team Fortress 2. I bought it close to 2 months ago and absolutely love it. I used to play TFC (Team Fortress Classic) back in the day a lot, so playing TF2 was like a welcome home party.

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When I got back from Vegas, I played so much TF2 I won’t bother how much time I spent on it. I uninstalled it (to reduce any temptation) a few days ago when I started my latest 60-work week quota/penalty, but before that I was playing it for many hours every day. That’s the main reason why you would see occasional lapses of 4-5 days of no new posts on my blog.

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For those familiar with the game, I only play Arena maps now, and usually only smaller games (Max 8-10 players). My favourite is 1v1 or 2v2 Arena. I like these games the best because when I play a game, I always want it to be based on skill. The larger games are just hectic and there’s not much skill involved or used.

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Oh, and my classes in order from favourite to least favourite are: scout, engineer, medic, pyro, sniper, soldier, heavy, spy, and demoman.

If any of you guys play, add me to Steam (username: Modulus) and we can play (Arena only! Maybe 2v2?) when I’m done my 60 work hours.

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Posted: October 24th, 2008 under Personal  

30 Responses to “Computer Games: My Biggest Crux”

  1. Girish says:

    Great post Tyler. This is exactly the kind of thing that I love reading, quite a welcome break after reading a dozen blogs about making money online.

    Even I’ve experienced the diversion of video games and I’ll surely implement your idea about a work “punishment” :D

    • Ryan McLean says:

      I also like reading the occasional personal post about mmo’s. I’ve heard of people who play World of Warcraft 10-15 hours a day. Thats just insane to me! I mean, you could make a lot of money in that time. Most can’t even pay their bills.

      • Mike Henry says:

        Back in the day, you could make money playing WoW. People used to sell gold on ebay or other sites like that. There are services where you can register as a guide and be paid to level up people.

  2. Clog Money says:

    Don’t you ever get bored of them? I can play a computer game for like an hour max then I’m bored. I guess I prefer interaction with people rather than sprites. But that could also be because I work as a computer programmer and that last thing I really want to do to relax is spend more time in front of a computer. Even if it disguised behind funky graphics and a flash chassis.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      It’s probably because I’m very selective about what I play. There’s only a handful of games I love/play. The majority of what’s out there is boring and lame to me, so when I do find a game I really enjoy playing, I tend to play a lot of it.

  3. Ryan says:

    Why not create a site about games, that way your game playing time can be research for posts!

  4. MLRebecca says:

    I really am not too familiar with these games, Tyler, but I am familiar with becoming absolutely obsessed with a game for a spell. I will play a new game, and do nothing, but play it. It definitely becomes a distraction. Kudos to you for cracking the CD’s for your favorite game. That couldn’t have been easy. You are disciplined and determined for even more success. Good for you!

  5. Mike Manfrin says:

    This is, too, my biggest problem. It’s so easy for me to finish a small bit of work and then go ‘Well, that was good, I’ll play a game for just a bit’, and then 2 hours go by.

    I’d recommend never, ever installing Civ 4, or even thinking of a game called Victoria: Revolutions. The latter has been the cause of 8 hour detours from work.

    Awful.

    Tyler, when we both get work done, we should play some fools. We could get a bloggers game going.

    • Tyler Cruz says:

      Too late; I’ve played the Civ series since Civ 1… in which a warrior could sometimes beat a battleship due to the horrible math/odds format they used for combat back then, lol.

      I played a lot of Civ4, but never got too carried away with it since I’ve always found the diplomacy options and strategy rather lacking. It’s a great game to play if you need to kill the entire day quickly though (if you’re waiting to go on a trip or something the next day, for example).

  6. Christien says:

    I was addicted to Warcraft 2 so much that I avoided Starcraft like the plague b/c I was scared I would flunk out of school. Do you remember a game from 1995 called Phantasmagoria? I was addicted to that too. I miss those original game story lines.

  7. Brendan says:

    Back in high school i was pretty into the socom series on PS2. Awesome games. I had over 1000 hours logged on my account. I mean thats a shit load of time playing the game. Granted i did leave it on sometimes. Me and friends used to all take our ps2’s and own tv’s to this kids house and just have 4 people sitting there playing in a room. It was sweet.

  8. Dan says:

    I have the same problem with warcraft3.

    I too resorted to snapping disks in order to get some work done. :-(

    Damn you Blizzard!

  9. Mike Huang says:

    Dang Tyler, when the heck did you buy SC2.net and Starcraft2.net ? I take it you took both of them a few years ago?

    As for TF2…I never got to try it even after the 3rd time they had a free weekend trial :( However, TF1 was amazingly fun. Unlike you, the BIGGER the server, the BETTER for me :) I remember playing COD with 64 total players and hell it was fun. Of course I needed a up to notch computer, video card, and internet connection, but it’s absolutely AMAZINGLY when you play with 64 players in Deathmatch :D

    -Mike

  10. Austin says:

    Hey Tyler,
    Arena maps I google it and nothing showed what is the link?

  11. soares says:

    I also use steam but in counter strike source im kamykaze

  12. As a gamer I gotta agree starcraft is the best but cant let it get in the way of affiliate marketing!

  13. I was into Star Wars Galaxies for about 3 years, funny thing is that game got me throguh a very tough time in my life. But with the stupid changes SOE has made to the game and the amount of people who have left the game, its just not the same.

    Sometimes I miss playing it alot and want to reinstall and activate my account. But to me I just had to let go. I may play it again sometime, maybe not. All I do is work online now which is fine with me, I am hooked on what I do.

  14. Melvin says:

    Being gamer is dangerous depending on what you are trying to achieve. For me I am playing games only for about 8-12 hours a month and besides I am a student yet so I just need to focus more on studies…

  15. Andrei Buiu says:

    Well, I had an addiction for Project Entropia – a MMORPG where you could buy things with real money and sell them for real money (10PED=1USD). So IF you looted something, you could sell it after and make real money. I’ve played it for like 2 years then I have to uninstall it because I wanted to get my high school diploma.

  16. My addiction as far as video games go is World of Warcraft. I’m not as bad as many others, but I used to play quite a bit. Now I just use the game as a reward for after I get all my income producing activities done.

    One of the benefits of taking the risk of being an entrepreneur and working at home for yourself IS that you can have some fun and play games. For example, if you make $5,000/month working 1 hour per day and then spend the next 12 hours playing a video game, and you’re happy with that lifestyle right now, who cares?

    How is that any worse than someone who works 12 hour days, comes home and doesn’t play any games at all and only makes $4,000/month?

    One day you’ll have more responsibilities, like kids and stuff and then you won’t have time for games, so why not indulge while you can?

    I don’t think you’ll ever see a person on their death-bed saying “Oh I wish I worked harder and had way less fun…”

  17. Dot Com Dud says:

    Haha. TF2 was my gaming addiction for awhile too, before that it was CSS and right now I’m going between COD4 and Lord of the Rings: Online. I figured this would be a problem when I had to choose between gaming and blogging so I set myself up dual-boot operating systems, one with the games and one for work, takes the temptation away because a few quick rounds can easily turn into a 4 hour gaming session!

  18. Zac Johnson says:

    I personally wasted so much time on World of Warcraft… though I haven’t played in almost a year now.

  19. satheesh says:

    hi……..

  20. Tyler Cruz says:

    Is it the wrong use?

    According to dictionary.com, ‘crux’ is a noun that is defined as “something that torments by its puzzling nature; a perplexing difficulty”.

    Does that not work in how I used it?

  21. That’s the great thing about making money online. It’s not just for English Majors.

    Pat O’Bryan talked about this in his “Portable Empire” book. He was saying that when you’re writing your content, it’s only important for people to know what you mean, not to have perfect grammar. Pat’s grammar/spelling is horrible and he said that his grammar teacher would be horrified to see his writing. However, Pat said that he also makes about 10-30x as much money per year as his grammar teacher so who’s really the “smart guy”?

    When I read that book it helped me to get over that fear of being judged for not having perfect English. I try not to make grammatical mistakes and re-read all my posts again before posting just to make sure everything makes sense, but sometimes I too make grammatical mistakes. It’s the only way to stop the avoidance behavior of being a perfectionists and to actually get something published.

    It’s a Blog, not a book. If Tyler ever writes a book, he can always hire an editor to fix all the grammatical mistakes. :)

PeerFly

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