Chew and Savour: Slow Video Games

Why would you not play video games for as long as possible? It seems reasonable to spend most of your time doing something you love. In fact, we could think of many reasons why one might play video games for hours on end. However, I prefer to play for a short period, having bursts of fun.

I play enjoy playing games more when I play for a short period, say an hour or so. I’m less likely to make mistakes if I’m not exhausted from clicking the same button over and over. I’m more alert when I haven’t been sitting and staring at a screen without a break. All of this means I do not get easily frustrated and give up. Instead, I can come back the next day to play for an hour and, sometimes, have just as much fun as the previous day.

Since I only play for an hour or so, I have so much time for the rest of my life. I have time to love and help and others, time to think about more than just myself. I have time to question things, to read and write, laugh and love. Oh how I love free time! I always try to set aside time for games and to ensure they do not consume everything else I do.

I will often reward myself after completing something important by playing a great game. Here, I chew into a game and savour it in all its richness. Too many bites over a long period leaves me stuffed and exhausted. The right amount of times leaves me full and happy. Then I go on to do everything else and look forward to the next time I can play again.

This chew-and-savour approach is tough — for both anteaters, who have no teeth, and humans. You know it can be tough to stop playing a game, to stop doing any activity you love. There will be moments of weakness because a good game can be hard to put down after an hour. Yet, this approach remains something to aim for as a gaming ideal.

Playing video games in shorts bursts could also save you money. I think this short play time certainly saves me cash. I don’t buy lots of new games, and there’s no need for me to buy because chewing and savouring encourages me to slowly finish each game.

Overall, I am happy to chew and savour my video games, to play them slowly and to play them for an hour or so. After all, there is much to do, I am more than just a gamer and you are too!

Do you play video games for short bursts of time or do you find yourself playing for hours on end?


Filed under Video Game Trends, Video Games I Play

17 responses to “Chew and Savour: Slow Video Games

  1. D

    Lately I’ve noticed that I simply choose shorter kind of games that can be finished in a couple of evenings (Passport Please, Dear Esther) since I know I might not have time to finish longer games and if a lot of time passes, it’s harder for me to ‘reconnect’ with the game. Or simply play online games that can’t be finished (Hearthstone, TF2).

    But the point you are making here is great, in this fast-paced world we should allow ourselves a luxury of not hurrying to much and thoroughly enjoy what we love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I know people often talk of “slow food” — taking the take time to cook your own meal and enjoy it. I thought that maybe there could be “slow games”; that is, taking our time to enjoy the game and not over indulge.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. For me it depends on the game, I’m currently playing Ratchet and Clank which I like to play in short one hour bursts as I struggle to maintain same level of enthusiasm with the game after an hour, even if it is a lot of fun. I’m also playing Overwatch a game I enjoy to spend more than an hour at a time on as I never seem to get bored playing it. My habits have changed though over years as time becomes more precious and the time I can dedicate to gaming lessens and therefore I am choosing “smaller” games and experienced rather than all engrossing goliaths such as Fallout 4

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the way I play has changed over the years. I have less time and “smaller” or “shorter” games do seem appealing to me. It helps that these shorter games are also excellent and a joy to play. I wouldn’t play them simply because they’re shorter.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Totally agree with you! Especially this: “Too many bites over a long period leaves me stuffed and exhausted.”

    I don’t understand the binge watching thing, and I don’t binge on games either. This is also probably why I like shorter, more linear games, rather than the 50-100+ open world genre.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I do a little of both. There are some games where it’s easy to play a little each day. It’s satisfying to take a break to play these kinds of games. Then there are compelling story games, sort of like visual novels or point-and-click/choose-your-own adventure games that hook me in hours on end. Like a good book, I can’t stop playing these until I beat it and see the conclusion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do a little of both too. But I find that I need some self control sometimes when I play a compelling story. Setting a rigid rule of playing for one hour helps me, when I don’t break the rule, for short and long games.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I typically play RPGs, so I find small bursts of fun to be impossible… I get too sucked into the story, and before I know it, hours have gone by! I do take your point about slowing down and experiencing things in a sound state of mind, though. I should really try to do that more often. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The Otaku Judge

    I play a lot of games so I tend to rush through them before a backlog builds up. I am however savoring Fire Emblem Revelations. I got to the last level and am now spending my time leveling up my characters/unlocking supports rather than defeating the final boss.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think one needs to rush if one wants to “stay on top” of all the latest games and play them as soon as possible. But my solution is to look at games critically to see if they suit my tastes. This solution helps me cut down on the deluge of games and gives me more time to play them slowly.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. lightningnightnova

    I use to play for longer periods of time when I was younger, and when I coincidentally had more free time. These days I play in short bursts. Too many other responsibilities in life…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey, this is a great post! I agree with the short burst approach – life’s too busy to invest 5-6 hours on the same game on a daily basis, though I’m guilty of dropping three or four hours at a time once I know all of my current responsibilities are fulfilled. Plus, it definitely helps with the budget too, since you spend more time on the games you love, rather than the ones you want to get.

    In terms of RPG’s, especially JRPG’s, I tend to play for an hour at a time or until I hit the next save point after that hour’s past. It does take a lot of will power to do, but it’s doable.

    ~Ryan from “Games with Coffee”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your experiences. I try to play for multiple hours only after I’ve finished all I need to do. Playing then becomes a reward.

      I also take care to play RPGs for about an hour. I find RPGs tend to have better stories, and it’s tempting to keep playing until I finish the story. Alas, I rarely have 40+ free hours of spare time. There’s not even enough time in the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: The Slow Games Movement – The House of Alexander

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