Gamers! With Jobs!

"Gamers with Jobs?"

Paul’s one of the Coffee Shop Mafia, a breed of Nonfat-Decaf-Latte kakhi that accumulates in the corners of "Sanctuary," the upscale caffeine station where I write 6 hours a day.

"Yeah, it’s a website I write for. Kind of a writers room for gamers with a community inside," I explain, failing.

He’s genuinely perplexed. "But don’t all gamers kind of have jobs unless they’re kids?"

I pause. "I guess you’re right. I didn’t name it, but I’ve always kind of figured it had two exclamation points. You know. Gamers! With Jobs!"

Paul goes back to his vague Italian beverage and his New York Times crossword puzzle. I go back under the chair-and-blanket kindergarten tent of the Internet.

So what distinguishes a gamer who has a job from Gamers! With Jobs!?

In a word: November

November 15th, 2008

1:20: Three hours of grinding in World of WarCraft has yielded me just one more level. But I’ve introduced Becca and Sway, I scored two good pieces of armor and I’m never going to have to back to StrangleThorn Vale again. Lamictal. Benadryl. Water. Sleep.

5:30: Wake up in cold sweat. Zombies. Shotgun out of ammo. Meditate to get back to sleep (Pon Pon Pata Pon).

7:15: Wake up in cold sweat. 4 year-old sitting on head.

7:17: Child ejected. iPhone. Twitter. FaceBook. Email.

7:25: Smell pits. Mental calculus. Shower. Dress.

7:35: Kids fed.

7:47: “Dad, I know the answer is probably no. But can we play just one level of Lego Indiana Jones before school?”

7:48: “No.”

8:00: Drop disappointed and sullen children at peace-making non-violent Montessori school.

8:02: Read back issue of Edge in the car. Can't wait to see the way they do the blood in Mad World. Looks just like Frank Miller.

8:15: Jessica and I check in to our table at Sanctuary. Coffee. Breakfast Burrito. One hour of intense reconnection begins: emails to clients, research, blogs, twitter, websites. A little writing.

9:00: Becca joins us. Work stops. We talk about WoW. My wife shakes her head regularly in disgust as she pores through page after page of edits.

9:15: I reconfigure Becca’s WoW client so she can manage her pet better.

9:45: I had to test it out. Really. It’s the only way to be sure. And you can’t test it out without actually, you know, killing things.

9:45 – 12:30: Sacred Writing Time. Ashley, our ever attendant and well-tipped waitress, refills coffee silently. During bathroom breaks, I sneak off to play GalCon. It's not like I can keep writing in that little tiny tile room.

12:30: John comes in for lunch, which makes four writers and four Macs at our small stool-height table. No room for plates. Lunch conversation centers on LittleBigPlanet, which I have recently convinced John to buy, after convincing him to buy a PS3 so he could play Rock Band. John's says "I'm not a gamer, dude, but man, LBP is cool." Inwardly, I do my best Dr. Horrible laugh. Practice. Practice.

1:00—3:00: Sacred Writing Time. Decaf.

3:15: Jessica drops me home from the coffee shop, and heads back out to pick up the kids for their overscheduled afternoon.

3:16: The PS3 is looking at me. I can hear it breathing. I can smell its black plastic miasma choking the productivity out of my sleep deprived ganglia. I resist, banishing myself to the basement.

4:00: An intense bout of productivity in the quiet of an empty house. Childhood smells mix with the caffeinated mustiness of the basement in a brew of creative, impulse-denial amphetamines. Seven hundred and fifty good words in 45 minutes.

4:45: Ammo management in Fallout 3 is a pain in the ass.

5:00: Ammo management in Left 4 Dead is awesome. Bottomless pistols are the best idea since the bottomless coffee at Sanctuary.

5:01: Must not think about bottomless chaps if I feel like eating. Ever.

5:10: Kids return home. Sacred Family Time begins.

6:00: “Yes, Jessica, playing LittleBigPlanet with Todd in San Francisco counts as sacred family time if I have the kids on the couch with me. Sackboy wrestling does not count as violence.”

6:15: Sackboy wrestling is pretty violent. Especially since Todd has a sword.

6:45: Article topic: “Montessori Pedagogy And Piaget’s Stages Of Cognitive Development In The Generative Play Of LittleBigPlanet.”

6:46: Salable article topic: “How To Make A Penis Level In LittleBigPlanet.”

6:47: Thinking about gin.

7:30: Kids asleep, I realize how much work I didn’t get done. I write, email, take notes, and edit.

10:00: Feeling like I’m almost done, I fire up World of Warcraft and get in cue. Make martini.

10:30: Done writing. 30 minutes left in cue.

11:15: Out of cue. I shut down the Xbox 360. Gears of War 2 is way more awesomer than i thought it would be.

1:00: Bleary eyed, I stumble upstairs. Before turning the light off in the kitchen, I check the pile of mail on the counter. DeadSpace has arrived from Cory in Seattle. Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise finally showed up from Gamefly.

November 15th was a light day. It was a day where I managed to find some semblance of balance between getting paid and getting play. Throughout most of the year, gaming is distraction and entertainment. November separates the proverbial patriarchs from their upstart offspring. In November, the Gamer! and the With Job! blur. I spend my ill-defined work hours thinking, talking and writing about games. And the time I'm playing games become a form of work - a struggle to keep up no less frenetic than that of the clock-manager in Metropolis.

Looking at DeadSpace and Viva Pinata on the counter, I console myself with the thought that there's always tomorrow.

Except, as the clockwork daemon on my shoulder reminds me with manic certainty, it already is.

Comments

Jerks. All jerks.

Nyles wrote:
Ah, that's the secret. Being well rested.

When rabbit was a kid, the year was 220 days long. Gamers these days don't know how good they've got it!

Now that I've started working in earnest (mostly), I find gaming time to be very, very scarce. I'm good with an hour or so of gaming every now and then. Really makes me appreciate the time I get, though it does somewhat feel like I could be using it more wisely.

Additionally, the bigwordthinking about LBP and Piaget really struck home with me. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one out there academicalizing the trivialities of my life

Aw, snap!

Academicalizing is a useful coping mechanism ... but it isn't a real word. Get 'im wordsmythe!

Heh old people are funny....

Nyles wrote:
Aw, snap!

Academicalizing is a useful coping mechanism ... but it isn't a real word. Get 'im wordsmythe!

His shame shall be his punishment.

heavyfeul wrote:
For me a "Gamer with a Job" is someone who doesn't have enough time to play as many, and as much, videogames as they want. I have fantasies about not having a job or family and being able to sit around all day, slightly inebriated, gorging myself on pizza, Chinese food, and videogames.

That, my friend, is what mental health days are for!

ApplepieChamploo wrote:
beeporama wrote:
My take on "Gamers With Jobs" is that we've transitioned from not having enough money for the games we want to play to not having enough time for the games we want to play.

Indeed. I'd probably go as far as saying I'm an "Employee! With Games!".

Well said sir!! I wonder how many 'Employees' called in sick or late because of Wrath of the Lich King? As for me I was late today because I was in a protracted fight with some supermutants in the Capital Wasteland of Fallout 3. I am first a gamer and second an employee.

I want to be well-rested.

wordsmythe wrote:
Nyles wrote:
Aw, snap!

Academicalizing is a useful coping mechanism ... but it isn't a real word. Get 'im wordsmythe!

His shame shall be his punishment.

And once again, I've failed to get a bunch of writers into a fight. Maybe I can instigate a fight among a bunch of sexy girls in skimpy outfits. *sigh* That would be sort of entertaining, I guess.

I want to say Gamers with Jobs like rabbit, but I don't think I could without throwing some Jazz Hands.

The gametrailers' forums are filled with people flaming about whether the PS3/X360/Wii is worthless; the gamerswithjobs' forums are filled with people criticizing about whether "cue" can be used instead of "queue". Isn't it nice to be a grown-up, more reasonable and rational than you were in your teens?

I always thought that "Gamers With Jobs" was a way of saying "a**hats not welcome!" It certainly seems to work remarkably well, though it did let me slip past the filters.

After reading this article, however, I think I have to take a look at my membership on this site. If Mr. Murdoch-- who never met a game he couldn't not finish-- plays that much in a day, then how the heck am I a gamer?

I am ashamed.

interstate78 wrote:
I've intentionally put aside Resistance 2, Dead Space, Fable 2, Brothers in Arms: HH and LBP for now because I just can't find the time.

*sniffles*

Quit whining. You know darned well that you would have had more time for those other games if you hadn't bothered with Resistance 2.

Beeporama wrote:
My take on "Gamers With Jobs" is that we've transitioned from not having enough money for the games we want to play to not having enough time for the games we want to play

Yeah. indeed. the hardest part, besides paying for all those games, is finding time to play them. I am torn between WAR, Gears 2, Fallout 3 and my NHL 09 league at the moment.

I've intentionally put aside Resistance 2, Dead Space, Fable 2, Brothers in Arms: HH and LBP for now because I just can't find the time.

*sniffles*

EDIT: hmm I also feel I must specify I have a girlfriend. how about that, ''Gamers in couple'' ?

wordsmythe wrote:
interstate78 wrote:
I've intentionally put aside Resistance 2, Dead Space, Fable 2, Brothers in Arms: HH and LBP for now because I just can't find the time.

*sniffles*

Quit whining. You know darned well that you would have had more time for those other games if you hadn't bothered with Resistance 2. :P

''bothered'' is a bit of a strong word. I haven't even put it in the PS3 yet-- I lent it to a friend. I had pre-ordered the collector's edition months ago and since they're hard to come by I bought it knowing I couldn't play it for weeks.

whining? I'm depressed about my free time, not my gaming options, and that I have a right to whine about!

interstate78 wrote:
wordsmythe wrote:
interstate78 wrote:
I've intentionally put aside Resistance 2, Dead Space, Fable 2, Brothers in Arms: HH and LBP for now because I just can't find the time.

*sniffles*

Quit whining. You know darned well that you would have had more time for those other games if you hadn't bothered with Resistance 2. :P

''bothered'' is a bit of a strong word. I haven't even put it in the PS3 yet-- I lent it to a friend. I had pre-ordered the collector's edition months ago and since they're hard to come by I bought it knowing I couldn't play it for weeks.

whining? I'm depressed about my free time, not my gaming options, and that I have a right to whine about!

Don't mind me, I'm just a PS3 outsider who just read a review characterizing Resistance 2 as a game that punishes you for playing.

Keithustus wrote:
The gametrailers' forums are filled with people flaming about whether the PS3/X360/Wii is worthless; the gamerswithjobs' forums are filled with people criticizing about whether "cue" can be used instead of "queue". Isn't it nice to be a grown-up, more reasonable and rational than you were in your teens?

Actually, getting into fights about "cue" over "queue" sums up my boring high school life pretty well. It's a miracle I have children.

booty wrote:
Actually, getting into fights about "cue" over "queue" sums up my boring high school life pretty well. It's a miracle I have children.

Quote of the month!

rabbit wrote:
Salable article topic: “How To Make A Penis Levels In LittleBigPlanet.”

Not to be confused with "How To Make A Dick Level In World of Warcraft," which is an entirely different article.

Wait, why am I reading the forums when there are zombies waiting to be dispatched? Must be bad time management skills. And as we are demonstrating, this is a bad time of year to have that problem.

I enjoyed this article.

LobsterMobster wrote:
I always thought "With Jobs" was a clever way of saying "Who Aren't Kids."

Ditto.

I'm gonna go ahead and guess that a 15 year old with a part time job at the local super market doesn't count as a "gamer! with a job!"?

You send your kids to school on a Saturday?

Purple_Haze wrote:
I'm gonna go ahead and guess that a 15 year old with a part time job at the local super market doesn't count as a "gamer! with a job!"?

If he's not a frothing smackmonkey, can hit the broad side of a barn from the inside, and isn't afraid of words like "tacit" or "Brobdignagian".

As far as the root conversation goes, I think Beep pretty much hit it for me. My telling factor is time to play, and lately it's been telling me to kiss off. I finally got to play a little Gears 2 with my son last night (which I will keep offline for now due to EXTREME levels of humiliating suckitude), and he had to open the box to put it in. I had to hide Valkyria Chronicles from myself because I don't think I have the self control not to do stupid things to my schedule to play it. I've got eight games in a stack on the coffee table, among them Fable 2, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, the aforementioned jRPG crack pipe. Top that off with the three more I just picked up today (Left for Dead, Nartuto: Broken Bond, and Need for Speed: Undercover). Still got Persona 4, Prince of Persia, and something else I can't remember off the top of my head to come here in the next few weeks. That list doesn't touch the ones that I'm not done with yet.

On top of all that I have that pesky job-thingy, a Thanksgiving dinner to plan, my daughter's importunate boyfriend to murder, and Guilder to frame for it. I'm swamped.

There are days when you just want to say, "Screw all of this. I'm going to plug in Coltrane and play Bejeweled until the world gets it's sh*t together." But you don't. For one thing, my son still thinks cover is only for secret agents and in the bowels of the Burrow that will flat get you killed.

Beautiful and enlightening as always, rabbit.

Montessori Pedagogy And Piaget’s Stages Of Cognitive Development In The Generative Play Of LittleBigPlanet

Write it and I'll buy it! (How're you going to get Piaget in there?)

MacBrave wrote:
You send your kids to school on a Saturday?

This is a very good point. Who goes to school on a Saturday?

stupidhaiku wrote:

Write it and I'll buy it! (How're you going to get Piaget in there?)

Schema theory and the acquisition/accommodation of skills as they relate to object interaction in LBP, possibly with a side-focus on motor skill development.

At least, that's how I'd do it.

Angry Ginger wrote:
LobsterMobster wrote:
I always thought "With Jobs" was a clever way of saying "Who Aren't Kids."

Ditto.

Seconded. Again. ("Thirded"?)

When I'd joined, I believed the "with jobs" in the name indicated that this community was: 1) filled with people that had responsibilities and competing priorities for their time, be it jobs, kids, or a spouse, so they wanted to maximize their limited 'game time' by avoiding substandard titles, and 2) approached games from a balanced and mature perspective that you'd expect from a person that has a job, kids, a spouse, etc.

...How very very wrong I was.

beeporama wrote:
My take on "Gamers With Jobs" is that we've transitioned from not having enough money for the games we want to play to not having enough time for the games we want to play.

Well that's me in a nutshell. Oh and now I have kids I don't have the money either. Gamers with Jobs, Kids and/or Budgetary issues!

Spaz wrote:
stupidhaiku wrote:

Write it and I'll buy it! (How're you going to get Piaget in there?)

Schema theory and the acquisition/accommodation of skills as they relate to object interaction in LBP, possibly with a side-focus on motor skill development.

At least, that's how I'd do it.

And that's how you bring it, people.