How much time do you put into games?

How much time do you put into games?

Modern society is full of distractions and gaming is one of the best of them. While I might have wiled away the hours playing games as a child and arguably spent longer doing so, today there are so many more to play and they are often so much more affordable if you factor in Early Access and indie titles, that you can easily amass a collection of games you'll never play and keep on buying news ones anyway.

That tends to lead us down a road of playing games for less time and putting less into them, but of course that's only a generality. I know, like many of you, that I have a number of games I have put an ungodly amount of time into.

The biggest for me, is easily Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii and its psuedo sequel/expansion, Tri Ultimate on the Wii U. Between them I've amassed over 500 hours of monster slaying, resource gathering and crafting as I built myself up to be able to single handedly slay some of the game's most fearsome beasts with nary a scratch on me.

Even though that one is by far the biggest, I've also put over 400 hours into Mount and Blade Warband and a good 150 into Kerbal Space Program. Bloodbowl and Trackmania Nations Forever aren't far behind with over 100 hours a piece. At the lower end of my Steam library, though not less noteworthy, are the likes of Magic the Gathering with near 100 hours of game time, XCOM: UFO defence with 60 hours and FTL with only a little less.

This is by no means an impressive list or indicative of anything but my own gaming habits, but it's interesting to look at the type of games that they represent, as there's quite the gamut of titles there. There's a racer, a couple of RPGs, a sports title and a competitive card game.

Clearly I'm not much of an FPS player. While there are shooters in my library, Unreal Tournament 2004 has the most hours at just over 30, whereas some of the most well received titles from that genre like Bioshock Infinite and Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, have less than 10 a piece.

So what is it about some games that capture an audience? For starters, it's clear from looking at just my own list of big games that there are several key things that influence how much time I spend playing them. Being able to set your own goals is one of them. In Monster Hunter there's always a time you can beat, or a new weapon to carve, even if you have beaten every monster to death with your bare hands, and Mount and Blade Warband is the very definition of a sandbox title.

Mods are another big part of it, as Kerbal Space Program will easily attest to. It features endless content expansions thanks to the work of dedicated fans around the world. The same goes for Trackmania with its track builders, where on some servers you'll need to play for weeks before you see the same track show up in the rotation.

Some of the other games there don't fit that mix, but Bloodbowl and Magic are both turn based puzzler/strategy titles with just a different aesthetic and mechanics. Both require methodical, risk vs reward decision making and forward thinking. Thanks to the number of teams, decks and cards that can be used, there's plenty or re-playability and when you factor in the multiplayer of both, again you have plenty of content to work with.

So why am I talking about all of this? Partly because I wanted to look at my own gaming library and see where I truly spend most of my time, but also because I want to ask you guys what makes you stick with a game for months and years at a time. There's more games out there than ever before and many of them are simply fantastic. So what makes you keep playing the same ones when there is such promise held within others?

Perhaps you're a competitive MOBA player and have worked your way up the ranks? Maybe you're an MMO player who's dedicated a decade or more to your chosen virtual world and don't want to see that reign come to an end? Maybe you're simply addicted to the grind and love a good loot drop?

Whatever it is, let us know below, because as well as giving us an interesting insight into our own thoughts and feelings towards gaming, it'll give any passing developers a good look at just what makes us tick. You never know, their next game might be better because of it.