16 May 2015

Back in Business

Shintar, the Priest With A Cause is back! This time on a private vanilla WoW server. Not that she was ever really gone. Nonetheless, it was her post together with this very personal piece by Kadomi that sparked my return as well. Kadomi talks about her personal life and how it affected her gaming and blogging in some detail and while reading, I kept thinking: “Hey, this is very similar to my situation”. Here are two quotes (with my emphasis) that describe how I feel as well:

It’s not that I don’t want to blog. When daydreaming at work, or driving home, I have fantastic ideas for blog posts. Very briefly, work was slow enough that I actually wrote draft ideas into Evernote, at least working titles.
By the time I am home from work, I don’t want to sit down and write blog posts. A full post takes me an hour minimum, if not longer. After work, I want to lounge on the couch, play Candy Crush Soda Saga for a while (sue me), and do something relaxing. Now that I am in my 40s my interest in PC gaming is waning, because I would much rather sit on the couch in comfort than spend hours at my desk. Then there’s dinner to cook, my SO would like to spend time with me, the kitties have demands and bam, it’s bed-time.

Now, I don’t use Evernote, but I too have written down a few points or working titles that I would like to expand upon some day. I also don’t play mobile games for that matter and I’m not in my 40s yet. We don’t have any pets and I walk to work. But these are just minor circumstantial details. The simple fact of the matter is that blogging takes time and we’re both very busy and otherwise occupied.

I commented on Shintar’s post that I had actually stopped gaming altogether for over a year. There were several reasons for that and it was my choice. First, I simply no longer feel that I am among the target audience for video games in general any more. Virtually all recent developments are going in directions that I do not appreciate (e.g. mobile gaming, casual and “accessible” gaming, free-to-play, cash shops, DLC, Early Access, etc.). The World of Warcraft that I loved is destroyed. The World of Loading Screens” (SW:TOR) that I could get on board with became a glorified slot machine selling hotbars. Console manufacturers have no interest in offering backwards compatibility because now they can sell the same game several times to the same customer. I have no intention of paying for any of this on general principle!

Additionally, my real life got a lot more complex. My wife’s second pregnancy was strenuous – not dangerous or complicated – just a lot more demanding than her first one. This meant that I had to manage our daily life (cooking, cleaning, etc.) by myself, all the while working (almost) full-time at the university. In general, I keep a tight schedule, meaning that my day is very structured. I get up at 6 o’clock every morning and exercise for about an hour. Afterwards I shower and get dressed and prepare the breakfast for the family. Then we enjoy a nice family breakfast and I head off to work. The trip takes about 20 minutes by foot and I always walk. I usually arrive shortly after 9 a.m. and start the work day with some administrative tasks such as checking the mail and answering e-mails. I teach my first class from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and afterwards have lunch with co-workers, some time between 12 noon and 2 p.m., depending on who’s coming and where we’re going. The next class is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and then I stay until at least 7 p.m., sometimes even longer. When I arrive at home, I have to prepare dinner for the family (or at least assist my wife) and then spend some quality time with my wife and children. The kid’s bedtime is usually at 8:30 p.m. and then it’s just my wife and me for about an hour or two before we go to sleep.

This cycle repeats the next day, every day, every week from Monday to Friday. I do not mind this at all. I value consistency and structure very much. I’m one of those guys who could eat the same meal every day and still enjoy it. I don’t get bored easily. Looking at this timetable there are hardly any opportunities for blogging. “By the time I am home from work, I don’t want to sit down and write blog posts. [...] I want to [spend time with my family] and do something relaxing”. This excludes playing video games. I’ve written a couple of posts at work but I just cannot take the time to do that anymore. Workload is very intense. Becoming a professor is no cakewalk. I suppose I could write on the weekends, but we clean the house every Saturday morning and Sunday is the family day where we visit relatives or have a picnic or go out for a walk or do other stuff together. That only leaves Saturday afternoon as my personal free time. When I’m not teaching, all the work I do is computer work or paper work (correcting papers, doing research, writing articles, etc.) so I’m glad if I can do something else in my spare time, like playing actual golf. Even when work was less demanding, I’d much rather spend my time actually playing the games I enjoy instead of writing about them. This explains why I was such a poor SW:TOR blogger.

Nonetheless, I wish to take up blogging again and for the future my plan is to publish one post every week, possibly on Sundays.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Nice to see you back to blogging! I would have missed it if it hadn't been for Bhagpuss' comment about adding you to his blogroll, because last time I checked this URL it was set to private still. So what are you playing when you have the time, other than on Nostralius? Or is that going to be the subject of an upcoming post? :)

    I can certainly also relate to not having enough time for blogging, especially when trying to keep up multiple blogs! I'm always a bit jealous when people mention having time to work on posts at work, because I've never had a job where that kind of downtime was a thing (as in, if you ever ran out of things to do in your primary role, there were secondary or tertiary things you were supposed to do).

    (Reposted to hide my shame of misspelling Bhag's name.)

  3. Hey Shintar! Thanks for your comment. I had set my blog to private because I wanted to completely withdraw from gaming. I felt it was time to return after seeing Blizzard’s “Looking For Group” documentary and reading Shawn’s blog in its entirety. Both brought back a lot of good memories.

    If I remember correctly you mentioned some time ago that you work(ed) in retail and I can see how it would be quite a feat to write blog posts in that environment. I’ve always worked in an office which usually allows some time for other activities as well.

    I’m currently playing WoW on Nostalrius, SW:TOR as a Preferred Player and just recently started with FFXIV. Have a look at my updated ABOUT page. I do have some future posts planned about all those games.

    1. I noticed that I also managed to misspell Nostalrius - I can see why Dodgy Kebab just called it Nostrils in his review...

      Eight Years in Azeroth is a great blog. I'm feeling kind of apprehensive as the story progresses through Cata though, you just know that things are about to go very bad.

      I actually got an office job about a year ago but still can't imagine spending any time blogging there. Too much to do!

      Your new and revamped About page made me blush. I don't think I'm deserving of such praise, but thank you anyway.