Work – Game – Life Balance

I am a full time teacher at the moment who teaches all things computers to grade 11 and 12 students.  I enjoy my work a lot, more on some days than others which I am sure is pretty true of most jobs.  I also work for 12 hours on Saturday’s at a service station pumping petrol (or gas as American’s love to call it).  Last year I was working only part time and struggling with a PhD in Digital Imaging.  My life was descending into a mad version of hell so I decided to clean it up, work full time to get some money back in my family life and look after me a little.  Become a nicer person as I was spiralling into full on depression.

Gaming makes Mark happy 🙂

There are not a lot of things that I love doing in life.  I love a good video game (still working through Bioshock Infinite, want to get back to Tomb Raider and Dead Space 3) and I love role playing.  I love GM’ing over playing but if I was forced to choose between gaming only as a player or no gaming I would play.  I love the feeling of hearing players discovering your plot or sending you a message of how much they enjoyed the game.  I love hearing the plans for their character that they are making seven levels in advance.  it is all good.

But do I game too much?  I am not the best person to approach about this as any suggestion of this will turn me into a crabby nasty gollum looking after his precious.  By the ways, if you have never met me in person, my wedding ring is a LotR One Ring 8 carat gold band so I can literally stroke “my precious”!  To keep working in my job I need to get a Bachelor of Education (as I currently have a Bachelor of Computing with Honours only) and though I am a rare breed in that I can teach IT material the school are pushing me to get it.  I will be signing up to do this part time online for the next two years from the second part of this year (July onward I assume).

The “My Precious” response

I game at least three nights a week.  Monday night I run Pathfinder Reign of Winter Adventure Path on Google+ Hangout, Tuesday night I run Pathfinder Skull and Shackles in person and on Wednesday I run Classic Traveller via Google+ Hangout (and every alternate week I will be playing Shadowrun the same way).  Generally on these nights I head into my work to game as they have a reliable internet connection with good bandwidth and I can do work while I game.  Sometimes, very rarely a game comes up on my Saturday that I play while working the driveway at the service station.  Each game lasts on average 3 to 4 hours.

Oh, did I mention I blog probably 5 times a week (six including the Iron Tavern) and I am writing my own game?  So each of these things chew up a little bit of time for me in your average week as well.  In fact, I tend to be busy pretty much all the time with Thursday, Friday and Sundays the days that I ease off and enjoy family life.

My wife is what we would refer to as a non-gamer.  She does not necessarily see the point to my gaming but she tries to be supportive to a point.  She knows it makes me happy but does not want to talk specifics.  She played Earthdawn once with me for a year or so and seemed to enjoy it but we moved and life happened and she never got back into to.  I think she only ever did it so she got to know what I was up to which is great.

Gaming of all forms!  I do not discriminate 🙂

My wife feels like she is a gaming widow as one of my (not so helpful role playing mates coined the phrase for her) and she said to me this morning words to the effect of “You will have to cut back gaming when doing your Bachelor of Education”.  This bought out the “My Precious” response in me and I snapped and she got mad and I got mad and I am sorry about that now.  I look at the above and I can see that something is going to have to give when the Bachelor of Education comes on board and she is right.  Apparently I had not told her that the school had said they would not employ me if I did not get the Bachelor of Education.  That is possible but I only didn’t tell her this because the school has said that to me the past three years in a row and never followed through on the threat.  I do intend to get it this year though and in fact after finishing this post will be looking for the Uni that will supply the service to me.

So, I am asking for your earnest opinion or your own stories.  Do I game too much? Do you game too much?  How much is too much? What is the line I should not cross?  How can I make my wife more interested in my hobby?  I want her to be with me when I game but she doesn’t like it.  She likes watching T.V. reality shows and I don’t!  Is there a crossover thing we could enjoy together that you know about?  How does life get in the way of your gaming?


  1. Mark I feel you on this topic. There was a time I too gamed too much. My wife has always been supportive, but at some point even the most patient can be pushed over the edge. I have cut back to accommodate my wife and children. I don’t regret it and I am sure you won’t either. In my case, my wife likes gaming. She is not a fanatic like myself, but there are a few games that we enjoy together.

    When I cut back I used the philosophy of quality vs. quantity. With being involved with fewer games it let me focus more on the ones I kept. As DM I found that to be very rewarding. Good luck with your Bachelor of Education! I look forward to hearing more regarding your games and the balance you find.


  2. Well dude your enthusiasm about all things gaming is commendable……and also extremely great fun for all concerned but… I think that you would be better off with dropping a game (Just not our in person one! :))in favour of a designated night of study of your bachelor of Ed.Perhaps before your lovely wife really starts with the beatings ! Just kidding Nikki 🙂


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