I had a somewhat shocking realization this week.

I looked at my total time /played.

I’ve always known about what the total was for each character, but I never took the time to add them all up and find out the sum of the time I have spent online in WoW.  Well, now I know.  It is 340 days.

That’s almost a year of my life spent sitting in front of the computer.  Holy cow.

Further analysis: I started playing WoW during spring break of 2006, so somewhere around March 10th or so of that year.  It has been about 2371 days since I began.  According to /played, I have spent 340 days online during that time.  That is 14.3% of my life.  Translated further, that equates to an average of 24 hours per week or about 3.4 hours per day.

That is a very sobering statistic.

I don’t consider it time wasted.  As further context, I watch essentially zero television.  I know a lot of people who spend more time in front of the TV than I do in front of WoW.  In addition, I am a teacher and I get a lot of free time over the summer when I can rack up a lot of playtime, so I don’t actually play three hours every day.

Also, before anyone gets all judgmental, this is not time taken away from my kids and family (well, mostly).  I put my kids to bed at 8:30 and then I have about 3.5 hours before I go to sleep myself.  That’s my prime gaming time.

Still, the idea that I spend that much time in game is a little shocking.  Does it make me want to stop playing?  No, but I think I can try to use this epiphany to establish a little more balance in my life.  As the GM of a large guild, there was once a time when I felt guilty if I took a day off from the game.  I used to think that any day I wasn’t online would be the day that drama happened.  I have realized that this is not the case, and that the guild will continue to roll along even if I take time off.  I don’t play every night any more.  I often take weekends off.  I am certain that my time spent in game over the past year is not nearly what it used to be in previous years.

I do think I’m going to uninstall the add on that gave me my total time /played, though.  Maybe I’m better off not knowing.



4 Responses to “Realization”

  1. 1 Wraithstrike
    September 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    /played is not an addon. It has always been a part of WoW since release.

    • September 5, 2012 at 2:29 pm

      Yes, but Altaholic will display the /played of each character it knows about and their combined total in a nice, neat table that happens to be the very first thing you see when you open it up. A lot of people that run with a number of addons never even see the /played that shows up when you log into a character because all the addon status spam scrolls it right out of the chat window before you can see it. And very few people manually check their /played unless a discussion about it happens to turn up. Adding them all up would also be a manual process no one ever undertakes.

    • September 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

      Exactly what Saniel said. I’ve always known how to use /played, but why would I bother to pay attention to that? The add on gave me a nice, neat total across all of my characters.

      Sorry if I wasn’t clear.

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