A number of gamers I know have a crazy way of determining how long they can keep playing on any given session. It’s the “I know it’s time to stop playing once my partner starts screaming” method. The rules of this method are simple – if they haven’t yet started foaming at the mouth, you still have time for another game or two. Clever.
I guess I can almost see the appeal, it’s pretty much a mini game itself, right? It’s like carrying a bob-omb when playing Super Mario – run with it as long as you can. There’s great rewards if you can pull it off, but get greedy and keep at it for too long and KABOOOOM! You know you should’ve thrown it away while you had the chance, but the fun and adrenaline got the better of you and now it’s too late. Hope it was worth it.
While this may “work” most of the time, I recommend that you, at least every now and then, stop playing before you reach that point of near explosion. It’s likely that your partner will be pleasantly surprised and appreciative!
In Figure 1, below, I have graphed the relationship between my partner’s time spent gaming and the crankiness of me, the girlfriend. Please observe that crankiness increases exponentially as gaming time increases.
On this next chart, I have indicated where many gamers feel they should stop playing and also where I recommend they should stop gaming. The trick is to stop before they expect you to, rather than when they force you to… hazzah. This graph not only illustrates the resultant levels of girlfriend crankiness for both these scenarios, but also shows the differing rates of return to initial level of happiness. The rate of return is much greater the shorter the time spent gaming, i.e. the earlier you wrap up your games, the quicker you can be back in the good books!
Please also note that when graphed, this important relationship resembles a happy smiley sun, (see Figure 3, below). That is no coincidence. Heed my advice and there will be plenty of sunshine and happiness and rainbows and puppies and yay.