As time goes by our  hobby is affected more and more by the other aspects of our lives.  For some of us there is no problem in this what so ever.  Others feel they are making a sacrifice every time they put the controller down. 

    The first step for me was on the NES and elementary school.  At first there was no trouble at all for me to walk away and play outside with my friends, or eat with my family.  Nothing else was being interfered with while I would occasionally play some Mario or Duck Hunt.   Then The Legend of Zelda happened.  Being a child, I thought nothing of questing away for hours on end, neglecting my home work.  It became harder and harder to get away from that little gray box with the shiny gold cartridge in it.  My step-dad and brother became just as obsessed as I did, so no one really noticed that I was not doing my home work.  At least until my grades came in.

   As years went by I learned how to juggle games and school work.  At least to the point of just passing.  I hated everything about school and just wanted to explore the world of Metroid.  For a ten year old gamer I was putting in about two hours a day and still had time to get outside. 

   This went on till the Play station came out.  Sure I spent five dollars at the arcade once a week and spent a few hours a day on the Super NES but, this little machine owned me.  All night gaming marathons with Twisted Metal and Tekken took up most of my time.  I still would do enough to get by in school, and was starting to talk to girls more but, my friends and I still spent around four hours with that little beast after school.  

   Then I got my first job, sacking groceries and pushing carts.  This was great because I could buy more games when I wanted.  This was terrible because work took up so much time.  After getting out of school around 3:00 I would have half an hour to get to work.  Then work till 9:00 or 10:00.  Then it was the race home for Metal Gear until I could no longer keep my eyes open.

  After the PS2, and graduating, things had to change.  If I was ever going to grow up I had to put the controller down.  It was just far to easy to spend an entire day off gaming.  I never spent time with my mom, hardly any time with my friends.  Besides work and girls nothing could make me stop.  Girls became woman and a woman changed it all for me.  I still almost missed a job interview because I was playing GTA3, but I always stopped for her. 

   Since then my time has gone from five hours a day to five a week.  I am thirty now.  I spend most of my time at work, and the rest with my wife.  She plays with me sometimes, the Lego series and Little Big Planet.  It is very rare for me to spend over an hour gaming. 

   Thing is I had to learn to manage my time between living my life and playing my games.  It was almost an obsession for me and, maybe it's more of one to you.  There is even a chance that you will never have this trouble at all, but if it is, just know that life can be more rewarding if you live it, and play video games.