Work Life Balance

Back in January I posted an article about game life balance. I was working long hours during that month and it really made me question how much time we spend working, gaming and with our families. It’s very rarely properly balanced and we, as human beings, rarely have the right things in life prioritised. Of course, life isn’t simple and we all need to earn a buck. I wish I had the answer but I’m still searching for that (don’t worry, I’ve be sure to blog about the meaning of life when I discover it).

I recently read an article on Nerfbat entitled Life Balance: Family, Work, Play. In case you don’t know, Nerfbat is a blog by Ryan Shwayder, a game designer who used to work on EQ2 and now works for 38 Studios. It was particularly intriguing for me because Ryan talks about how he tries hard to balance all aspects of his life, particularly work and gaming, so he can spend more time with his family. It was an interesting insight into the gaming industry too as I always had the impression that working for MMOPRG companies was excessively hard work, long hours and lots of stress. Elder Game has an interesting article about it all.

I guess any type of job can be tough and stressful but, to me, the programming and developer ones strike closest to home to me as they are the most similar to my career and I can relate to what the employees go through. Reading the Nerfbat article was very revealing and, in many ways, actually quite comforting to know that not all MMO jobs suck and that some people can still keep a balance work life.

So what’s the moral of this story? I guess it’s to keep things in perspective and make sure you prioritise the right things. It’s tough for me because I know after a long days work, I like to be able to escape into a MMORPG for a couple of hours and forget about it all. This is a slippery slope though and sometimes I feel bad that I don’t give my wonderful wife the obsence amounts of attention she so utterly deserves.

I know it’s wishful thinking but I can’t help but feel that maybe we should just try and work less :) – four hours a day would be fine for me…

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  1. Beej says:

    It’s this balance that made me start looking for new ways to play MMOs in the first place. I used to be able to play 8 hours a day or more, but that was in college. I now have a full-schedule to teach (well, not now since it’s summer), as well as a girlfriend and family obligations. It’s hard to find that balance.

    I started blogging to help, and it has. I am also looking for about a 2 night a week raiding guild on WoW or starting Warhammer Online again to get some casual gaming in that still lets me feel like I’m accomplishing something in my gaming time.

    It’s hard to find the correct balance, and I doubt there is one. I think that maybe just being able to enjoy whatever it is you do when you do it is enough. If there’s ever something you do (besides the necessities) that you don’t enjoy, cut it out of your life. That way you can spend more time doing those things that either matter or you enjoy (or if you’re really lucky, both!)

    If you’re fulfilled by raiding 3 days a week, supporting yourself, and having enough quality time with your significant other, then go ahead. Everyone’s balance is different, and it takes a while to find what the best one is. The worst thing a person can do in regard to this, however, is cut everything out and start new because in that case, there is nothing left which originally needed balance, and you’re back to square one.

  2. Tanya Karl says:

    I saw something about that subject on TV last night. Nice article.

  3. mary-li says:

    Life balance is important.

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