A while ago I wrote a script to record the running times of processes on a system (see here). It was pretty useful for work but I also thought I could use it to answer one of life’s big, unanswered questions;
So I ran the script for a year, with it recording all the processes started from my games folder and how long I played them for. So…
Numbers! Graphs! A documented analysis of how to waste time on the PC!
I’ve broken the stats down into various sections and the original data is here. There’s a lot of games so in most cases I’ve summarised the top entries on the chart; click on the chart for the full version where it’s available.
Some background: I’ve got a (fairly geeky) family so while this measures how long the game processes have been active I may be leaving the game running while I take knives away from the dog or stop the children eating moss.
There’s two main sections for the stats:
Summary Of A Year’s Gaming
Most Played Games
I’m not surprised about Elite:Dangerous being top; it’s been out over a year and I’ve dived into it in fits and starts throughout. Heroes of the Storm is in second place; it’s pitched perfectly to grab a quick game or two with my friends, wife or kids. And the Witcher was just massive 🙂
Diablo 3 is pretty impressive for a game that’s almost four years old. Lots of extra stuff was added in the expansion pack and the seasonal characters are brilliant for getting you back into it.
Average Session Time
This is an average of the time spent on each gaming session. Elite drops off here as while there were more sessions than any other game, many of them were quick hops for a trade or a quick skirmish in a HazRes.
I got quite into Defense Grid 2 🙂 Seeing all your friends scores compared to yours is lethally enticing. Or maybe that’s just my competitiveness…
Consortium was quite a short game but it really grabbed me while I played it.
Longest Gaming Sessions
Starcraft 2 benefited from coming out just after a work contract had finished (so I had some more time) and after I’d got another contract (so I treated myself for a week of relaxing. Well, as relaxing at Starcraft ever is). Lots of long sessions!
Pillars’ atmosphere was fantastic so I disappeared into that for a weekend after it released.
Longest Gaming Sessions By Game
The longest gaming sessions for each game. No massive surprises for me there except maybe for Space Marine.
I slammed my head into Dungeon of the Endless on several occasions just trying to get through “easy”….
Gaming Hours By Day Of The Week
Day of rest? Ha!
Less gaming on Tuesdays as family life gets busy 🙂
Game Time Through The Year (Elite : Dangerous and Heroes of the Storm)
This shows the play-time throughout the year of the two games I kept coming back to. You can see when I really first got into Elite, where the expansion was released etc.
Not sure what happened with Heroes of the Storm in October. Maybe the run up to Blizzcon?
Pretty cool info though.
Game Time Through The Year (Everything Else)
The other most played games were a bit more seasonal 😀 XCOM 2 was over one really intense week and you can see the Season 4 duration for Diablo 3.
A Year’s Gaming, Month-by-Month
Only a week or so’s worth of stats for this month.
The Banner Saga had a great atmosphere but I’m not sure I’ll play the next ones, I found it quite relentless in its negativity. I felt like I was escorting a bunch of red-shirts across Scandinavia.
Bioshock Infinite yet again! Playing it through with my eldest which is pretty awesome.
Pillars of Eternity finally out after I kick-started it. Brilliant game – it was just what I hoped for. Keep meaning to go back to it now there’s more DLC. But too many games…
Don’t Starve Together I play with my wife. It’s brilliant; we’ve had lots of bonding experiences starving or being eaten.
HOTS I mainly play with the kids (my youngest is great at LiLi). Good fun with the family and unlike going outdoors the chances of being eaten by a bear are fairly low.
It appears I was quite into Pillars of Eternity 😀
The Spatials was a strange one. Just kind of pootled about with it really. There was never a massive challenge but it was nice to play with.
I was a gaming dilettante this month! A bit of this, a bit of that. Clearly still not able to finish Dungeon of the Endless 😐 No major releases to eat my brain so it’s nice to get a bit of variety.
The Witcher 3 was released at the end of the month though….
… and the wheels quickly come off the wagon.
Finishing off The Witcher 3 here. Sunless Sea was good fun, though I’ve never finished it; I think I’ve seen most of the story and in order to finish I’ll need to grind away for the last part of the game.
The Talos Principle was brilliant.
Lots of games this month. We went away on holiday for a week so I snuck in some Walking Dead and Metro Redux on my laptop each morning before everybody got up 🙂
I got back into Diablo 3 with the release of Season 4. I’d not played much of it since the release of Reaper of Souls so I’d not had a chance to try all the gameplay changes before then. The changes, they were good.
Another kickstarter I backed came out here with Satellite Reign. I loved Syndicate and this was a fun successor.
I think I found out my contract was going to come to an end about now and I think I went on a spate of finishing up old games to compensate.
Between contracts here so lots more gaming time and we had a LAN party so a solid weekend of gaming. Also shows why so many multiplayer games crept into the ranks for a change.
Templar Battleforce is a nice little top-down tactics game.
Starcraft 2 released and I celebrate getting a new contract sorted out. I also managed to get onto the Overwatch stress-test weekend.
I finally managed to summon up enough courage to play Alien Isolation too…
The expansion to Elite:Dangerous was released so I got back into that in a big way, I finished Alien Isolation and I got Nuclear Throne, Star Nomad 2 and Deathtrap for Christmas 😀
I was really into the idea of an old-school RPG so I started playing Lords of Xulima.
Another LAN weekend and we played the hell out of Unreal Tournament 4….
The build up to XCOM-2 was well under way and it was probably one of my most anticipated games. I started to prepare myself by playing more Invisible Inc (ironman,turn-based, very hard, isometric) and Darkest Dungeon (ironman, turn-based, very hard, side-on). It seemed a good idea to get used to being humiliated by software before I started the real thing…
Well, it dominated my thoughts for a good week when it came out. I still miss it after finishing it (took 12 attempts to finish Ironman/Commander).
In two minds now whether to start again or wait for all the content to come out in summer!
In the last year I played 99 different games for about 1400 hours of gaming total. That’s 3.8 hours per day on average. Assuming I’m awake for about 17 hours that makes me about 22% a gamer.
Bumping that stat could be a little tricky but maybe when the kids have grown up and I’ve retired….