Like many gamers, I tend to lose track of time when I’m playing a game that I really enjoy. In fact, the more I enjoy a game the more I need to force myself to watch the clock so that I can get to bed at a resonable time. There have, however, been times in the past where I have been so engrossed in a game that I found myself turning the TV off just as the sun starts to rise.
Now thankfully such an event has not occurred in a number of years. Not since 2000 at any rate – that’s when I first picked up a copy of Final Fantasy VIII. This past weekend though I was hanging out with a few friends and somehow managed to do it again while playing Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires. I loves me the occasional over-the-top, hack-and-slash action game and these guys would probably say the same.
Anyhow, we started playing the game around 7:00pm, but it wasn’t until my cell phone started letting out its low battery warning (an ear-piercing “bwak!” noise) at 3:00am did we realize that it was well past time to go home. Sure, the game has a timer built into every level. Sure, there was a clock in the room. Did any of us bother to check either one of them between 7:00pm and 3:00am? Of course we didn’t.
Naturally, “what the heck was that?” was the first question asked when they noticed the noise, and I soon wound up trying to explain my recent search for a replacement cell phone. Then, as if on cue, one of my friends whipped out his iPhone. He hit a few buttons, handed the phone to me, and said, “I think you need to get one of these.” On the screen was…a list of egg timer applications.
Not just a single app, but an entire list of them.
I sat there staring at the list of (more or less) single-use applications for some time before handing the phone back. It wasn’t until the next day though that I realized what he was trying to say: I don’t necessarily need an egg timer or to constantly monitor a clock to manage late-night gaming sessions - I just need a new phone.