Journal of a Gamer: Friday, 05 May, 2017
One of the things I wanted to do this year was to do some metrics tracking my gameplay. Unfortunately, despite a few attempts to solve this problem with software and automation, today, there is still not a good solution for doing this automatically. Raptr tried to do it, but the consistency of its access to and application of data from the API's used to access Xbox Live and the PSN were pretty bad in terms of consistency. When I have tried to do this before, those software solutions have failed and I've had to do it manually. I was just really bad about being consistent, and so I have failed too.
I'm not sure exactly what has happened this year, but maybe things are less of a whirlwind, or maybe I'm more obsessive about data and the quantified self, or whatever. But I am being more consistent about it. As I am now heading into gaming month number five, I was curious to both review the data and make some decisions about just what exactly I am going to do with it.
So here's a clip of the data I have tracked since the beginning of The Year of Our Game 2017. I am also tracking what games I have purchased so far in 2017, but that's not my core effects metrics that I am using for planning:
So here's my tale of the tape. A Game Session for me is any bloc of time during which I fired up a gaming device and played any game for a minimum of 30 minutes. It does not matter how many games I played or for how long, basically it is a single powering up of the device. I am not overly concerned about hours spent gaming, it's more representative of a "gaming opportunity block", if you will. The list as embedded here is sorted by the most recent date on which I played it. I am also less concerned about the number of game session reps, and more concerned about how long it has been since I played on a given device. That being said, when I go to calibrate these metrics to balance them out, I will be driving towards getting to a median number of session reps. My median here appears to be 5 sessions, while my average is 7. So things looks ok on everything other than the Nintendo 3DS XL, the Xbox One, and the nVidia SHIELD Portable. TO be honest, I am really not concerned about the 3DS XL or the SHIELD Portable. I'd actually be fine given the latter, as I hate managing the number of games loaded at any one time on the SHIELD's paltry 16GBs of storage. But the Xbox One really concerns me; that's a lot to have paid and a lot of capability lying dormant and unused.
So in June, I am definitely going to do a swerve and put some more time on ye olde Microsoft console. The fact that I have spent most of my time gaming on my primary (DT1) and secondary (DT2) gaming PCs makes sense. Those are the two custom built desktop gaming PCs that I built in September and December of last year respectively. I am surprised by how much time I have been spending on the PS3, given its age and lower relevance amidst the herd of the other gaming stations. The Switch, while it is on the median might look ok from an analytics perspective, it bugs me that I have spent so little time with that device since its launch. Those sessions were pretty much all clustered in its first week in the Geek Command Center, but I have not gone back to it. The way I am doing the data also might leave someone to believe that I did not play in February, and that is not the case. It just means that whatever I played in February, I have also played more recently, since I only record and maintain the date of the most recent gameplay session. For the latter half of the year, I might switch to maintaining the date as a running log so that I can see where I played in each contiguous month-block of time. It's an interesting experiment, and even though I am not satisfied that I am maximizing the use out of each gaming device, I am happier that I can at least tell how long it has been since I played on a given platform.