I have a dark secret. I’ve just passed 1,000 hours of gameplay on Team Fortress 2. Whilst I have been playing the game since August 2008 this does represent a considerable portion of my life at this stage. 1,000 hours divided by 29 months puts me on 34.48 hours per month. Slightly more than an hour a day for more than 2 years. Ouch.
How you can do anything for a 1,000 hours?
I wouldn’t write me off as a video game addict just yet though. In these calculations we haven’t factored in the fact that I don’t own a television. How many people with a television watch an hour a day? Furthermore for a substantial part of this time I’ve been a student and so have had days upon glorious days with very little to do! It’s still a lot of time to invest in something but unlike television it isn’t passive.
Team Fortress 2 is a team based class-system online multiplayer. What this means is that for every single one of those 1,000 hours I’ve been playing and talking with other people. Not just internet exclusive friends either – plenty of my closest friends and former housemates are my regular team members in these gaming sessions. For people without any experience in online games it’s hard to portray the level of banter, comradeship, general chit-chat and strategy that a Team Fortress 2 session can involve.
Over the past 9 months the way I’ve played Team Fortress 2 has also changed. During this time I’ve switched from playing public games, where anyone can just join to a style of competitive Team Fortress 2. This involves 6 or 9 players on each side with a set of rules which make the game more level and this involves considerably more strategy than public games.
What’s the most amazing to some perhaps is that I haven’t got bored of the game yet. It’s easy to explain why though. Team Fortress 2 features 9 distinct characters whom you could easily spend several hundred hours on each before you’re beginning to feel like you can play well. Several hundred hours beyond that and you might even begin to master that class. The game has also regularly been updated over this time adding in more weapons which can alter gameplay dynamics drastically. Several new game modes have even been added. Team Fortress 2 is a game that’s constantly changing and I could foresee spending another 1,000 hours before I’m completely bored.
One more statistic for you. I bought this game as part of the Orange Box for £15. So alongside Team Fortress 2 I got 5 other games. Even without those though £15 for 1,000 hours comes to 1.5p per hour. Which for solid entertainment sounds like very good value for money to me. There’s been expenditure on top of that – I’ve helped support many of the servers I’ve played on financially. All in all though I just have to thank the makers of the videogame, Valve, and all my friends, current clan members and former clan members. To the next 1,000 hours!