Over at Gamers With Jobs there was a recent forum discussion on how much time people spend gaming. It's an interesting topic, and strikes on something I've often thought about but always believed I was alone in it. There are so many games that are good enough to warrant playthrough that the time one would have to set aside in order to experience them all, especially to play each to completion, is staggering to those of us who are employed or in school or both. But there is a definite, subtle message that seeps from gaming publications, brought on mostly by my own guilt in not having played all of the possible games, that I am somehow less of a gamer for not having played Bioshock or Team Fortress 2. It is well understood that gaming is an expensive hobby (a gaming pc or a decent tv and a 360 running close to $1000 at the entry-level, much more for the better experiences, not to mention the price of games) but the temporal expense of the hobby is less often spoken of. It was a satisfying thread to read, to realize I'm not the only person who can only eke out game time in the cracks between other more pressing activities.
This is coming from a person who spent the last five precious gaming hours sharpening his new knives on mana elementals in Netherstrom.
Though I lament my available game time I have actually spent a lot of my elective hours reading, a ridiculous amount, for some reason. I've continued into Swann's Way, which is invariably fantastic, and I read Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil, which is a strange concoction. The poems are focused to a disturbing degree on vice and filth, on death and debauch, but somehow they are beautiful. I also started into the Wordsworth's Leaves of Grass, though as I read it I can only picture an old, naked man dancing in the woods and singing like some strange, bastardized Tom Bombadil.