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Game Time Limits and Boundaries

Game Time Limits and Boundaries

One question that we often received from parents is how much gaming time is enough. For gamers who are trying to control your gaming, you can try out our suggestion here too. There is no magic number of hours as much as we also hope to have as it makes our own game time scheduling a lot easier. The reason being is each person has different commitments in different areas in life at different time in life.

Our recommendation is to use the number of games instead of a definite time e.g., 2 hours to set play time limits. Having to stop in the middle of a game is very frustrating to a gamer and also to other gamers in the same game. To get around this, it is reasonable to measure limits by the number of games so that the chances of having to abandon other players mid game or suffer in-game consequences that will disadvantage them is avoided. A gamer can use the time after a game ends to choose to leave the game. Not an easy decision, just like how k-drama fans find it hard to not play the next episode when one ends. WIth a deliberate exercise of will power, it can be done relatively easier than when the game is going on.

Working backwards, there is also a need to understand the duration of each game to set suitable play limits. Games within a genre have a general time duration of each game. This is information is useful for setting the number of games based on the estimated time a gamer has for gaming.

A note to parents: playing only one game is usually undesirable as it is liken to a warm up round.

Here are the top 5 popular genres played and their game durations that can help gamers manage play time.

Battle Royale

Game Time Limits and Boundaries

In the battle royale (BR) genre, there can be up to 100 players within a game. The goal is to be the last man standing. A game can last for up to 30 minutes.

Once the player is killed in the game, the player can choose to start the next game without waiting for the current game to end. This entices the player to keep going on and try to win.

First-Person Shooter

Game Time Limits and Boundaries

Most first-person shooter (FPS) games are team-based and the winning team is determined by winning a particular number of rounds. The duration of the game can vary depending on how fast a team reaches the number of wins. The player cannot leave the game unless it is completed.

E.g. In Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), a game consists of 30 rounds. The winning team is the one that wins 16 rounds. If the team wins consecutive rounds, the game ends quickly. When both teams play neck-to-neck, it will take the whole duration of 30 rounds to determine the winner.  In such a case, the maximum time of a game is approximately 45 minutes.

Multiplayer Online Battle Arena

Game Time Limits and Boundaries

In Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games, the players are required to work closely in order to take down the opponent’s main structure. Compared to BR and FPS, MOBA is slower in pace as one game can take up to 45 minutes minimally.

Thankfully, MOBA games on mobile phones are designed to be completed quickly, thus shortening each game’s duration significantly. Each game play is expected to last an average of 15 minutes, excluding the matchmaking waiting time.

Fighting Games

Game Time Limits and Boundaries

The first player to win 2 out of 3 rounds wins the match. Each round is limited to 90 seconds and a winner is determined no matter what. If the player wins, they will be matched against other players and the cycle repeats until the player loses.

A game takes about 1 hour, including waiting time and considering that it is likely that they can win up to 5 players consecutively.

Sandbox Games

Game Time Limits and Boundaries

Instead of using rounds to determine the game duration, we use game modes to determine instead. The player could even be playing BR, FPS or even MOBA in a sandbox game. The player can also design and create their own game mode and world. The top two popular games mode would be Survival and Creative.

Survival:  Survive each in-game day by building, exploring and doing activities.

Creative: Building structures according to the player’s desire, which may require the player to collect in-game materials before doing so.

For sandbox games, due to the tendency of players surfing and loading different game modes, it would take 45 minutes approximately for each game.

Summary

We hope the short explanation helps you to have some information to make informed decisions. We have summarised what is discussed in a simple table below.

GenreNo. of PlayersDurationSkills required
Battle Royale (BR)100 Players30 Minutes Maximum
Player can leave the moment they are dead
Patience
Good reaction time
Split-decision making
First-Person Shooter (FPS)10-12 Players
(Two teams of 5-6 players)
Average 30-45 minutes
Player can only leave after a game.
Good reaction time
Planning
Teamwork
Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA)10 Players
(Two teams of 5 players)
Mobile: 15-20 minutes
Computer: Minimum 45 minutes
Strategic Thinking
Teamwork
Communication
Fighting2
(1 vs 1)
Each round: < 2 minutes
Gameplay: ~1h
Speed of Reasoning
Problem Sensitivity
Self-Confidence
SandboxManyDepending on game mode
~45 minutes
CreativityPlanning
Curiosity
Summary Table of Games duration According to Game Genre

Gamer Player Types Test

Click here to read more about the 4 Gamer Player Types.

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Gaming OR Studies – Motivations of an Achiever

Gaming OR Studies - Motivations of an Achiever

It is commonly believed that people get addicted due to the exhilarating nature of games. While video games are certainly arousing, my personal experiences seem to point at the cause of something deeper. Take it from me; after all, I used to be described as a ‘game addict’ by my own parents.

My Gaming World

You see, my growing up life was characterized by excessive amounts of gaming. I often gamed throughout the day and into the wee hours of the night, only catching up on sleep the very next day – in class. Skipping school was a routine tradition, as I often alternated between taking MCs, forging parents’ letters, or straight up without reason.

You may wonder: why doesn’t my parents do anything? Do they not care? The thing is, they were both busy working to make ends meet and had little time to supervise me. The situation further expounded when my father was sent overseas to work, leaving the entire burden on my mother to manage both her career, housework, and myself. She did make some effort, conducting nightly spot checks and implementing security locks – measures that were easy to navigate through with time. In the worst case scenario, I could simply head over to a friend’s house, or a nearby LAN shop to play. Gaming meant everything to me.

My motivation toward games was simple: it was a drive toward achievements. I naturally gravitated toward popular, multiplayer games which were competitive in nature, giving me ample opportunities to triumph over others and prove myself (Modern examples included: Mobile Legends, Overwatch). To me, what solely mattered was the recognition and admiration from my peers that followed these achievements.

To be honest, there simply weren’t many opportunities for me to excel outside of games. I was barely coping with my studies and constantly met disappointment from both my teachers and parents. As a result, gaming was the only outlet. As I started to get better at a certain game, I would tunnel vision toward improving at it, sacrificing my studies and any other commitments in the process.

A Comeback Moment

Things began to change during my Secondary school. Somehow, I was scoring well in my English and Humanities subjects, likely due to a good foundation in English and a natural interest toward History. It started as a series of small wins, in the form of occasional awards, and praises from both my teachers and peers. For instance, I vividly remembered my English teacher reading out my compositions to the class as a form of recognition. Even though these little moments were limited solely toward my class, it ignited a desire to do well in those subjects and compete for top place with my fellow ‘rivals’. 

A critical moment happened during Secondary 4. As we belonged to the Normal Academic stream, we had to complete our ‘N’ levels in order to proceed toward Secondary 5. Back then, the ‘N’ level was assessed based on our best 3 subjects. These 3 subject system meant that I needed to only focus on one subject, as I was already proficient in my best two. ‘N’ levels came and went in a flash, although the results were certainly unexpected: I had scored first place for overall score in my cohort. 

The thing is, I wasn’t considered as the forerunner prior to the examinations, although that has certainly changed since then. The entire experience fuelled a desire to repeat the success for ‘O’ levels, which led me to take drastic measures: unplugging the computer, purchasing assessment books, and even seeking my own tutors. My parents were visibly proud for the first time, and wholly supportive in my decisions. I felt unstoppable. Long story short, I managed to achieve first place again among my Normal Academic cohort, and landed in the polytechnic course of my dreams. It was truly befitting of a comeback. 

Not Your Fairytale Ending

This is usually the part where I end with a ‘happily ever after’. The truth is, my Polytechnic years were a dark period, as I struggled to cope with my studies amidst being surrounded by hardworking and capable classmates. On the other hand, I was constantly being known among my peers for being good at games, thanks to the previous years of grinding. My motivation toward studies gradually dipped as I went back into my old ways of gaming.

Looking back at my life, I realized the existence of a swinging pattern – alternating between the extremes of gaming or studies – which continued to manifest itself over the years. The large swings seemed to depend on whichever I was capable of excelling and being recognized for, at that point of time. At least for myself, my game dependency certainly didn’t occur solely due to the thrilling nature of games. 

As I continued pursuing my education in Psychology, I became acutely aware of the motivational tendencies of different individuals. You see, current psychological research on player personalities have indicated the existence of different player motivations – mine predominantly being the ‘Achiever’. This has been widely observed in a competitive striving toward achievements and higher status among my peers, in both gaming and studies, which was facilitated by an ‘all-in’ mentality toward either.

Although gaming still remains an integral part of my life, I find myself capable of managing my priorities and channeling my drive toward long-term commitments (work, relationships), much with the awareness of my own psychological motivation and supportive role models. Could the change have happened earlier? Perhaps, although I take comfort in my story that it is never too late. All these have led me to be fully invested in the COMEBACK program, as my past experiences and Psychology background has equipped me with the critical lens toward understanding the gamers’ underlying motivations, along with the innate desire and ability to connect.

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The 4 Gamer Player Types

The 4 Gamer Player Types

Gamers are not all the same. We have different motivations and objectives when we play. Gamers can be categorised in 4 broad categories called Player Types. ⁠The 4 broad Player Types are Achievers, Gurus, Explorers and Socializers. We will explain each of the Player Types in a little more detail below.

Achiever Player Type

Achievers are gamers who are competitive and love rewards. They love treasure hunt. The more challenging the goal, the more satisfaction they feel. Their main goals in game are gathering points and levelling up. Thus, they are motivated by the accumulation of tokens or rewards in completing the challenges in the games.⁠

Achievers hate losing. They love to be the first. Be it getting a rare item, completing the game or in ranking. Difficult games are fun for achievers. This gives them bragging rights for their achievements.⁠

Due to Achievers’ competitiveness, they can be aggressive. They might display intense emotions of anger, frustration and boredom during games. So it is not uncommon for Achievers to curse and hate a game while playing, but later declare it as a “great game”. ⁠ Achievers will likely stop playing a game after they beat the game when the challenge wears off. ⁠

Trolls, hackers, cheaters, and attention farmers most probably are Achievers. Do note that not all Achievers are trolls, hackers, cheaters, and attention farmers though. 😇 ⁠

Guru Player Type

Gurus can be described by two words, mastery and systems, revolving around strategic or tactical play. Acquiring skills is the main goal. They want to master all the techniques in the game. ⁠
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For Gurus, winning is only meaningful if they have earned it through mastery of the game. They will continue playing the game even when the game is mastered. They enjoy the experience of being the master of the game. ⁠

Gurus typically enjoy open games, i.e. games with no specific end-point, especially strategy, construction and management games. They are good at multitasking, e.g. building an army out of diverse unit types. Thus, they like games that allow them to experiment with as many combinations as possible to achieve their goals. ⁠

Explorer Player Type

Explorers value enjoyment and experience in a game. They are always on a look out for unique and interesting experiences. They take pleasure in an engaging story and an intricately designed game world. ⁠

Explorers like to survey the game’s map. They enjoy seeking out information. They will look out for obscure actions in tuck away spots, interesting features and exposing the game’s internal setup. They are the players who know the short-cuts, tricks and glitches in their never-ending hunt to discover more.⁠

Wonder, awe and mystery are important to Explorers. They decide their game preference within minutes of playing or even by observation. Explorers enjoy contributing to the progression of a game. They also love to play many different mini-games.⁠

They will not play a game they do not enjoy and will stop playing the moment it ceases to be fun. They might get the help from Achiever or Guru players when they meet challenges in the game.⁠

Socializers Player Type

Socializers are more interested in other players than the game itself. That’s why they talk more than they play! They also enjoy role-playing. ⁠

Socializers like to be involved in the community aspects of the game, like managing communities or role-playing that builds relationships through storytelling. Socializers love to play with others. They are less likely to play solo games. Even observing other players can be interesting.⁠ Socializers generally do not like direct competition.⁠

The Use of the Player Types

We have introduced to you the 4 Gamer Player Types. In fact the 4 Gamer Player Types can be further divided into Hardcore and Casual Gamers. Each of the Player Types can also be matched to Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Game Designers use the understanding of Player Types to design games that are attractive for gamers.

If you are a gamer, by knowing which Player Type you are and your motivations for gaming, you will not fall into the trap of being hooked in games by identifying how the “trap” looks like. For adults who are concerned about the young person’s gaming habits, you have insight to what in the game is attracting them. From this knowledge, you probably can give them better alternative suggestions to gaming based on what they enjoy.
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You can also take the 4 Gamer Player Type Test to find out which player type you are!