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Gaming as a part-time job?

I'm torn.  Torn between two gaming lifestyles.  I can dive into an MMORPG or stick with my console roots.  But both are demanding on my time and I have friends unique to each.  Both provide an experience wholly and fundamentally different.  Must I chose one and briefly visit the other from time to time or is it time to put in place some kind of schedule for my gaming?

I grew up on consoles.  From the glory days of Excitebike to the gaming nirvana that is this current generation, Console gaming has captured my heart.  I love firing up the Xbox with the big screen and surround sound blaring.  The experience that this console has provided is breath taking.  It has become the hub of my family's entertainment stand.  We play games on it, we watch movies on it, we listen to music through it, and we use our social applications through it.  The best part of this is that everyone can play and we can play with our friends across the world.  It has made keeping in touch that much easier.

But now, my Dashboard is a wasteland.  I see the tiny avatars slumped and sleeping, waiting to be brought back to life.  My time spent with the Xbox is divided into two categories: Call of Duty with friends online or single player games like Castlevania or Dead Space.  Granted, I could play online with the masses of Xbox Live, but those masses are mostly unwashed.  The last experience I had involved multiplayer in Dead Space 2.  I had just upgraded to the new 360 model and had configured the Kinect as it had been with the previous system.  As such, the Kinect was set up as a microphone.  I was playing without a head set while the rest of my family was at the table.  Someone had heard my step-daughters talking and then proceeded to yell (over the surround sound) how he was going to rape and murder them.  I moved as quickly as I could to mute him, but the damage had been done.  Experiences like this are why I generally don't play on Xbox Live.

With my PC, online gaming is all I usually do.  Not that I'm adverse to playing on my computer, I just prefer the experience my console setup provides.  However, the little lady and I are addicted to MMORPGs.  In fact, we met while playing City of Heroes.  I've dabbled with many an online world, but the one I keep coming back to is, you guessed it, World of Warcraft.  Now, I won't get into the life drain that WoW can be. I'm a casual player at best, usually only playing on the weekends with my friends.  We've run a casual guild for the past five years.  Now we're looking to get serious and start raiding on a regular basis.  So now I'm stepping up and really trying to make myself available for the guild and bolster the ranks so at a later date I won't have to be there for each and every event.  Much as I would love to be, I don't want to marry myself to the game.

I'd marry the shit out of these guys (except the three on the left).

Now, I need to figure out a balance for my gaming habits.  Should I look into a schedule where I only play certain games on certain nights?  Should I enjoy my single player games and then socialize with the guildies on the weekend?  I'd like to know what others have done in this situation.  I know Gabe and Tycho keep a white board with their schedule on it.  Has it come to that?

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