hourglass

You probably read that title and felt like you could relate. Maybe you spent 16 hours trying to beat one level of Super Meat Boy, maybe you beat Diablo 3 on Inferno or played a few hundred hours of DotA.

Let me head that off at the pass – you can’t. Put all the time you’ve ever spent playing games together, and to these people that’ll be like a game of Monopoly. If anyone thinks they’ve bested anyone in these stories in sheer time-wasting, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. So then, challenge extended.

The WoW Pacifist

Now whenever you’re writing a list of people who spent way too much time playing a game, World of Warcraft is going to feature.

The MMORPG is notorious for being a soul-sucking destroyer of relationships, diet and personal hygiene. It’s also one of those elite few games that have actually killed people.

I made the choice a long time ago to keep the game at arm’s length, to never truly try and “get into it” for fear that I too would disappear into the Bermuda Triangle of gaming. Keep in mind this is coming from someone who is baking 600 million cookies per second in Cookie Clicker and has no plans on stopping (please make it stop).

Playing World of Warcraft was essentially about reaching level 80 (and later, level 85), so you could enter the PvP arenas and hardcore dungeons without being immediately destroyed for your insolence. To do this, you have to complete a series of mundane missions where you skin some boars and rabbits or whatever – it’s fun, apparently.

That didn’t work for one dedicated pacifist however, who decided that a life of marauding and murder wasn’t for her; like those annoying Grand Theft Auto players who stop at red lights and only kill people accidentally.

Going by the appropriate name of Everbloom, she reached level 85 by simply strolling through the forest picking flowers and collecting crap. As you might expect, in-game gardening gives you a fractional amount of experience, so the time it must have taken to do this is inconceivable.

The most incredible thing to me is how mind-numbingly boring it must be to collect in-game flowers for 12 hours a day. I suspect that Everbloom, wherever she might be, has a debilitating addiction to hallucinogenic drugs.

Those weapons are just for show.

Those weapons are just for show.

The Viking Dragon-Puncher

One of my favourite YouTube channels is that of robbaz, a self-proclaimed Viking with a hilarious accent who plays games in ways you never would have thought of.

While his commentary and in-game shenanigans are hilarious, my favourite thing about his videos is that he often spends an awful lot of time planning things through. Anyone can load up a game and do something stupid, but doing something bizarre and actually doing well… that’s different.

My favourite of his videos, one you might have seen, is a tutorial on how to play Skyrim using only your fists. It isn’t just a stupidly funny video (it’s hilarious), but also a full-on guide on what skills to level and what items to craft in order to make it an actually viable strategy.

Check it out, but make sure there are no young children/co-workers/easily offended people around you, as this one is laced with profanity.

Happily Ever After

Ah yes, Japan. Much like the WoW fanatic, you just can’t have a list like this without some crazy Japanese dude. Our particular brand of Japanese insane is a guy who calls himself Sal 9000, who spent so much time playing Love Plus, a dating simulator for the Nintendo DS and second sign of the apocalypse, that he decided to marry one of the characters.

Being not a real person the legal contract was a bit of a no-no, but that didn’t stop Sal from donning a white tux and having a ceremony, with some close friends watching. Oh, and a few thousand other people watching the live stream.

According to Sal, “Nene Anegasaki” is “better than a normal girlfriend” as she “forgives him quickly” for his transgressions. I bet the sex isn’t great though.

Ahh look at the blushing bride, resting on a pillow.

Ahh look at the blushing bride, resting on a pillow.

Over 9,000 Perfect Games of Wii Bowling

I may have lied in the title just to use a tired meme, but as of August 2011 one John Bates had 8,850 perfect games on record, so he probably found some time in the last couple of years to get that number up to the realms of my journalistic integrity.

Now people like to joke that Wii Sports is for old people and the filthiest of demographics, “casual gamers”. Does John Bates break that mould? Not really, the dude will be 87 this year.

Say what you like, he’s still better at Wii Bowling than any of us. According to John, it’s all about using two hands instead of one. So next time you’re at a really lame party or visiting grandma, be sure to bust out your secret weapon.

It doesn't look that cool, but you can't argue with results.

It doesn’t look that cool, but you can’t argue with results.

Speedrunners

I’ve had to lump these all together because honestly, there’s not a single speedrun that doesn’t require an ungodly amount of time and effort.

I spent a good couple of weeks down the YouTube rabbit-hole watching countless speedruns; it makes no difference whether you’ve even played the game before yourself. The amount of planning, perseverance and mind-numbing repetition that goes into shaving off precious seconds is somewhat of an art.

My personal favourites are the Super Mario 64 speedruns, as they generally rely on pure skill rather than abusing glitches in the game to get ahead faster. The skill is also immediately apparent, even to someone who doesn’t know which way to hold a controller. Set aside an hour and a half, and prepare to be amazed.