tomb_raider_legend.jpgThere’s an intriguing piece up on Wired News at the moment by Collision Detection blogger Clive Thompson, who asks: “Who the heck actually finishes a story-based game in 40 hours? Who are these mythical 40-hour gamers?”

Interesting question – Clive’s frustration comes from the fact that he picked up a copy of Eidos’ Tomb Raider: Legend under the impression that he was about to play a 40 hour game. Not so, he says.

“I plugged away at the game whenever I could squeeze an hour away from my day job and my family. All told, I spent far more than 40 hours -- but still only got two-thirds through. At some point, I sadly realized I just couldn't afford any more time. I've got a life to lead: Books to read, a day job, my infant son to hang out with, other games beckoning. That's why I've collected a shockingly large mausoleum of unfinished games over the years.”

Clive also asks whether the only solution is going to be a split in the way games are developed, in order to please those hard-core types who whinge about recent releases being too short, and “soft-core” gamers who just want a couple of hours of fun here and there.

I can’t help but sympathise – as much as Final Fantasy XII’s impending release excites me, I’m not sure that another 83 hour slog is what I really need to be doing with my life. Aside from arguably having better things to do, the guilt after spending that long on the previous one was pretty damned tangible.

[edited by alistairw]