The end credits roll on the plasma TV screen and a satisfied smirk spreads across my face. I just beat Mass Effect 2 on “Insanity” but I’m also tired.  My thumbs are sore with stiff pain and begging for mercy, but I can’t put down the controller yet. I will have to play it all over again for the 15th time. Just when I thought I saved the world from the inevitable onslaught of robot alien space invaders and insectoid monsters. I have been bombarded with tedious assignments of space exploration and more downloadable content, stacking my gameplay time to a total of 195 hours. Yes, I have no life but it’s not my fault. It’s these damn addicting video games.

Today’s modern games are substantial in depth. They are filled with challenges, compelling storylines and technologically advanced gameplay but the only problem is that nowadays, these new games may surprisingly offer too much content.

Hear me out before you label me with the derogatory term “casual gamer.” I’m hardcore! I sleep, eat, drink and poop video games. I’ve played hundreds of online ranked matches in FIFA, spent hours a day destroying over a thousand geth in ME 2 and helped Scott Pilgrim defeat the league of evil exes to win his beloved Ramona Flowers countless times.

But when you work 9 to 5 six days a week and take 15 credits of online classes, you start to realize you don’t have as much time to plough through  stacks of xbox games.

On top of that these games don’t make it any easier with their repetitive and time consuming sideline missions and near-impossible challenges.

For example, after beating GTA IV and the episodes, there are still some fun missions that include gang wars and street races with nitrous-fueled sports cars but it starts to wear on you after 10 and you start to groan painfully at the fact that you have 90 more to go. On top of that you have to kill 200 hidden pigeons and pull off 50 vehicle stunt jumps scattered all over the map. The challenges are long and excruciatingly difficult.

In the Mass Effect series, apart from the main missions, you get swarmed by people who constantly need your help and want you to take on their missions for them. Some have you space-travel to many planets to complete an enemy clear out then report back, and others  can be as minuscule as traveling to a market to buy ingredients  for your staff chef, who is also the janitor.

According to Rockstar, Red Dead Redemption‘s single campaign player takes a whopping 20 to 25 hours to complete. However,  hours may vary among gamers depending on their skill.  In addition to that, the game challenges you to complete a 100 percent of it by hunting every single animal, taking out gang posts, winning poker stakes and other numerous challenges. With all these side missions, that’s another extra 10 hours of gameplay.

Honestly, that’s just too much to ask for us avid gamers, but it’s not all bad. There is a reason why these games offer us so many of these challenges to take on along with countless hours of gameplay. After completing the main story of a particular game, some gamers will take on the side missions and multiplayer because they offer precious replay value. Gamers who also put in the extra time to take in on harder challenges get rewarded by gaining points, leveling up or unlocking new weapons or armor. For me, There’s no denying the level of pride and joy  when that Xbox gamerscore pops onto your screen to notify an unlocked achievement or winning trophies on the PS3.

As time consuming as the extra content is for today’s video games, they offer huge incentives and that’s why we keep playing. I may not have as much time as I used to with but I’m still torn in between this love-hate relationship with today’s video games and I wouldn’t change a thing about them.