Part of the problem with EVE is that by it's very sandbox nature it has no defined start and end time. There aren't any levels or zones that delineate when you could reasonably stop. Also there is a need/temptation for little 'maintenance' visits just to queue up skills, check sales orders or some other administrative task. Because of this, the tendency is to have EVE idling on the PC more often than is strictly necessary. Something that doesn't go down well if you're caught tidying up your hangar when you had only popped to the loo.
Having recently married, I looked to my more maritally-experienced friends for advice. Fortunately, one is also a corpmate and so suffers from the same problem. We've jokingly referred to having to earn "brownie points" by attending to our husbandly duties in order to earn the right to play EVE. We've even developed some chat-window shorthand to determine whether a sudden online appearance is with or without the wife's knowledge.
So for a laugh I thought I'd formalise the process so we'll have a better idea of whether we should be playing at any given time.
Let's assume that a brownie point [BP] is worth 10 minutes of EVE time. I would've gone for a greater value, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the exchange rate of Good Husbandly Deeds to BPs isn't going to be great. What follows is a rough guide to how BPs are won and lost.
- Cooking dinner (+3 BPs).
- An evening out together (+12 BPs).
- Time spent watching a chick-flick/X-Factor together (+1 BP per 30 mins viewing).
- Buying flowers (+3 BPs).
- Agreeing to another holiday (+3 per days holiday agreed).
- Going to bed at the same time (+1 BP).
- Staying up to play EVE instead (-5 to -50BPs).
- Being caught in the same room as an EVE client - "it's just on, I'm not playing it, honest." (-2 BPs).
- Being caught playing EVE without official clearance (-5 BPs).
- Administrative EVE visit whilst entertaining dinner guests (-10 BPs).
- Playing EVE for longer than stated (-2 BPs per 10 minutes overrun).
- Reading EVE-related blogs on iPhone whilst out (-2 to -10 BPs dependent on situation).
- Planning life around EVE/rushing home to play (-10 BPs if intentions are discovered).
- This blog ever being discovered (-240000 BPs).