‘Banking’: Why It’s The Way Of The Future, And Why You Must Do It

‘Banking’: Why It’s The Way Of The Future, And Why You Must Do It

Anyone who has ever lived in the same space as another human being or, more specifically, shared a single television with a loved one, understands the situation. A brand new game comes out. You want to play that game. Your partner/sibling/parents want to watch TV. All hell breaks loose. I’m here to tell you I have a solution – and that solution is ‘banking’.I will now illustrate the practice of banking via a simple example.

MARK’S WIFE: “Gossip Girl! I love Gossip Girl. I’ve just discovered this terrible, terrible show and I want to watch my DVD until Blake Lively’s face is permanently and gruesomely burned onto our Panasonic Plasma!”

MARK: “Gossip Girl. What an interesting concept. This does not sounds like a culmination of Dawson’s Creek/Beverly Hills 90210/The O.C – watching this show seems like a fruitful endeavour which you should engage in. Watch away darling.

Days pass…

More days pass…

MARK’S WIFE: Are you sure you don’t mind me spending another Sunday watching yet another entire season of Gossip Girl? Are you sure?

MARK: Of course not darling. That’s totally fine. You are the love of my life, the song in my heart. I could never forsake you for watching such an engaging piece of modern television.

This, my friends, is called banking. Banking is all about maximising your time, and choosing your moments wisely.

For example – I recently finished Portal 2. This was a game I enjoyed thoroughly. Post-Portal 2 I began scrambling through my backlog, searching for older games I wanted to finish/begin. This was because I have a learned urge to play games constantly, even if I don’t have anything I particularly want to play.

This is a fruitless exercise. You must fight against such instincts.

This period of time is a gaming dead zone. If you are in a situation where you have to share a television, you must choose your moments wisely and bank.

If your husband wants to watch the game, let him watch.

And bank.

If your mother wants to watch Dancing With The Stars, let her watch.

And bank.

Now that I’ve allowed my wife to spend the last week powering through Gossip Girl marathons, she can do nothing but acquiesce to my demands to play L.A. Noire, which was released this week.

I have sacrificed one week of playing games for the sake of it for pure uninterrupted time with a game I’ve truly been anticipating. My wife’s Gossip Girl addiction has allowed me to bank an incredible amount of time. Now she has absolutely no right to ask me to stop playing, no right to even suggest it.

She can’t even give me the silent treatment.

This is banking in action. Banking is the future. You must learn to bank, and bank well. Think about your gaming schedule, time it with releases you truly care about – sacrifice the time you know you don’t need. You must learn to be an efficient, intelligent banking machine.

Happy banking folks.

Republished from Kotaku. Got your own strategy for managing TV and gaming time? Share it in the comments.


  • Doesn’t work. My wife just expects to watch what she wants all the time. I’ve not played a video game since we got married, except for once when she was away for a week.

      • +1

        My girlfriend doesn’t share my love or music however I can play as long as I don’t ignore her and we spend time together.

        Even on occasion she’ll play with me.

        We finished Halo: Reach in one sitting and she cooked me a roast chicken.

        I think I might marry this girl.

  • While I agree with the general idea, I think there’s a real problem when you start trying to keep tally of ‘wins’ in a relationship. Compromise is what keeps us together, and just because I watched a DVD for an hour doesn’t mean that you now have an hour of screen time banked. If you’re constantly keeping tabs and keeping track, I think you’re doing your relationship more harm than good.

    Rather than banking, why not find a mutually agreeable solution. From my own relationship: you want to watch netball honey? That’s fine, you engage in that brain meltingly boring activity, and I’ll go play Mass Effect 2 on the other TV in “my” games room, with the door shut.

    Everybody wins.

  • And every time you want to withdraw from this “bank”, you get charged a fee. Usually “fine” or other single words, but sometimes as much as using the vacuum cleaner or other noisy activities.

    And of course, like any real bank, they use your money and give you a fraction of a percent in interest (e.g. “Can I get you a beer?” once every few years or so)

    My suggestion is to get your own room with your own TV. Not only are both parties happy, but you don’t have to give up the games you want to play.

    • Don’t annoy your better half too much, or else you may have to reply on ‘handheld’ activities for all your entertainment and pleasure…

  • Well this is… wildly condescending. I’m not much of a gamer, but if my partner wants to spend a week playing LA Noire I wouldn’t have a problem with it because it’s important to him and I love him. How do I know it’s important to him? Because he told me ‘I can’t wait to spend a week playing LA Noire, it’s really important to me, I’m looking forward to it.’

    Similarly, if I’d had a completely shithouse day, he wouldn’t begrudge me camping out on the couch chaining episodes of Law and Order SVU, probably because I said ‘I’ve had a really shitty day, I just need to spend a long time staring at Chris Meloni’s face.’

    The unsexy, unbloggable, unclickable term for this is ‘communication.’ Tell your partner what’s important to you and vice versa. And let me tell you, if my partner was silently ‘banking’ some kind of comeback when I was doing something that I enjoyed, I’d be really fucking pissed off.

    • I suspect you haven’t quite recognised the distance between Mark’s tongue and his cheek on this occasion. That said, I still think his point is valid.

      • If this is intended to be a kind of wisecracking ‘women, always with the Gossip Girl when you want to do something orsum, amirite?’-type post, it’s still asinine and a great way to alienate female readers.

    • I don’t consider this good advice. Sure, it may benefit someone who’s made the mistake of marrying the wrong person, however its no way to live.

      “According to Jim” isn’t exactly a show about rosy marriages.

      This favour by ambush tactic you call “banking” is a great demonstration of lack of communication (as the comenter GG pointed out above). Perhaps if you spoke with your partner and informed her that you were interested in playing – you would be able to work out a schedule.

      I’d expect teenagers to spite each other the way you described in your “advice”.

  • What is wrong with your relationship that you don’t have the empathy and care for each other to make concessions maturely and need to resort to manipulation?

  • Heh,.. Pussy…. I programmed the remote for confusion… I record shows on a device that I make purposely confusing… I rule the TV….. Mwa, ha ha ha…. No, but I do get some time to myself. 🙁

  • i suppose in some situations, banking ‘could’ work… i find the situation my house-mate and i have is much easier; we don’t worry about my time/your time for the TV, we just discuss when needed if there’s a show one of us MUST watch (which is usually her asking if it’s ok that she watches it), but then, we’re also pretty ‘socialistic’ when it comes to food/bills/belongings/etc.

  • This totally failed for me on the weekend.
    Every day, my partner listens to the radio at home, for hours, same station, same songs.
    Now I dont mind the station myself but its on when I’m trying to watch TV or just in quiet time.

    On the weekend I put some of my music on in the car, 20mins later. we have to change it, she does not want to listen to it.
    I mention we play her music every day and what happens, she denies it.

    My Banked time = 0 ??

  • 1. Building up goodwill doesn’t have to be manipulative. My beloved is passionate about Formula 1 and as a result, some evenings I’ll find myself curled up in bed with him watching a race I have minimal interest in. Likewise, I have a particular affinity for RadioLab podcasts and he’ll patiently listen with me when we drive somewhere together. It’s not as clinical as ‘banking’ but I know we each have tolerance for the other’s activities because we know it goes both ways.

    2. This article uses sharing the TV as an example of ‘banking,’ not as the only thing it’s useful for, so the ‘just buy a second TV’ argument only works in select scenarios.

    To people complaining their partners don’t compromise… I don’t know, I couldn’t be with someone who wasn’t about the give and take. Power to you for putting up with it.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!