# Knovel Blog

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## How Much Do You Spend on Entertainment? This Equation Helps You Spend Smarter

Craig the Rocket Scientist September 19, 2012

A coworker and I have been developing an equation. It involves the ratio of money we spend to the time we are entertained by something we spent the money on. It’s a simple equation and looks like this:

(Equation 1)

Where V sub E is the “Value of Entertainment,” T equals time (expressed in hours), and M equals money (dollars). While seconds is the standard time unit it can be seen in the following examples that hours are far more functional.

EX 1: Going to a movie costs \$8 and last approximately 2 hours. No refreshments are purchased at the theater, however a snack is snuck in from the outside. The illegal snack costs \$3.

Using equation we find that:

(or 0.25 without snacks)

EX 2: A video game is purchased for \$65 and is then played an average of 2 hours a day for 2 weeks, then 1 hour a day for the next month.

You may ask, “What’s the purpose of this equation?” Simple, like any good mathematic formula you should use it to beat your contemporaries over the head with it! (Newton did this when he discovered calculus)

When someone tells you that you are playing too many video games, calmly, rationally, explain this formula to them and smile as they look on in bafflement that they could not grasp your shrewdness in getting the most for your money. If anything this calculation shows why it is not only good, but preferable to play Diablo 3 or Skyrim for 250+ hours. ( At the same time this adds justification to using services such as Redbox and Netflix over conventional movie theaters.

This calculation can also be used when supporting free to play games. Simple estimate the time you have, or intend to play, select an appropriate “Value of Entertainment” ratio and determine the amount of money that should be paid to the game provider.

14 year olds and game developers: You’re welcome.

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1. There should be another component – the quality of the time spent. I probably get the same satisfaction from playing a video game for 4 hours as I do from watching a really good movie for 2.

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