Gaming Across Time Zones – An Interview with an Irish Gamer Playing On North American Servers

Online gaming provides incredible opportunities to meet people.

Having recently returned to Final Fantasy XIV and joining my real life friends’ Free Company, I’ve had the chance to meet and chat with wonderful people in a manner which I haven’t experienced since I was seventeen.

One such person I’ve had the privilege to talk to is Jamie O’Brien (Winter Storms) from Ireland. He recently shared his experiences with me in an interview about what it’s like playing on North American Servers (NA) while being all the way from the EU.

Why did you decide to play on NA Servers to begin with?

I started playing on NA servers back when I played Overwatch. It wasn’t hard to switch back and forth between the servers. When I started playing FFXIV, I had a friend in discord who was from the West Coast and I joined his server to play with him.

How has the time difference effected you real life responsibilites? (sleep, school, work, relationships, etc.)

Playing with people on the West Coast was much harder than with people on the east. I rarely got to see any of them because when it was prime time for gaming for them (5 – 12pm) it would be 3-10am for me. Playing with East Coast is easier though, as there is only a 5 hour time difference, but it has caused me to stay up till 4am recently. I’m currently between jobs right now, so it’s okay. But once I get a new job, I’ll probably only see my friends on the weekends or my days off.

Have you ever considered switching to a server in your time zone?

I did swap back to an EU server (zodairk) back during Version 4.3-4.4 of FFXIV, but that only lasted two weeks. Most of the Free Companies were either French, German, or Spanish and my own attempt to start one didn’t go so well.

Would you say the time you spend interacting with those in North America make all the difficulties worth it?

Overall, playing with Americans is more fun. They’re much more friendly and they take time to help you out even if it wastes their entire day doing it. I find most people in the EU are more strict and by the book. It’s expected that you do things yourself and not relying on others.


Winter Storms is a member of the Free Company, Bad Intentions (iBad), and plays on the Sargatanas server.

If you’re also an EU gamer playing on NA servers and you wish to share your experiences, please leave a comment below. Or if you have any ideas for future blogposts, please leave a comment on that was well.

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Brian J. Branscum

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