Now that my son is 2, I look back to the first few days when he was a newborn and how he completely changed my life as a gamer. You’ve probably heard the chides that being a dad with a newborn gives you a future Player 2. That may be true – but that future is far, far ahead. I am by no means a casual gamer — video games were my security blanket, my virtual therapist and the one constant hobby that has never changed, even now at 34. But parenting. Ah, there’s the rub. Here’s how my hobby changed.
I make sure there’s a pause button
If the game I’m playing is heavy on story and cut scenes (Telltale’s The Walking Dead or The Last of Us come to mind) I avoid playing these sorts even when my son is taking a nap. Imagine him waking up crying, looking for milk and an important plot piece was being revealed in a 10 minute cut scene that I can’t skip. There you go. When I was in the vicinity of my newborn son, I could only play games that could be paused at any time (the PS Vita comes to mind because the main system button can pause any game at any time) or games that didn’t need me to be fully engaged: turn based strategy games like XCom: Enemy Within, Endless Legend and Civilization V do come to mind as staples. So yeah – new dads. Being a parent doesn’t mean you should give up your hobbies. Your hobbies may just take other forms. Cradling my son to sleep on my shoulder still allowed me room to play Warhammer Quest on the iPhone with my other hand. It’s a skill. You’ll get there.
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