In about 24 hours or so, I’m going to become a father for the first time. And that is undoubtedly going to turn my world completely upside down, like the second stage in Mickey Mouse’s Castle of Illusion back on the Sega Megadrive (video below).
One of the main things that will change will definitely be my gaming habit. There is just no way that I’ll be able to continue playing games the same way I used to, not with a little human puppy needing my attention every now and then.
But that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to game anymore, right? I can still squeeze in some gaming between feeding times and when the little one is sleeping. Still, that will exclude some games and these are the ones I think I won’t be playing for a while.
The problem with Starcraft and RTS games in general is that they require so much of your attention. I could step away to get a glass of water and I’d come back to a destroyed base or I could’ve forgotten where I am in my build order. Just building an extra overlord in the beginning could mean instant death in this game.
Yes, you could pause the game but you can’t really do that in a ladder match, can you? So yeah, no more zergling rushes for me.
One thing about SimCity is that it’s not a competitive game like StarCraft, so you can sorta leave it going on auto-pilot with some peace of mind. that you won’t be attacked by some Terran bio-ball. Plus, it takes a while to deliver goods to great work construction sites, so you can get a bit impatient. Once, I left it going while I went out for dinner, thinking that things were stable and I’d come back to a completed arcology or something.
Well, they weren’t.
Somehow, I’d run out of oil and then that meant my oil plant couldn’t power anything which meant everyone moved out in frustration and then I started making losses, so I’d come home to a BANKRUPT screen. Things can go really bad in SimCity when you’re not paying attention, so there lies the rub.
But it’s not all bad news. I’ve come to realize that there are alternatives. Pretty much every game on my Xbox can be paused, and I’ve worked out that I should be able to comfortably carry an infant while still operating an Xbox controller (something impossible with PC games), so I should be able to play Splinter Cell Blacklist when that comes out. There are some games with long cutscenes you can’t pause though… so those will just have to go screw themselves.
What about you guys? Anybody have any tips on how to mix raising a child and indulging in your gaming habits?
Drew used to be a professional videogame reviewer, then he took an adulthood arrow to the knee. Now he is a content strategist, helping brands tell their stories without resorting to overused videogame memes.