PlayStation LifeStyle: Being a Gamer Dad
As many of you know, 3 months ago, my wonderful daughter was born. Having a baby is life-changing. Gaming is part of my life, and I am here to tell you how having a baby is going to affect you as a gamer.
Time isn’t on your side… The biggest change is lack of free time. Gone are the times where you could sit down for hours playing through level after level, and winning boss fight after boss fight. Your gaming bouts will be shortened significantly. A lot of this is due to the fact you won’t even be thinking about gaming, as you will be so caught up in your baby. You’ll realize that spending time with your daughter, and the lovely wife that gave you your daughter, is so much more rewarding than any trophy.
Late night gaming… If you are a gamer, then you have at some point, stayed up into the wee hours of the night plugging away at your newest game obsession. This is especially true with RPG’s since you have to dedicate so many hours into the game to progress. Not only that but because the story is so enthralling. You are going to need to get to bed at a decent time, if you want to attempt sharing the responsibility of all the middle-of-the-night feedings. (C’mon guys it shouldn’t be only the wife’s responsibility)
Game purchases… Having a baby is EXPENSIVE. Formula, clothing, diapers, toys, etc – all these things cost money, and a lot of it. Any respectable gamer dad, would gladly give up an extra game to see their baby have the things he or she needs. It all boils down to balance, and income, but even the wealthiest gamer will have to make more conscious decisions when it comes the things you buy.
Rated E for Everyone… Yeah, you know those kick-ass Stealhead Chimera that just melee’ed your sorry ass? Your kid will be scared shitless seeing that run up to the screen and take a lash at you. No more blood spurting, no more shooters with explosions, no more survival horror games. You wouldn’t want to give your baby nightmares? You will be up at night enough as it is. Stick to things like Ratchet and Clank or a racing game. I find myself playing a lot of PSN titles, because they are quick and non-violent.
5.1? 7.1 surround? Try volume MIN… Sure you used to think that nothing could sound better than piloting Metal Gear Rex and blasting through hoards of Gekkou. But the sound of a baby sleeping is far better than any Dolby TrueHD audio pumping through your speakers. Knowing your baby is resting, and growing, is bliss. Not only that, but how will you game if you have awakened your baby with the sound of a booming sub-woofer? This goes hand-in-hand with bluetooth headsets… you aren’t going to be barking out strategy to your teammates, or taunting the guy you just fragged through your headset if you want your baby to sleep. Go ahead, ask some of the other PSLS staff, I never have my mic.
Wow, looking at what I just wrote, a lot of you may be thinking about having a vasectomy. I am here to tell you it is all more than worth it. I am also going to tell you about all the wonderful things being a gamer dad will bring you.
Reliving gaming… Remember your first console? So will your kid. Remember how you felt the first time you beat a game? Seeing your child experiencing gaming, something you loved as a child, will bring tears to your eyes. The first time your kid says, “daddy, watch me beat up the bad guy” will be better to you than any game you ever played. If for some reason your child doesn’t like gaming, (what the hells wrong with this kid?) whatever you do, don’t force it on them. Imagine, you and your child, side by side, creating a father-son (or father-daughter) stage in LittleBigPlanet. Better than gaming with any of your PSN friends list, I will tell you that! (Sorry guys! You know you’re great)
So that’s it, those are just a touch of what you could experience as a gamer dad. Truth be told, every experience as a parent is different.
I am lucky. I have a wonderful, devoted wife who supports my gaming habits. My daughter is my world, my everything, my reason. There is really nothing I wouldn’t do for her, so all those sacrifices are minor when it comes to the lengths I would go for her. Nothing having to do with gaming can ever make you as proud as your child can.
My little girl is now sleeping through the night pretty much every night, so I have been sneaking in some late night gaming lately. Even though all the while, I am dreaming of the day I can send off a DualShock 3 to colorware.com and have it painted pink, so my daughter can play along side her dad.
I hope you enjoyed this read. I enjoyed writing it and I enjoyed the look back over the past three months of my life.
I will leave you with one final very important note… Please resist the urge to buy any gaming related onesies.