At some point for a great many of you, if not already, you’ll start the tiring and incredibly expensive journey of being a new parent. A time when all thoughts, time, energy and money are devoted towards a small, incomprehensible, pooing machine that is your child. Gaming, as we all know can be a very time-consuming hobby and, well in short, your entire attitude to gaming is going to have to change. However just because it’s changing doesn’t mean you can’t find time to play video games.
I have a one month old now, and I can assure you I still find the time to play video games, while still being a (hopefully) responsible new parent. If you’re about to be or have just become a new video-gaming parent, then read on for a few tips to ensure you can still grab that gaming time while taking full care of your little darling. All the things on this list make the rather simple assumption that you’re not going to be a dick and that you’re going to help your partner and share the responsibility of raising your child wherever possible, but i’m sure you’ll all do that anyway.
Choose Your Game Wisely
Bear in mind that when you have a child your time is limited, often severely. The chance of getting a long mammoth play session is pretty remote so you should play games that can be digested in small chunks. It might not be time to pick up that large sprawling RPG filled with rich plots, complex storylines and multiple endings. Instead, choose something that can be played in smaller bits. You may only have a play slot of a few minutes, which isn’t a great amount of time. The important thing of any gaming session is to leave and feel that you have accomplished something.
Online Competitive games are pretty much a no-no as well, although PvE MMORPG’s can still work quite well. Quick match FPS games such as Overwatch can work quite well, but just bear in mind you might have to leave the game at any point to take care of your little one, so don’t start a match you’re not willing to instantly walk away from.
You’re not as quick as You Used to Be
Another thing to think about is that if you choose a game that depends on quick thinking reflexes or intense thought, you’re not going to be quick or as able as you may have once been. There’s a fairly good chance that due to sleep-deprivation, those usually spot-on headshots will miss their target, or your FIFA team will suddenly drop in the league due to a drop in goal accuracy. Either you can just admit you’re not quite going to be as good as you once were but still have fun with the game, or just put the game to one side, at least until you start getting your sleep back.
If you’ve not been a mobile gamer before, than this is something you might want to look in to. Playing games on your phones gives you the instant and convenient way to scratch that gaming itch without you having to worry about turning on your console or booting up your PC. If you’re thinking it’s all Candy Crush and Angry Birds on there, think again. Games such as Hearthstone, GWENT, Telltales Walking Dead and now Life is Strange prove that games on mobiles can be every bit as engaging as those on larger consoles and desktop computers. Mobile Gaming comes with the added advantage of only needing to reach for your mobile device.
It’s all About Control
At some point you are probably going to have a baby laying on you asleep, and you’ll be terrified of moving in case you wake up the ticking time bomb. This is where games that use control pads are your friend. I’m not saying you can’t play games with a keyboard and mouse but a control pad gives you option of reclining back and playing while baby sleeps soundly on you undisturbed. Hoorah!
Make Sure You Have Everything You Need
When you’ve finally managed to secure a play slot and before you ensure that your baby is fully deployed on to your cosy, warm belly, make sure you have everything you need for the session ahead. Go to the toilet, make sure the TV is at the correct volume, and that you have the correct game running. In short make sure that every items you might possible need is well within arms reach. This is important for two reasons. One, not setting up properly will only reduce the time you get to play, but more importantly, you might want to do everything in your power to not wake the child that is sprawled delicately over your chest.
The above points are all written from the perspective of a new dad, and these do all work for me at least at the moment. However, I’m very interested to hear from all the video-gaming parents your stories of how you managed to fill all those tiny, little timeslots with gaming time.