New Dad, Seeks Time

Free time is a precious commodity these days

My free time is a precious commodity these days. It’s a currency that I’m now always overdrawn on.

We’re almost four weeks in. With the needs that this brings, combined with being back at work doing 9 hour days, time does not appear to be on my side. However, read on dear viewer for a glimmer of hope. It’s all I’m clinging onto right now.

Choosing to edit Tanked Up over actually playing a game was the right choice in this instance. The following day wouldn’t have allowed me any time to edit the podcast and publishing it would have slipped. I can only assume that this would have continued until I’d annoyingly thrown the files at someone else to edit. It did allow me to learn how to hold a baby and work at the computer for an hour though and opens up what I can achieve during sleep times.

Again I was really looking forward to playing. It was late, well it felt late. My partner was in bed. E was asleep and the lights were dim. I began to move through this new environment. Dark lighting, ominous environmental sounds and being trapped in a room instantly put me on edge. I made it out of the room by cleverly throwing a chair through a window, which took me a couple of minutes to figure out. I was away. I stepped into the next room and boom! The first jump scare hit me a little harder than I would have liked. Normally I would have telegraphed it but a few nights of light sleep and having the light levels in my room mirror the game was enough to make me physically jump. ‘Fuck this’ was my first thought but I pushed on. When the game then told me about the ‘peaking around corners’ mechanic and that running was a viable option I was done. Netflix has got the full 7 season of Star Trek The Next Generation. That’s much safer and I’ve only previously watched the entire run twice so it felt like a solid choice.

A Sunday afternoon through to early evening, especially a wet one, used to be prime gaming time for me. I could get in a session that would last several hours. Coupled with getting up early, like the child I am, an hour or so before my partner and a Sunday could score me about 6 to 8 hours of gaming. Now I get up early to relive Kim of duty and take charge of E whilst she gets a few more hours sleep. My afternoons are filled with tasks to make our house cleaner and safer for E or to make the coming week a little easier. The evenings are now a struggle to calm an angry little child who only wants to eat constantly for several hours. These are my new Sundays.

Hopefully a view I'll be seeing soon - No Man's Sky

Hopefully a view I’ll be seeing soon – No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky has been on my anticipated games list since it first emerged from the primordial soup of the VGX awards 2013. A game about flying through space, discovering strange new worlds, seeking new life and civilizations, to boldly… Yeah you get the idea. I love sci-fi. The small trickles of information and limited footage shown of the game have me really intrigued. The idea that NMS is so vast that the chances of encountering another player, if that is possible as details are limited, is immensely unlikely has huge appeal. However, this is not a normal single player experience. It is a perpetual universe always on and possibly always ready to present danger. Not having the safety of a pause button to be able to deal with E when needed has put a huge dent in my plans of seeing Peter Molyneux at the centre of the universe.

And it felt good. My employer agreed, before E was born, that I could use my holiday to take Wednesdays off. Essentially it breaks the week up for Kim so I can give her more respite and lets me spend more time at home with ‘the girls’. For the first time it’s also allowed me to get in some game time. I slept in till around 7.30 that morning and came down to find the two of them rousing from sleep. A quick feed and E was all mine. Well she would have been if she hadn’t of instantly fallen asleep. What to do now I thought turning on the Playstation, mind already made up. To say it was instinctual to reach for the control pad at that moment wouldn’t be far off how it felt. Perhaps my brain knew to take the opportunity whilst it presented itself. Also I’m enjoying Soma. Possibly even more than Alien Isolation. High praise indeed!

So is this the starting point? Will a little more of my time be my own again. Or is this just a blip, a glorious blip, in my descent into gaming oblivion. Only time, and a small human, will tell.


Ben is like a fine wine, he spends far to much time in cellars. He deliberately developed a stutter and a slur and walks with a limp to conceal his raging alcohol problem. Once beat up a fish for looking at him funny. Ben hosts the Tanked up podcast, but we are pretty sure he isn't aware of that.
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