New Dad, Seeks a Change of Pace

Frantic and fast paced to slow and relaxed in one week

An evening pattern seems to be emerging. I know I wrote last week that this was not the case and trying to find one was a useless task. But I have noticed that we are getting into a bit of a routine.

It’s something we’ve been trying for weeks to make sure Kim gets a good stint of sleep whilst I’m still awake and a competent human. It goes, feed E, Kim goes to bed, I take her out for a walk if necessary, come home where she sleeps attached to me in her sling, E wakes up and I give her a bottle, E stays up for an hour before I tire of her insolence and will her to sleep again. This ‘routine’ could start anywhere from 7 till 10 during an evening. The sleeping aspect with E in the sling could also be for an indeterminate amount of time between 30 mins to 3 hours. Meaning the only time I could fit gaming in was during this sleep time.

Lately E has been frequently staying down closer to two hours. This, and handing my university work in, has opened up my evenings to longer and more frequent game sessions.

As the pattern continues perhaps the time will become more regular and I’ll have a decent, almost set window of opportunity every night.

Last weekend was the Titanfall 2 stress test, tech test, Alpha / beta type demo. Uhh these tests are called so many different things. I hadn’t played Titanfall, as it was an Xbox exclusive, so was keen to give it a go. I enjoy first person shooters and think giant robots are cool so it’s a winning combination really.

The first couple of evenings I played Titanfall 2 I found it difficult to play and look after E. She was great but between matches I was automatically coming out of the lobby just in case she kicked off. My eyes darted from the action on-screen down to her while in-game. I wanted to be ready. Absurd considering her moods and the chance to wake up wouldn’t be timed to that space in between bouts. Although she has started to sleep for longer periods of time I’m still on edge that she’ll wake whilst I play. Online multiplayer doesn’t have a pause button and leaving a match mid game is very unsporting but if E woke necessary. I guess the erratic nature of her sleep, caused mostly by reflux, has stopped me being able to fully get into a game especially a game without pause.

I managed to get a few hours in on Sunday afternoon when Kim and E went out. A wholly different experience especially with Aadil’s company and a couple of beers.

With the Titanfall 2 test down during the week I went back to No Man’s Sky. Again this was played during the night shift. E was sleeping after a short walk and I thought I’d chart a few more systems. NMS, as already discussed, is a great game to play whilst looking after a baby. You can play at your own pace and approach it in a few different ways. During this session I picked up a blueprint for a gun upgrade. On the back of Titanfall I was still in the fps mood so installed it and let rip on the sentinels. I hadn’t played like this before and for an hour I was much more aggressive in destroying machines and space pirates alike. It was great to have an fps light experience which I could pause and turn my attention back to E when needed. I really enjoyed playing like this.

Wednesday rolled round, my day off, and I spent a little of the day on No Man’s Sky. Kim and E were sleeping and most of the house chores were done. On entering the game I didn’t have that urge for frantic fps combat. I was on a planet full of beasts and just felt like observing what they were doing. Partly to see if they acted similarly to fauna on other planets. It was a relaxed session and this feeling rolled into my evening game time. It was great whilst hanging out with E to have a slower, much more relaxed session.

I had been playing No Man’s Sky as a normal video game trying to reach a goal, rushing through the systems to get to the centre of the galaxy. But now I’ll play at my own pace. It can be a wonderfully relaxing experience. After a long day at work and then looking after a child for the evening this is exactly what I want.

My pc has been a little neglected lately. It’s difficult to sit at the desk with E attached to me. The times I have spent awkwardly sat there I’ve been doing uni work. With this free hour of time I thought I’d continue on with a relaxed pace. The Old City: Leviathan is a ‘Walking Simulator’ (such a hideous term). On a basic level you wander through environments uncovering a story. But there’s much more to it than just that. The Stanley Parable is one of the best examples of this. It’s comedic, puzzling and smashes through the fourth wall for great player immersion. TOCL is a little different. The narrative and environments are tense, they convey a sense of anxiety like something may be around the corner to scare you. It’s a little more like Soma and keeps you firmly within that world. Great, but when I want to relax and get ready to take over looking after E this isn’t what I want.

A complete change of pace happened this week. I started fast and ended more sedate, reflective and relaxed. It was enjoyable to have the chance to play a variety of games based on my mood and E’s temperament.

With E settling more and a routine starting to creep in I’m getting a decent amount of game time. This is happening in a more predictable time slot and hopefully will continue on in this vein. Perhaps our peak will hit just in time for the big online shooters coming in the next couple of months.

There are always still those moments though which make it all worth while.



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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