Fucking hell babies are hard work. They’re not, but they are. You know? Maybe you don’t. Just take it from me, babies are hard work. Especially when it comes to gaming and trying to find some time for your favourite hobby and source of entertainment. I’ve just become a dad, again. My first daughter was born in 2016 which dramatically changed my consumption of gaming both instantly and continuously over the last 6 years. Now, at a period when my time is mostly my own and I’m gaming more regularly we’re going to go through it all again.
Gaming is important to me and is the draw for my main leisure time. It’s an activity I enjoy for a number of reasons including getting some ‘me’ time in to help my own mental health. Though it pales in comparison to the ultimate game, keeping a small human alive. I still want to game. It just isn’t a priority and isn’t something I’m looking to find time for right now as I usually do. If there is some time and all the house jobs are done, I’ll slot something in but not to the detriment of the family. With that said I have had a few small moments where I have got some play time in.
We’re three weeks into baby number 2 and as with my first New Dad post with baby 1, I am getting in some Pokémon Go every day. It’s mostly limited to the school run but I’m hitting the dailies, battling, and taking part in the various seasonal quests that have been popping up. I enjoy it and it’s made more fun because my first daughter took an interest a while back. She likes Pokémon so is very into the easy play of Go. Now we’re into the summer holidays it may get relegated to walks to the shop or days out with the family for five minutes. It’ll be a while before my daughter has her own phone to play it on so it’s a mainstay for us for the foreseeable.
Away from mobile the PC hasn’t seen much love during my 2 weeks of paternity leave. During weeks 2 and 3 of small life, I have had the opportunity to preview Rollerdrome (you’ll hear about it when I’m back on TUP) which is ideal for really short gaming sessions. That’s it for the PC, so I’ve been gaming a little more on the PlayStation. This is mainly because the new PS Plus tiers were released and we’re spending a lot of time in the lounge in front of the PS4. I opted for PS Extra, the middle tier, and have access to the Game Collection. So far I have only played Guardians of the Galaxy, the Squenix 2021 game (which I’ve written about recently) and Stray. I’ll have a full article on Stray at some point but as a preview, it’s fucking great. I love an exploration game and Stray does a lot right in the genre, especially with its animations and the feel of playing as a cat. As with Rollerdrome, these games are only getting played in really short sessions, between 10 or 20 minutes. Or if everyone’s asleep maybe for an hour, which is rare. It’s an odd way of playing for me and I’m not sure I like the shorter sessions. I can’t get into the games as much. I do love a story and want to experience that for as long as possible, and this isn’t as well done in shorter sessions.
I’ve definitely been watching more than playing, including being an unwilling participant in the horrid experiment which is Love Island. Most of my free time, when both kids are sleeping, is spent with my wife and she’s not that into watching me play games. We’ve bashed through the new Resident Evil show (shite), watched the final few episodes of Ms. Marvel (pretty good), and horrified ourselves with Keep Sweet, Pray and Obey (brilliant). We also managed to watch something which was over an hour and both enjoyed Spiderhead, maybe relating to being trapped in a one-way relationship; at least the characters got to converse with each other rather than being a tired mess of humans. One show which I’m very happy is back and has had me actually taking lunch breaks during my first week back to work is Better Call Saul; probably the best show on TV/streaming right now. I’m glued to it to see how everything falls into place for Jimmy to fully become Saul leading into the events of Breaking Bad, and his life after it all. Breaking Bad was good TV, Better Call Saul is next level, up there with The Sopranos and The Wire. The storytelling, cinematography, and acting are so high level it will be hard to find something as good to get into when it’s finished. Maybe a game will fill the void but I’ll need that 50 / 60-minute session to really maximise my enjoyment.
I think the first few weeks of baby number 2 have gone past pretty quickly. We’re all healthy, we’re all happy and I’ve even got a little game time in. We sort of know what we’re doing with a new human now, we just have to factor in a slightly older human to also care for. I’ll go so far as to say it’s going well. On the gaming front I’m looking forward to getting more into Stray, and Rollerdrome is on the horizon which I’ll be fortunate to review, if I find the time. It will now be a never ending balance to find a space for gaming again, and gaming on a slightly professionally critical level with reviews and critique to bring the world in a timely, relevant manner. It’s definitely doable but my 50 games played a year will be slashed dramatically.
Come back to see how we’re getting on next month.