When you become a parent, you lose a lot of your alone time. This makes it incredibly difficult to game. But, there is a way to be a responsible parent, and game.After raising my daughter for the last 15 months with my SO, I’ve altered the way I game. Console gaming becomes almost non-existent when you can only play in spurts of minutes, instead of hours. Below is a list of 10 things I believe will help out a fellow gaming parent.
10. Give Mobile Gaming a Chance
I know, I know…. Mobile gaming is no comparison to console, or PC gaming. However, when your child is sleeping this is a great way to make significant progress. My SO and I have been playing a ton of Clash Royale lately, this is because of the short but competitive matches. While I understand some people don’t enjoy mobile gaming, one game you try and like will change your opinion.
9. Look Into Game Streaming Possibilities
For the first 3 months after my daughter was born, I used my Nvidia Shield for almost all my gaming. This may of course only work for some of you, this device works by streaming PC games from your desktop. This is a great way to get a few matches of Rocket League in while your daughter sleeps on your chest. Oh yeah, and for you PS4 gamers out there, you can also join in. People have found a way to stream your PS4 games to the shield as well via remote play https://www.reddit.com/r/DestinyTheGame/comments/2vbbq6/ps4_how_to_play_destiny_from_almost_any_android/.
8. Re-visit Old Games
Kids, are expensive. We love them to death, but they are expensive. Instead of splurging into new games, re-visit your old library. This really helps when it comes to money. Having a child is a test of patience, if you previously didn’t have enough patience to complete a ridiculously difficult level before, then try it now. You may be surprised with how much better your problem solving ability has become.
7. Parent First, Game Second
Even if you like gaming, you love your child. Don’t let gaming distract you from your kid. Especially when they get into the walking stage. They put everything in their mouths, and get into everything that is visible. Don’t get distracted by a quick game. You’d be surprised by how much they can get into, while in a 2 minute match.
6. Make a Gaming Plan
I have set times I game throughout the day. When my daughter takes a nap, and when she goes to bed at night. There is nothing wrong with following a gaming schedule. While a schedule may scare you, and you may think that will ruin the fun of gaming, I have experienced the opposite. I’m constantly thinking about what I can do differently tonight to improve my performance in a game. It creates something to look forward to, and makes you appreciate the time you have.
5. Play Less Time Consuming Games
Fallout 4, is not a game you can beat while watching your child. Instead of looking for deep RPG’s, do research before diving in and designating your time. While this is something very difficult to transition to, a nice 10 minute match of Rocket League or Hearthstone will fill the void.
4. BUY A NINTENDO SWITCH
This probably sounds like a sales pitch. But, the Switch is the perfect console for a parent. It gives you the option of mobile gaming, but you can continue a AAA experience from the TV. if I never got a Switch, I probably would have about 40% less gaming time a day.
3. Find Games You and Your SO Mutually Like
Even if your SO isn’t into gaming, you can most likely sway them into quick fun. TV gets boring (Game of Thrones is the exception), a quick match of Clash Royale 2v2 will get you guys working together. You will be surprised how much having a child improves your communication and teamwork skills.
2. Don’t Game at All Available Down Times
Don’t constantly game, you have to mix things up. Make sure you keep your Gaming times are for moments where you NEED that break or distraction. Gaming is great if you are overloaded with stress, which happens a lot.
1. Accept That Your Genre Taste Will Change
With a big change in your life, your views about games will change also. I used to play competitive games like Dota 2 and Smite, but now I no longer do. If you never played casual games, you will now. Never did I at one point think I would play any casual games. But here I am, and things change. Nothing is wrong with a change from competitive multiplayer games, to ones that take less of your time. You will have to explain to your gaming friends that you can’t play what they play, which is difficult. They will understand though, even if they don’t have kids.
Your child should always be #1, and you should plan your hobbies around them, or involve them in it. Be the parent you want to be, and keep pursuing the hobbies you had before they came along. A child will make you feel like you have no time, but think about what you did before they came along. Can’t think of what you used to do? Before you took advantage of all the free time, but now you have something to look forward to.