The last blog I posted was on April 12 of this year, and it dealt with my thoughts about becoming a soon-to-be father and how this would affect my gaming habits. I won't go in to too much detail on what happened between then and now, but I will say that the pregnancy was pretty stressful due to the baby suffering from IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction). That's basically a fancy way of saying the baby was small. In our case it was due to the placenta also being small, which had an effect on the flow of nutrition and oxygen to the baby. Fast forward six months and I'm very happy to announce that my wife and I welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world on September 25th. She came out small, 5 pound 11 ounces, and she's absolutely perfect. The journey has begun...
An idea I had while we were still in the expecting stage was to document my experiences as a gamer once the baby arrived. I thought it would be interesting to keep a record of how often I played, what I played, how long I played for etc. The purpose of this would be to look back on it further down the track so that I could see just how much having the baby influenced my gaming. I also thought it might be interesting for other prospective fathers to read so that they can have some idea of what to expect when their little sprog pops out and steals their heart. With my little girl nearing three weeks old I can already see that I will be able to balance being a dad with being a gamer.
Okay, this is the week where you really have to accept that you're going to get very little or perhaps no game time whatsoever. The only game I played during this period was Angry Birds Star Wars
on my phone while I watched over my sleeping wife and baby at the hospital. For one thing, you'll be too exhausted to focus on a game for too long even if you did have the time to play one. Seriously, I've never felt exhaustion quite like I experienced during this first week.
Total Game Time: 45 minutes
This is where things begin to settle down a bit. My wife and I attempted to introduce some routine in to our baby's life and it seemed to work. Other than having to wake her up for a feed every three hours during the night (this is because of her small size) she generally slept well in-between the feeds, which meant that my wife and I managed to catch about 6 hours of sleep ourselves overnight.
During this week I started to develop a bit of a routine for myself, also. I had taken two weeks off work to be at home with my family, which I think is really important. During the days I realised that there were two opportunities that I had each day to get a quick spot of gaming in. The first was early afternoon when our baby had been put down in her bassinet for a snooze and my wife went to have a shower. The next was generally later in the afternoon when the baby was having another snooze and my wife was also catching up on some sleep. During these small gaps I managed to fit in about 20 minutes on the Diablo III
demo on the PS3, and some decent sessions of Touch My Katamari
and Street Fighter x Tekken
on the Vita (thanks to my PS+ subscription!).
Total Game Time: 3 Hours
The night before I went back to work my wife and I agreed that I should sleep in the spare room, at least until the baby no longer needs three hourly feeds during the night. It would just be too much to have to wake up and go to work after a night of broken sleep like that. Although this was pretty strange for me (really, it's weird sleeping in another room when you know your wife and baby are in the room next to you), it did allow me to get some more gaming time in on my Vita before I went to sleep each night.
On one of my trips out to get wife and baby supplies at the local mall I ducked in to EB Games and bought Need For Speed Most Wanted
and Persona 4 Golden
for my Vita. I was quickly coming to accept that most of my gaming for the foreseeable future was going to be on my Vita, and I thought these two games would keep me occupied for a while.
I haven't started playing P4G yet, but I've been really enjoying NFS:MW. I had already played a fair bit of the game on the PS3, and the Vita version really is just like a miniaturised version of it. I'm looking forward to starting P4G, I haven't played any other games in the series but I've always been curious. A lot of people certainly seem to love them, and it's been a while since I really got engrossed by an RPG.
Total Game Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
If you're wondering how I kept track of the time I played the games, I use Raptr
. It's an easy way to look back on what you've played and how long for.
Okay, so that's my first three weeks as a Gamer Dad! As you can see, there is still hope for all you fathers-to-be out there. Your gaming life isn't going to just die as soon as your baby arrives! Having said that, our little girl really is a sweet heart. She's very even tempered and as I wrote above she has allowed us to get some decent sleep. All babies are different, so your mileage may vary...
I really would be interested to hear about the experiences of other parents out there when it comes to gaming. Feel free to leave a comment!