Gaming with a Family

Posted on Saturday, January 22, 2011 by Alex R. Cronk-Young

There was a time when I could play video games for several hours a day if I wanted to, no problem. Long RPGs and action games like Okami that took 40 or 50 or even 60 hours to beat were no problem because I could make sizable dents in them on a regular basis. Nowadays? Not so much.

I guess it takes all parents some time to adjust to their new schedule, and fitting in time for their hobbies is always the last thing on the list. Obviously the duties of being a father should always come first, but I'd really like to be able to carve out a small part of my day for video games so that I'm not always hopelessly left behind in the gaming community.

Most people in this situation suggest staying up after the kids go to sleep, but Emerson has always gone to bed with me at 11 or so, and Zoe comes up a little later. I wake up earliest each morning so I can check emails and maybe write a little bit before I head out to work. Being that the video games are all in our bedroom with my sleeping wife and child, I can't really play then either.

Once I'm home from work, it's always hard to sneak upstairs to play games because I'm basically abandoning Zoe to take care of Emmy by herself, which she's done all day long already. I sometimes bring Emmy upstairs with me, but all of her toys are downstairs and she usually gets tired of staying in the bedroom and starts making mischief out in the hallway, bathroom, or other bedrooms. Plus, I'm never sure if a game is going to cuss, become overly violent, or do any number of other things she really shouldn't see.

The other day I had the idea of playing with headphones on while Zoe and Emmy slept in the morning, but for some reason the headphone jack on our TV doesn't work. Someone said I could get an adapter to possibly make the headphones a possibility so I'll have to look into that. Until then I've mostly found myself gaming on my laptop because I can do it downstairs while Emmy plays. That'll have to do unless I can get the headphones working. Maybe I can get through Dead Space by pecking away at it whenever I can sneak upstairs. Ah, the sacrifices of parenting.

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