Hello Adulthood, Goodbye Gamerscore!

Published 4 years ago by

Hello Adulthood Goodbye gamerscore

Once the baby stopped waking up every two to four hours it would be time to resume normal gaming habits again, or so I told myself.

I’d done nothing for the last four months but get up, go to work, come home, help clean the house, help make dinner, give the baby a bath, put the baby to bed, hang out with my wife for an hour, go to bed tired, wake up exhausted – rinse and repeat. Every night I sat on the couch and stared at the growing collection of games that I had no time to play but refused to stop buying.  Invariably the task of actually picking one, just one, to play to completion would prove too daunting and I would spend the night in search of even more sedentary activity.

Usually this devolved into trolling gaming sites or curled up on the couch, eyes slowly glazing over as the latest in a long list of depressingly banal, and thoroughly unentertaining, rom-coms sent me into an inevitable eight-hour coma.

It was okay though because soon, I was going to take at least part of my life back – I had a plan. I was going to play Fallout 3 as both a good guy and a bad guy (experiencing all the game had to offer both times). I was going to consistently be the dude with the most kills on my deathmatch team in Modern Warfare 2.  And lastly, I was going to play through all of those quirky XBLA, PSN, and WiiWare games that my impulse buying seemed powerless against.

At first, these didn’t seem like such tough goals to attain. After all, my love affair with gaming has waxed and waned over the years. I’d fallen out of love at the end of the N64/PS1 era but become smitten once again with Metroid Prime and GTA: Vice City. I’d called it quits after Resident Evil 4 but reconciled with Oblivion.

grand theft auto v details

This was just cyclical, I told myself.  It was a phase, right?  Why should things be different now?

Well, mostly, because now things are different. I’m different. I don’t get the same thrill out of pursuing achievements, or doing the 15-hour quest that offers you a purple sword for finding every last little collectible. I didn’t feel like sticking it out when it became apparent that God of War is a whole lot of “Whoa, boobs!” and “Decapitation?  No way!” or when Ratchet and Clank felt like an upgraded Jet Force Gemini (I love my PlayStation, I really do).

But I didn’t want to give up gaming altogether.  That didn’t feel like the right answer – it wasn’t that I felt that all games were childish or stupid (or not worth my time anymore). That wasn’t true either. Whatever the problem was, I needed a solution.  I couldn’t keep spending money on games that I had no real intention of playing.

So, just like everything else, I decided that my priorities needed to change.  I had to take a different approach to how I got my game on – and since then, I’ve felt a whole lot better about it.

Hello Adulthood goodbye gamerscore priorities

Read on to see how I used five simple rules to do it and how you can too.

  1. Only buy games that you’ll be playing immediately. This was a hard rule to get used to – because back when I was a kid, games disappeared.  While this is still kind of true, it’s fairly easy to find (even rare titles) due to the prevalence of Amazon, Craigslist, and Gamestop.  If you have the money, fine. But I don’t and, if I were a betting man, I’d guess that you probably really don’t either.  The upside to this is that after about three months most games go down in price.  That money belongs in the baby’s college fund anyway, so if you’re gonna waste it, waste it wisely.
  2. Take it one game at a time. Rushing through Demon’s Souls so you can blitz through Super Mario Galaxy 2 before Call of Duty: Black Ops comes out is a great way to suck the fun right out of this hobby.  Games are meant to be enjoyed, so have fun with them.  First of all, don’t rush; you’re not a professional reviewer on a deadline.  Second of all, I promise that literally not one person in this, or any world, cares that much about your e-penis.  And neither should you.
  3. Don’t believe the hype. As media savvy as I like to think I am, I’m a sucker for a good advertising campaign.  You’re probably the same and that’s okay.  But, hey, if you’ve never enjoyed Madden, odds are that the 2012 super-deluxe edition with the really funny Zach Galifianakis commercial won’t end up changing your mind – regardless of how excited your frat brothers and EA’s marketing department may seem.
  4. Trust your instincts. If you don’t like combo-based button-mashers and the new God of War looks like a bunch of “press ‘x’ to win”, maybe you should steer clear.  Or if you think JRPGs are antiquated and boring, Square-Enix’s latest offering probably isn’t up your alley. Look, you have way too many competing interests at this point in your life.  Don’t waste precious playing time trying to convince yourself that you’re some kind of gaming renaissance man.  Trust me, I don’t think that such a thing even exists.
  5. Pick your battles. There are good times to pick up a controller and then there are times that are less than ideal.  You wouldn’t take an extended and impromptu break right in the middle of an important business meeting, after which your boss would then fire you, would you?  Well, getting divorced and having to watch as some yuppy dude named Lance romances your former wife and raises your kid because you were too much of an idiot to help out with the dishes is kind of like getting fired.

hello adulthood goodbye gamerscore conclusion

Now this list isn’t a cure-all and it’s not supposed to be.  But it is a good base to start with if you’re having a rough time adjusting to the full-blown adult thing because, let’s be real here, who isn’t?

With just a little discipline and a lot of patience, you can be a full-time dad and a full-time husband with a full-time job and a not-quite-full-time hobby – thanks to these five simple rules.

Is it hard for you to find time to game? What tips do you have?

TAGS: Fallout 3, Madden, Modern Warfare 2, Nintendo, Oblivion, PS3, Resident Evil 4, Wii

11 Comments

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  1. I agree with your five rules. If I may add one more…

    Go portable. This can really aid your gaming experience, especially if it's crumbling to the ground like a building out of battlefield bad company 2 ;-) Not satisfied with the slow pace of your current console gaming situation? Go portable and add a notch more of excitement to your gaming life. You'll still have to follow rules 1-5, but the portability offers even more opportunities for gaming. Portable technology is getting very impressive.

  2. I am 21 years old have a 3 year old boy,go to school and have a full time job, and the only time i have time to play my games and get my fixed is late at night when there is no kids no homework no wife no dog nothing, now Im finding myself quite sleepy in the mornings but its worth it who needs to sleep when you can stay up and play rdr all night.but back to ur point when you get older things that u used to love doing isnt relevant anymore its all about bills, soccer games, pleasing the wife, and etc i miss having a all nighter on a game… i think?

  3. i hardly ever buy games anymore, nothing really appealing has come out yet.
    the only games i plan on getting this yr are MoH, halo reach, crysis2 and maybe deus ex (depending on how the game actually plays).

    i dont see how people can buy a stack of games al at once and either play them for a little while and leave them or not even play them, and just let them sit there and build dust. no offence but dont you people think about your wallets ?

  4. If you're trying to cut down give yourself a limit of like an hour a day. Tell your wife to get on your case if needed. That's worked for me so far.

  5. Jonathan Poole, I salute you, sir. You've described my entire existence as it stands right now. Managing a full time job, wife, 2 kids and writing on here, I'm surprised I get time to play at all. The key is managing your time responsibly and appropriately, and having an understanding wife that supports you in your hobbies.
    There's nothing that that will sap your will to play long-winded RPG's, like Fallout 3, more than growing up. In my universe right now, the premise of getting sidetracked and spending my two free hours on any given evening embroiled in a stupid fetch-quest for a bigger bag is a non-starter.
    Again, awesome piece, Jonathan. I clearly need to step up my journalism chops to keep pace with you.

  6. I say ditto to that salute as I have a similar existence setup that Steve has – but just one kid ;)

    Great read Jonathan, speaks the truth!

  7. Portable for sure! My iPhone has fulfilled some of my gaming time while I'm not at home or not able to flick on the Xbox or computer.

  8. I say try to have as much done before you game. Do the dishes, throw in a load of laundry, take out the trash, prep dinner. Lets the wife know you will pull your weight for your hobbies. When the kids are doing their homework & the wife is unwinding then game. Wireless definately helps. Taking your xbox/playstation to any TV in the house is a major plus. Netflix is also awesome, lets the family know the console is about them too with family movie time. But a day at the park witht the fam in exchange for an all nighter on the weekends with your buddies, everyone wins

  9. I say try to have as much done before you game. Do the dishes, throw in a load of laundry, take out the trash, prep dinner. Lets the wife know you will pull your weight for your hobbies. When the kids are doing their homework & the wife is unwinding then game. Wireless definately helps. Taking your xbox/playstation to any TV in the house is a major plus. Netflix is also awesome, lets the family know the console is about them too with family movie time. But a day at the park witht the fam in exchange for an all nighter on the weekends with your buddies, everyone wins

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