A Gamer Dad’s Worst Fear: No More Gaming

Confession time. While my wife was pregnant, I secretly promised myself that I would never change who I was at my core: A Gamer.

I thought, “Yeah, I’ll be a full-time Super-dad and I’ll do it all! But when the baby and mom sleeps, I’ll still have my time to play games.

Ha…yeah that didn’t work out. As I’ve written in the past, once you become a dad, there are so many assumptions that go out the door.

My naivety coupled with my lifelong relationship with videogames led me to believe that I would be able to do it all.  Little did I know, my relationship with videogames would eventually come to an end.

You see, videogames and I go way back.  From the early days of the Game & Watch Octopus handheld game giving me blisters, to me pouring months worth of hours into Final Fantasy, Skyrim, and Call of Duty – video games have been a big part of my life.

Why am I beaming? SNES for Christmas, that's why
Why am I beaming? SNES for Christmas, that’s why.

It is simply in my DNA.

A little fun fact about me, I actually tried to apply to working at EB Games three separate times in my lifetime, and each time I was unsuccessful. To me, I thought it was a dream job for me, but in hindsight it was probably a good thing that I didn’t get hired: It’s like a diabetic working at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory – not a good combination.

Give it up Dad. Give it up.
Give it up Dad. Give it up.

I wasn’t ready to let it go. In fact, when the baby arrived, I still tried to sneak in a few minutes of Witcher 3 and NBA 2k16 between her naps.

But things felt different. I was playing, but it just wasn’t the same. It could be the weight of the world bearing down on me as a new dad, or it could be that I was sleep deprived.

Gamer Dad and baby
That’s me playing Witcher 3 while my 2 month old naps.

Whatever it was, it just wasn’t the same and I was shocked to believe that I was completely fine with it, but I still wanted to make it work.

You know when someone includes their childhood best-friend in their wedding party, even though they’ve clearly drifted apart? It felt like that, but with video games. Here was my first childhood friend and me desperately trying to hold onto something to keep the memories alive.

Before, I would feel antsy, or even grumpy if I didn’t get the chance to turn on the Playstation for a few days. But now, it doesn’t seem to matter to me anymore if I turn on the system. If you don’t count that week of Pokemon Go, I’ve been gaming free for the past four months. My PS4 and WiiU are no better than Ikea furniture props.

I know there are many dad’s out there who give up hobbies once they have kids, but this was something I never thought I can give up so easily. But it was easy.

Perhaps I knew that in balancing a full-time job, housework, dad blogging, and staying healthy, something had to be sacrificed, and so my childhood friend was let go.

I spend every free minute I have around my daughter when she’s awake, and giving up gaming became a no brainer.

If you were to tell me a year ago that I would willingly stop gaming and still enjoy life, I would think that you were nuts.

Perhaps one day, we will re-kindle our friendship and it’ll just be like old times. But for now, instead of sitting in front of a screen levelling up my character, I watch my daughter levelling up every day right before my eyes.

 

And I have no problem with that as I relish every single moment of it. 🙂

The #NES controller may be my first love in life, but this kid quickly replaced it the moment she stepped into our lives. For the past 8 months video games have been collecting dust and she’s been my go to when it comes to spending any free time I have. That said, she’s still only second to my wife of course. ☺️

A photo posted by ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀Ingus (@snappingus) on

  • Eric Chui

    I truly believe the joyfulness ahead will be more than you can imagine! So blessing!

    • Thanks Eric! I’m seeing it too – it’s been pretty incredible.

  • Haven’t played all summer, but with school starting I’ll be making a trip to Game Stop

    • I’m to follow suit, but there really hasn’t been anything that’s caught my attention either. Happy Friday!

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  • I had the same issue when our eldest was born (he’s 9 now). I used to have him downstairs with me in his moses basket and I used to play FIFA online while my wife grabbed a few hours sleep. It sort of worked for a bit but then I got too tired to even focus properly at the screen. Since then we’ve added two more kids and any free time I have is invariably after the kids have all gone to bed, giving me the choice of either gaming or spending some time with my wife.

    Spending time with my wife wins out most times but I am trying to get my son into retro gaming (I’ve got most consoles in the loft from the NES onwards- I’m a hoarder), and he’s also keen on some newer stuff. Me, I think I’ve completed both the new Tomb Raiders and that’s been about it in the last 9 years now but I’m gradually edging back into it as the kids get a bit older.

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