Having a family has changed my life for the better. Any parent who loves their child knows this. It has certainly changed my game playing habits.
I work all day and then head home and it's family time. Feeding, washing and playing with the lad. Eating dinner with the wife. Maybe a bit of Nathan Fillion's Castle or Game of Thrones with her. Then it's time to clean the house - dishes in an out of the washer, clothes washed and put away. Cat and rabbits fed. Wood for the the next day's fire brought in.
And then if I'm not too tired, maybe I'll take the Baby Einstein DVD out of the Xbox and throw in a Mass Effect, Halo or Bioshock and play the campaign till my eyes fall heavy at oh say... 11pm.
I used to be a Halo match making fiend. I arrived late to the Halo 2 party but clocked up a couple of thousand games. Same for H3. Reach not so much (it just didn’t feel right somehow). I was super excited to get H4 when it came out about a week after the Lil Guy was born. He slept all the time which mean I could play a few games here and there.
Now? I’ve found I’ve become a campaign guy again. I find it easier to slouch down across the bean bag and play an hour or so of campaign rather than a handful of rounds of matchmaking. It’s not like I don’t like the new Halo 4, I think it was pretty damn good (except for the Ammo Drops - BORING!). I did the whole season of Spartan Ops but let’s face it, it’s not really match making, it’s simply a nebulous extension of the campaign with more Palmer, less 117.
All that aside, that’s just my current preferences talking. The point I'm making is that my hours of gaming time have decreased dramatically. As as a Dad, I can no longer spend 3 hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon playing Gear of War or all Monday evening on some strange outpost in Mass Effect. I can only do it in the quiet moments around the house when everyone is asleep – which means for some nice uninterrupted play at least.
Who needs sleep though eh? So gaming dads out there - how do you do get your gaming in?