Gaming With Responsibilities.
Back in the good old days we could play video games until the crack of dawn and most of us (if not all of us) did that a few times in our life. I thought those days would last forever and I would keep burning the midnight oil playing games and telling myself, “One more level and then I’ll sleep.” Sadly the hands of time did not stop and quite a few of us grew up and had to deal with the things we have been dreading to face our entire lives. Bills. Currently I am paying off my student loans and working my ass off to pay for those, rent, food, and other stuff to, you know, not die. After college finding time to play video games became harder and harder. Gone were the weekends of constant leveling up until 3 AM. Gone were the days of coming home, doing homework, playing games, taking a break for dinner, and going back to play games. Gone were the days I could devote and entire weekend to playing a new game. Now the weekends are planned out to spend time with family, friends, and of course the significant other. After work (for me anyways) I’m exhausted and the only 2 things I do when I come home is eat and sleep. My weekends are now fully booked or I have to stay home and not do any fun things for fear of my bank account dipping down to an even sadder number than it is now. However all hope is not lost for us gamers with newer and bigger responsibilities. I have figured out a few ways where I can game, and still hold on to my responsibilities and other commitments.
MANAGE TIME TO PLAY
It may feel weird to actually schedule yourself to play games but once you do you will thank yourself later. Granted if something comes up like a surprise visit from your family or friends then putting the controller away is probably a smart move. However if you know you don’t have anything to do once your off work and it’s a Friday night and all you want to do is stay home, then hello playing video games until the crack of dawn.
INTRODUCE YOUR KIDS TO YOUR FAVORITE GAMES
I have yet to have kids but while talking to friends of mine whom are either expecting or already HAVE kids they have all said this. They plan to show their child how awesome classic games were before they get them the most current generation of consoles. That’s something I’m planning to do with my kids. Granted the early years there will be hardly any video games being played but once my kids get older I’ll be busting out my PS1 and my NES before flashing the PS6 or whatever console is out. Plus this can be a great way to bond with your kids. I remember playing 3 Xtreme on my PS1 with my father and it was a total blast.
SAVE UP TO BUY THAT GAME YOU WANT
Being a working person with bills sucks. As in completely sucks. You have loans to pay, credit card bills, car payments, rent, and a whole bunch of other shit that you really don’t want to shell out your hard earned cash for. By the end of the month when all the bills are paid you hardly have any cash and you were really hoping to buy that new game that was coming out in less than a month. Well here’s what you do, save. Put a little bit of money away or even invest in those coin counter jars and when you come home put all the change you have into the jar. Trust me, it helps out quite a bit. Also setting goals for you to wait and buy games will immensely help your budget. Currently I’m waiting until I beat Fire Emblem Fates Conquest before I get the DLC for Birthright. Once I beat Birthright I’ll get Revelations and have the entire collection for Fates. Instead of just buying them outright I saved myself $40.
REWARD YOURSELF WITH GAMES AFTER CHORES
Even as an adult chores suck. I hated doing them as a kid and I hate doing them now but sadly chores like laundry and washing the dishes need to be done. In college I would let the dishes stack up to a mountain until I needed to use a dish to make food so I would finally do them. A method I have used (and still use to this day) is when I have chores to do and a game is calling my name, I put the game aside, do the chores as quickly as I can, and when I am done, I start playing. It may sound a little childish but this way you can play in peace and not have a little voice in your head bug you about the dishes. There have been times where I’ve played games first and ignored the chores and I have felt quite bad after looking at the massive pile of clothes I told myself I was going to wash. Or if you have a to do your laundry at a laundromat then you can bring your handheld with you.
Contrary to popular belief having more responsibilities is NOT the end of your gaming career. You just have to be able to plan it out and maybe not play as much as you used to. It sucks at first but being able to keep playing is well worth it. Also having a job and some money means that you don’t have to keep begging your parents for money to buy games.
Ben Praster11 Posts
Somewhere in sunny Southern California lives Ben Praster and his growing collection of video games. He can pinpoint his gaming roots with Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and the first game he ever owned was Sonic CD. He has been playing video games for over 20 years and shows no sign of stopping. When he isn't playing video games, he is spending time with his family, writing his book (in which he prays to get published) or outside seeing the sun.