Over the past few years though, I’ve been contemplating as to what it means to grow up as a gamer. Sure, right now gamers are everywhere since it’s so easy to play them on any electronic device (mobile, tablet, console, Smart TV, etc) but when I was a kid we weren’t as common.
It’s been over 25 years. Yes, it’s been over two decades and a half since I started playing video games. I am aging myself there, but the point is I’ve been playing videogames for a long time! My first console was the NES, and I never looked back since holding that small gray controller.
As it has become easier to find people with similar interests, I can interact with fellow fans on Discord, Facebook, Twitter, or going to cons. There are so many outlets now, that I can’t keep up with them. Not only do I want to talk about my hobby, I write about it and also need time to actually play the games I want to discuss! My backlog only gets larger, and time doesn’t seem to want to spare me some change so I can catch up.
With less time to play because of all the responsibilities I have, which are priority over any game, I wondered if I would ever drop gaming entirely. What if I lose interest in the genre, or just can’t fit it in my schedule? Would I have wasted my time all these years, playing as digital characters instead of reading my bible, improving myself in various areas, or being more with my family?
Time To Play
How I use my most valuable resource, time, is a thought I am thinking more about recently than when I was younger. Of course, when we are young we don’t have many responsibilities (depending on your childhood) so worrying about what time it is or if we can finish everything in one day isn’t a common concern. Videogames, for me, took up a lot of time for me as a kid since I had lots of it to spare!
Now, my days are mostly made up of going to work from 8am-4pm, coming home to change, helping with any cooking/cleaning, working out, and trying to have some kind of downtime. Oh, and we have an online business selling on Amazon which is getting bigger every year. On top of being married, owning a home, and seeking God’s guidance for everything I do. His will be done, not mine.
It’s not easy!
How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.
Seeing other gamers who have a similar lifestyle to myself, whether they are Christian or not, and how they go about their routines helps me out. I don’t want to ever leave this wonderful world of videogames that has blessed me with so many wonderful memories, friends, and emotions. It’s just about being a little more organized. There is never a perfect balance, but being more intentional does assist with getting things done.
This new year, I want to use my time more wisely so I can have some tor gaming. Not that I would use all my free time to game, as I have other hobbies (reading, exercising, writing on this blog, social life). So many things want my attention, so I have to keep my priorities first and say no to some opportunities. I can’t do it all, though I wish I could!
How do you balance your time, or at least make time in your schedule for your day? As you get older, how do you find time for gaming? Looking forward to reading your tips and routines!
4 thoughts on “Gamer’s Journal: Growing Up”
I’m with you on this. I’ll go ahead and date myself: I’m 41, and I started with an Atari 2600 around 1985 or so. I’m now divorced (though recently engaged!), and my 2 kids are out of the house. One of the greatest aspects of gaming, to me, has always been the companionship and shared interest. Growing up, I played a ton with my cousin… until he died in 1996, when he was 20 and I was almost 18. I had a few other friends that I played with, but none who were as close and as similar. And all of them have moved away or simply moved on with their lives in other directions.
My kids were born in 1998 and 2000, so they took over shortly thereafter as my gaming buddies. My sweet daughter, in the days of N64, used to ask, “Daddy, can we watch you play Zelda?” Of course, I was happy to oblige… and the memories bring tears to my eyes as I type this. Now, with them gone out on their own (or, in my son’s case, staying permanently at his mother’s), I struggle with this aspect a lot.
I bought both the NES Classic and SNES Classic on day one… but I’ve barely played either one. Still, I love having them. It’s part of that lost connection with my cousin, I think. I popped in Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 (the best in the series, IMHO) in the ol’ PS2 the other day and it took me back to when my young son loved to play “cop racing.” But still, I was alone.
And as an adult, and a Christian, I struggle with the time I can or should (or shouldn’t) put into gaming. I have a PS4, a Switch, 6 other older systems, plus a GBA and PSP (somewhere!), and, of course, my phone. I’ve been playing Horizon: Zero Dawn at home and Zelda: BOTW at my fiancee’s, where I usually keep the Switch – though, of course, being a Switch, it does travel from time to time. I know of Discord and other online communities, and considered creating a presence there… but then, is that just more time away from other things I should be doing? Or even just something that cuts into gaming?
I miss couch co-op. Using the SNES multi-tap to play some 2-on-2 NBA Live 95 or Madden. Swappng controllers trying to get through Super Mario World. And while I know that’s never coming back… man, it’s a struggle for me.
I miss my cousin. And I miss my kids. And trying to find someone new to share those experiences with is not easy. Especially when I am trying to work on bettering myself as well. I should be at the gym. I should be in my Bible. I should be volunteering for whatever is going on at church. My fiancee is a sweet, beautiful, wonderful woman… but not a gamer. She’s supportive and loving and understanding and patient, but it’s not something we’re ever going to really share together. And that’s OK, of course… but there’s still that void.
Sorry for the rambling, probably off-topic somewhat. But thanks for letting me rant. God bless, brothers and sisters.
TL;DR: I miss couch co-op and the people I used to enjoy it with.
Hey Derrick, thanks for the comment! I enjoyed reading it. I miss couch co-op as well, I have great memories with friends I used to hang out with playing video games. Same reasons as you, either they moved (literally), never communicated again (life, differents schools/churches, etc), or whatever the reason.
My wife is not a gamer as well, though she doesn’t mind me playing. It can be tricky to find people to play with, I would recommend a Christian Discord community (there are several on my resources page) that you can interact with other believers and get encouraged.
I would also recommend (going to write a blog post on this) is making goals for yourself this year. If serving in church, reading the bible, or going to the gym is something you want to do, then schedule it. Literally, decide on a day/time and make that “gym time” or “volunteer day”. Give it a try. Even make time for gaming, it’s nice to just take a load off and rest with some fun videogames.. Nothing wrong with that at all!
God bless ya, and let the Holy Spirit guide you to organize your schedule this year and make it practical and put it in action. God will help you through it.
I think a big part of it is a big self-awareness of what your priorities are, like you mentioned in your blog. Which things are most important? How much time do they eat up? What games do you want to play and complete?
For me, along with working full-time, I work on writing when I can as well, and I want to do more of that and help that grow. I’m learning how to play 3 instruments at once, with payments being made through my day job. I have a home that I have chores that I need to take care of, play with my dogs, books that I want to read, having a social life…
It seems the older we get the more we have on our plate. We want to keep playing games because we enjoy the memories, experience, and stories that come with them – that makes playing them add value to our loves. Is it our biggest priority, though?
God should be first and foremost in our lives – the rest are all details that we just need to figure out. 🙂
Very true, I’m in a similar boat as yourself, minus the dogs and instruments! I think those memories, experiences, and stories that add value should not be our biggest priorities, but we can add them into our schedule somewhere if we are disciplined enough to do so. If you are able to do all that you want to do and still plug gaming into your day, that’s great. If not….well, you can’t, because there are “bigger fish to fry”.
I pray God can add more hours to the day so we can do all that we want to do! That’s the only solution 🙂 There are so many wonderful things to experience, practice, see, taste, and create in this world that there isn’t enough time in our lives to do it all….it’s just hard sometimes to pick which to do and which NOT to do haha. Thanks for the comment 🙂