Author Topic: Getting Old and Gaming  (Read 7264 times)

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Offline lolmonade

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Getting Old and Gaming
« on: July 05, 2014, 11:31:27 PM »
This is something I've been mulling over, and while I don't know the general age range of the users on NWR, I'd be interested in the thoughts of my peers here.


Being 28 and with two small children  (2 years old & 1 month old, respectively), I've seen my available gaming hours dwindle to a paltry 1/2 hour a night.  Additionally, I find myself going not only to games I can consume in small bites, but also ones that I'm safe in knowing I'll enjoy in my rare moments of gaming (mostly Mariokart, lately).  I've had these two issues keep me from playing most games on my shelf:


1)  Starting a game that'll take time to get into is a tough sunk cost to swallow given that I have a limited amount of time to game lately


2)  I value my time much more, which makes my gaming choices a lot more conservative (playing safely fun games like Mario platformers, mariokart, inFamous). 


That said, I'd really like to get others feedback on if they've encountered this challenge.  Additionally, if there are any suggestions for games with substance that are pick-up-and play (bonus points for anything on the e-shop under $10).
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Offline Stratos

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2014, 03:25:13 PM »
I understand completely. Full-time work plus full-time school is a huge time sink. I've mapped out my "ideal" schedule and it leaves me with 3 hours of flex-time and 7 hours of entertainment-time each week. I don't always live up to this standard by cutting a lot of corners, but there is still a lot of restrictions to my free time.


I hold back on more expensive purchases. I'll wait for hot deals even on games I really want. I only bought Mario Kart when I did because of the free game and likelihood the price will be high for a good while. The termination of Wii online also played a hand in it. This is both a money AND time issue.


I focus on handhelds as I have to share the computer and the TV with my wife. Portability means I can squeeze in some play before bed or when I beat traffic to work by 15-mins. Plus, 3DS games are cheaper and I can also get quality DS games for a deal as well. Plus the sleep mode instant pause is fantastic for all the distractions and urgent matters that can crop up.


Even when I have free time, I have to share it with my wife. Not complaining, but it is a reality I acknowledge as sometimes she wants to do something other than games. This is a point where the Wii U has really shone. I play almost exclusively from the gamepad as then we can watch TV while I play Monster Hunter or DuckTales.


I have only dabbled in Xenoblade and Pandora's Tower and not even opened Last Story because those games seem so engrossing and I rarely have much time to dedicate to something that will dominate my time for more than 30-40 minutes.


It almost feels the planets need to align to get a good gaming session. Wife goes out of town or is working late, and I am caught up on homework, this is when I can truly sink time into a game and I would rather play something I know, or can play with others online.


Such is life. I am sure I will find more time once I am done with school but by then I am sure kids will be ready to come into our life so this may just be the way it is. Life has to have priorities. But the time you do get for gaming is all the more sweeter when you do find the time. I do miss the past sometimes when I was free, but I do not regret where my life is and where I am going.
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Offline LudicrousDa3ve

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2014, 04:57:58 PM »
It's tough. We have four kids (between 5 and 11)- and it can be interesting to try and make gaming time. I work in games, so there's that... but it isn't the same. There's the whole family playing together; which is generally lovely. Of course, that's not the same either.

Lolmonade, I can heartily suggest Castlestorm. You can pick it up and clear a "level" or two pretty quickly, but the game is pretty deep, varied, and charming. There's also two player, extra modes, DLC, and leaderboards.

Offline ShyGuy

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2014, 06:33:03 PM »
I only do a few time-sink games a year. I like shorter games, on of the reasons I like Indie games. I schedule my Zeldas. I really don't have time for online multiplayer, because it usually requires you to buy early and play often to get the full experience. Buy the game at launch, sink 20 hours in to it in the first week, if your late, all your friends have moved on and everyone who is left is an expert.

Offline NWR_insanolord

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2014, 10:25:38 PM »
The solution I've found to this problem is to not spend any time playing games and instead come here and argue about those games with these people.
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Offline Ceric

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2014, 10:45:51 PM »
The solution I've found to this problem is to not spend any time playing games and instead come here and argue about those games with these people.
Don't forget buy a lot of games to just go play Fifa.

Personally I have a lot of demands on my time but, I'll squeeze in Portable games while in the car with my wife.  I also sometimes just have to carve out time for certain games.  Its helps when I can play them with my Son.  I also have the added demand of the Podcast so, I'll try to play something.  I've gotten much more sensitive about games that just waste my time.
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Offline Oblivion

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2014, 11:57:16 PM »
This thread has reminded me to never have children.

Offline lolmonade

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2014, 10:49:04 AM »
This thread has reminded me to never have children.
That was my mindset until I was 23, when I started dating who would end up as my wife.  I'm not saying your opinion will change on this, but I've changed a lot since my teenage/early 20 years, and with it, my priorities.  Despite my OP, I'm in no way saying I regret having a family, because they bring me a lot more joy than any video games have.  I'm just looking for suggestions to get myself out of the rut of running to my "safe" game choices until this phase blows over.

You also have to keep in mind that it's really having an infant alone that's driving a lot of my current challenge.  Once kids go in bed reliably between 7-8 PM, and sleep through the night, it's much easier to be able to use your free time for more than chores and catching up on lost sleep.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2014, 10:51:30 AM by lolmonade »
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2014, 11:10:05 AM »
Personally I have a lot of demands on my time but, I'll squeeze in Portable games while in the car with my wife.  I also sometimes just have to carve out time for certain games.  Its helps when I can play them with my Son.  I also have the added demand of the Podcast so, I'll try to play something.  I've gotten much more sensitive about games that just waste my time.
Portable gaming or downloadable games on consoles seem like my best bet to still branch out and be able to try new things.  PS+ to me has been a godsend for this reason alone.
No kidding on the time waste issue.  I've tried revisiting Final Fantasy 9 recently, and I couldn't bear to continue after playing for an hour and barely getting out of the first sequence.  It's also scared me away from a few games I'm really interested in playing, but know the time barrier to entry will be too much to bear (Xenoblade Chronicles, namely).
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2014, 11:12:40 AM »
It's tough. We have four kids (between 5 and 11)- and it can be interesting to try and make gaming time. I work in games, so there's that... but it isn't the same. There's the whole family playing together; which is generally lovely. Of course, that's not the same either.

Lolmonade, I can heartily suggest Castlestorm. You can pick it up and clear a "level" or two pretty quickly, but the game is pretty deep, varied, and charming. There's also two player, extra modes, DLC, and leaderboards.
Given that my oldest is 2, he's still a bit young to include in the experience.  The only exception being he loves watching me play Mario games, but lovingly calls him "Kitty" in any game he's in due to Super Mario 3D World's catsuit powerup.  It's pretty endearing when we're walking down the gaming aisle in Target and he points and excitedly shouts "kitty! kitty!" when he sees a mario game.
I'll give Castlestorm a glance, thanks for the suggestion.
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Offline BranDonk Kong

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2014, 12:20:50 PM »
My daughter (8) is super into Mario Kart and Mario games in general, so we play together a lot. My son (4) is just happy to watch us play, though sometimes he plays SM3DW as Luigi and just puts himself in the bubble.
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Offline LudicrousDa3ve

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2014, 12:40:37 PM »
Kitty? That's awesome. :)

The strategies that come into play in terms of netting gaming time evolve constantly as the kids get older- and like everything else related to parenting, I'm fairly sure that none of us really have a clue as to what we're doing. It's an adventure, though!

The Wii U is a godsend, though. I've also got an old slim CRT monitor next to my workstation- so during lulls of everything else, (kids or work) I'll snag a couple of minutes of some NES/SNES/Gen/etc action.

Offline Ian Sane

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2014, 12:54:36 PM »
Don't have any kids myself so if I really wanted to spend a lot of time playing videogames I could but my interests are such that that isn't all I want to do.  One thing I do notice is that modern games don't work well in short bursts.  If I'm not going to dedicate a least a two hour block to a modern videogame then there really isn't any point and those blocks are harder to come by.  Or even if they come up do I want to spend these two hours doing that?

When I was a kid a typical videogame could take about an hour to beat and yet I wanted to play games all day and didn't have the money to buy many games.  As an adult I have the money to buy as many games as I want but I often don't have the time, or even really the interest, for 80+ hour games.  I wanted games like that when I was 12 and would prefer the shorter titles now.  Go figure.  The sweet spot was 18-22.  I had the money, the time and the interest to play games for long periods of time.

I am finding that the 3DS is working well for me though.  I can play Bravely Default or Pokemon for little chunks here and there and then save and come back later.

Offline Eiksirf

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2014, 04:24:26 PM »
I'm married without kids, but I've got a full time job and any time I'm home, I'm spending it with my wife. We've been able to find good co-op games or even single player games that we play together, but it's really hard for me to find the time to get into a single player game like I used to, especially when I use my spare time for other things like working out or, you know, sleep.

I dropped out of Xenoblade Chronicles after a few hours. I have a Japanese role playing game for Xbox 360 called Infinite Undiscovery that I never played more than five minutes of. I still regret that and want to give it a chance. I'd love to finish GTA4 and Bioshock: Infinite.

I commute to work on the public train, though, so I've been able to get a lot more gaming done on my 3DS. On the train, the 3DS only has to compete with books for my attention, and I tend to go back and forth.

Offline Luigi Dude

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2014, 04:41:54 PM »
This is why I'm 29 and still single.  Already don't have enough time to play all my games so a girlfriend would just get in the way.  Some day I might get one but right now the games are more fun.
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Offline Spak-Spang

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2014, 07:47:25 PM »
I have personally never liked the bigger story RPG games or games that focus on story more than game play.  In fact these days the Zelda franchise (one of my favorite) is too big and tiring for me.  I loved when games were about sitting down and challenging yourself to a few short levels and moving on.  I really feel modern gaming has left me behind in that since.  And although I still love the medium, it is hard for me to get excited about it anymore.

I think this is me being away from gaming for 5 years, but once you step away for an extended period of time, you really do find it difficult to step back in...but then I was drifting for awhile. 


Offline Sundoulos

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2014, 08:28:23 AM »
I'm quickly approaching my late 30s, have been married for nine years, and have three children who are six, three and 9 months old.  My gaming time has its ups and downs, and its been a long time since I've made it any sort of priority.  I made the decision early on that I didn't want to be that dad who ignored his children to play a video game or watch a football game on tv, at least until they were old enough to participate.  So, normally, unless I'm playing a bit of Mario Kart, Mario platforming or (lately) Pikmin 3 with them, I don't game at all until after they go to bed.

Most of my gaming is done on the 3DS and Wii U Gamepad, though I still spend a significant amount of gaming resources on Steam games.  Typically, I use steam to play a lot of the shorter games that aren't available on Nintendo systems; a lot of them have been episodic adventure games.  I'm currently still working my way through Valiant Hearts, The Wolf Among Us and Walking Dead Season 2 (as the episodes appear).

I'm guessing that I may never get out of gaming completely, however.  For every person I've known who has "outgrown" games, I know others who are older than me who still enjoy gaming and find time to do it.  You always do if something is important enough to you.   After my grandfather passed away last year, my grandmother, who just turned 80, pulled out her old SNES (which was given to her by one of my cousins) and started working her way through A Link To The Past Again.   At Christmas she was asking me if I remembered where to find the Moon Pearl in ALttP (I didn't remember, but I looked it up for her.)  I remember that when she was playing it 20 years ago, she got good enough to beat it in 3 to 4 hours; that's something that I was never able to claim.
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Offline Shaymin

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2014, 10:23:42 AM »
My bachelorhood exists for other reasons; the ability to play games as I choose is a side effect.
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Offline Stogi

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2014, 12:54:26 PM »
This really doesn't speak to me because I can divorce myself from the world and play a game for three days straight until I beat it. That said, I don't usually do that. I don't have children, but I have plenty of people who rely on me. I finished school, but I have plenty of obligations and hobbies other than gaming.

But I don't feel it as a loss. I mentioned in a thread that I made that I'm a "Two-year-old gamer" and what I meant by that is gaming has become a hobby I enjoy rarely, but when I do, there are plenty of games I missed that fascinate me and are either cheap or free. So I never have any problems with delays or droughts; games pretty much come to me. And it's nice.

And honestly, would I like to play more? Maybe. But gaming is my way to unwind now, and it fits that role perfectly.
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Offline nickmitch

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2014, 01:54:55 PM »
I'm only 24, but it's getting harder and harder for me to carve out that time.  Having a long-distance girlfriend (for now) doesn't help either.  I also tend to get backed up with travel that keeps me from playing anything other than 3DS.  Other times, I'll get home kinda late and have to choose between cooking/cleaning, working out, and my hobbies.  It's usally just easier to let myself fall into the comfort of sitting on my couch and doing nothing.  Sometimes, I'll have to work 60+ hour weeks for a long stretch of time, which doesn't give me anytime to game.  I can't really play though a game for 3 straight days without burning my time off, which I would rather use for travel/emergencies.

All that being said, when I do have an open Friday or Saturday night, I do like to play something meaty for as many hours as I can be awake.
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Offline King of Twitch

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Re: Getting Old and Gaming
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2014, 03:09:20 PM »
This is why I'm 29 and still single.  Already don't have enough time to play all my games so a girlfriend would just get in the way.  Some day I might get one but right now the games are more fun.

ah, videogames: nature's birth control.
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