How to be the Ultimate Gamer Dad

How to be the Ultimate Gamer Dad

There's one thing that has revolved around the better part of my life - video games. In fact, one of the very first memories that I could easily remember is visiting my uncle and playing on his NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) the games Circus Charlie and Excite Bike. But being married, and now having my own kid, there will be certain unchangeable realities for each scenario that easily hindered my playtime. But fret not, having a kid shouldn't block you out from your own source of enjoyment - you just have to play it smart:

1. Let go of the first 3 months
The first two or three months of your newborn is going to be one big hazy blur. There are reasons why our wives have maternity leaves and this is probably one of the reasons why. Your baby in these crucial months will be in his/her most demanding. The baby will be in his/her most fragile state and will need your utmost attention. Baby will also literally wake up and eat every two hours so you won't get much sleep. While your wife will take the brunt in this crazy, crazy period, who says you won't wake up with all the crying and fussing? This is also the best time to show your love and support to your wife by taking off the load when you can so voluntarily limiting your playing time is pretty great move on its own.

2. Ask Permission Always
Your wife spent nine months or so carrying your baby and she suffered through the pain of pregnancy. If you're going to game then you should ask your wife's permission first always. You wouldn't want her to get pissed off and put a much heftier "curfew" on your playing time now, would you? 

3. Set a Schedule
After the dreaded three month period, your baby will have a more regular body clock. While he/she may still wake up during the night, your baby won't be as demanding. In my own case, my baby sleeps by 9PM-10PM and wakes up once or twice during the early morning hours. This is the best opportunity to do your gaming. I also usually set a portion of my weekend, Saturday and Sunday mornings, to do longer playing sessions.

4. Handheld is Life
We are at a very lucky time in terms of gaming. The technology today has made handheld gaming and even mobile phone gaming an experience as good as a PS4 or XBox One - meaning to say an experience without much compromise. I'm sure most of you have at least tried playing Fortnite or PUBG on your mobile phones. While I'm not a fan of those games or mobile phone gaming in particular, my motto right now is "handheld is life". At home, I play more on my Nintendo Switch than on my PS4 or laptop. At work, I make sure to bring my PS Vita daily to do some light gaming sessions during breaks when time permits. Nothing beats the flexibility that a handheld brings and it's one that could easily fit against any lifestyle and any situation including having a baby. 

5. Buying 2nd Hand, Selling 2nd Hand
Being a dad will change your spending priorities. Do you buy that P3,000 game or would you rather spend it to buy your baby diapers? Not only will your playing time be limited, but even your budget will be. But luckily, the 2nd hand market is thriving. There are gamers out there who resell just released games in a matter of days that instantly shaves a couple of hundred bucks off the SRP price. You could also wait a few months and get an even bigger price drop. After finishing that game, you could resell the game yourself for even bigger savings.

6. Being a Patient Gamer is Rewarding
What does being a "patient" gamer even mean? In this case, it means you do not have to buy the latest games all the time. While I have been doing this myself for years just to save money, being a dad is the best time for any hardcore gamer to transform himself into a patient gamer. Remember, your playing time will be severely limited now meaning finishing those games won't be as quick as you did before. So why even buy in a hurry? The biggest benefit of being a patient gamer is the huge savings and discounts. Sony, in fact, is very generous this generation - giving hefty discounts on their biggest games in a span of three months from their release dates. Reddit is my biggest source of info with the following subreddits I personally use every day:

  1. PS4 - reddit.com/r/PS4Deals
  2. Nintendo Switch -  reddit.com/r/NintendoSwitchDeals
  3. PC and everything else - reddit.com/r/GameDeals
I hope I have guided the gamer dads out there accordingly. If you have other great gamer dad tips, feel free to hit up the comments section below.

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