It's 2:30 in the morning on a Tuesday night. I am exhausted from a concert of goal completing, colorful visuals on my television screen, and hand-eye coordination challenges. Sounds like a pretty good night of gaming, right? I never picked up a controller.
On December 1, 2010, I began the journey of fatherhood. I thought I fully understood the requirements of the job. Midnight wakeups, poopy diapers, and bottles…no problem — I got this. Bouncy chairs, swings, and all other manner of Baby Entertainment Devices™ invaded my living room and began a squatting routine in John's Entertainment Central™ in a way that only those who have kids can truly appreciate. Again, this didn't come as too big of a surprise, but like Germany invading Poland, this was only the beginning.
It happened so quickly that I hadn't realized I traded in my controller for a glow worm and Halo: Reach for My Baby Can Read. When the little one finally decided to go to sleep, subsequently clicking the power button on my Xbox would emit a sound wave that only babies can hear that tells them to immediately wake up and play with Dad. When my wife would take her out, I either had the chores that we all most do to survive (damn you, IRS!) or found myself too exhausted to do anything that required more concentration than watching my backlog of The Event.
I fired up Red Dead Redemption on several occasions only to find that it had been so long since I had played that I didn't know why I was in Mexico or why I should care. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm still rests on my computer desk, sealed in the box. I haven't started Starcraft 2 in so long that I wouldn't be surprised if my installation is still vanilla.
Financially (especially as a parent), anyone would agree that a $60 purchase does not come lightly. We probably have more important things to buy, and if not now, we will in the future. Lengthened console cycles are not such a negative thing to me as it is for other people who want the next big thing.
I love every minute of it — being a dad is one of life's few, naturally awesome experiences. But sometimes when no one else is looking, I miss being a gamer.