Twenty something years ago whilst still at school making time for gaming was easy. You just played in your free time. Afternoons, evenings & weekends provided hours & hours of game time we had. My late teens & early adulthood wasn’t too trying either. Yes there were pubs, clubs & mischief to find, but in amongst all that fun, there were still plenty of gaming hours to be had.
Article by Darren Cater
Today I am a husband & father first before I get to put my retro gamer hat on. I’m absolutely fine with this as my family are & will always be the most important part of my life.
I also have to go to work which unfortunately takes up a lot of my time Monday through to Friday (it does help the bank balance for retro gaming purchases though).
So nowadays there is work, my family, my cats & even DIY to think about before I can even think about turning on a console or computer.
So how do you make time for your retro gaming habit Daz (I imagine you are asking)? Well, most of the time I will play retro games late of an evening. This means I can go home have dinner with the family, put the kids to bed & spend some time in front of the television with my wife & perhaps sneak in an hour of retro gaming before I go to bed. This is usually what happens, which is absolutely fine with me.
On occasions there are times when my wife will be caught up in a good book & she will say to me “why don’t you play a video game”. So I am quite lucky in that my love for gaming sometimes balances out with my wife’s love for reading & we can be in each other’s company without thinking we are ignoring each other.
Gaming isn’t alien to my wife & she enjoys playing my Sega Megadrive, PS1 & PS2 games as she had them at home when she was younger. So this means I’m not completely isolated to retro gaming on my own at home. This is fun & can also pull the kids into what we are playing as well.
Another obvious time for playing retro games is the weekend. Now in the summer months gardens have to be maintained & days out are to also be enjoyed, but on quieter weekends and especially in the winter months there is time to play games.
The kid’s homework is always a priority along with other general jobs that may crop up & when the kids were younger they needed a lot more looking after & entertaining, now they are a bit older they can entertain themselves to a point and often enjoy playing games in my retro gaming room too. What can happen on many a weekend afternoon is that I will start playing for example Rogue Squadron on my N64 & my son will appear.
What then tends to happen is as follows.He tries to play the game to little success, so asks to play Rogue Leader on the Nintendo Game Cube instead and my daughter then appears. Rogue Leader is played for a short while and then they decide to play Luigi’s Mansion or some of the games that were given to us by a family friend (usually Scooby Doo).
The result of this is that I am then ousted from my sofa in the retro gaming room and end up elsewhere cooking or doing some other chore. But I don’t mind I as I enjoy seeing my family enjoying the things I get so much fun from. Late afternoon’s on a Saturday or Sunday for some reason always seems to free up a couple of hours retro gaming for me.
So I guess with my little sessions during the week & these stints at the weekend I do reasonably ok. Of course there is the odd occasion where I get a really good long gaming session in, but I always regard those as a nice treat.
Of course there are also the retro gaming nights that I sometimes go to in Cambridge which are always fun. More recently as well I have gotten together with some of my friends to play arcades games on my modded Xbox & to play some PS2 games that were reclaimed from a friend’s loft. T
hese nights out are always a treat especially when you can reminisce about the good old days with friends. I also managed to get to Play Blackpool back in May which was a really good day out but unfortunately I didn’t get to Play Expo in Manchester as my kids were sick. These different events and evenings out pop up now & again which are always enjoyable, but it’s always the gaming sessions at home that can sometimes seem the trickiest to fit in as life in general can be very busy.
My love for gaming started in a time when I had a lot of time to enjoy playing video games (I was a child) and as you get older things tend to change and life can get more complicated. My role now compared to back then is clearly quite different and it’s probably not much different to my Dad’s when he was my age.
He would play Hopper & Snapper with me on our Acorn Electron back then of an evening or weekend. Sometimes he would play them on his own but he worked pretty long days too and had other responsibilities just like I do now.
In conclusion I think that if you really enjoy something you will find time for it. I
know I can’t just go home load up Metal gear Solid or Tomb Raider and that’s me done for the rest of the evening. What I do know is that when I have got some time to myself I am going to have a lot of retro gaming fun. Making time for some retro gaming can be tricky, but I guess retro gaming will find a way.
Article by Darren Cater