I'm allowed to become a gamer at night. I'm about to turn 30, I'm married with a 5-month-old son, and I'm allowed to be a gamer at night.
I remember days not that long ago of gaming from wake to dawn on the weekends — long, fabulous romps with a myriad of great titles, both open world epics and confined hallway thrillers.
Then, I got married. Obviously, my gaming had to take a bit of a backseat, for our relationship's sake. I started gaming at night, usually when she went to bed, about 9 or 10 p.m. She requires a lot of sleep to get moving in the mornings. She became a bit of a gamer, as well, tearing through Oblivion and L.A. Noire.
I got use to the schedule and learned to appreciate the time I had. Although I usually stay up well past when I should, there's something to be said about gaming when no one's around. You become engulfed in it, enough that it annoys you when people break that atmosphere. I really don't mind it all that much.
Then, we had our son — currently, our only child.
Let me lay this out real quick — I've never loved anything more in my whole life than this chunky, smiley mess of baby-ness. He is my jam.
His passions include staring at Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, having a blast in his Jumperoo and watching his daddy play Titanfall. He's everything I've ever wanted that I never knew I wanted.
I have my trepidation, of course. It pains me to think about the slight chance that he won't be a gamer. Maybe he'll have other hobbies he enjoys, which is perfectly fine with me. Gaming, however — gaming is something I really want to share with him, something that, when he goes off to college or whatever he does down the road, we can still share, whether or not he thinks I'm "cool."
Since he has half of my genes, I'm pretty sure he won't think I'm cool.
I've been a gamer as far back as I can remember. The earliest memory I have of it is sitting in my underwear playing Mega Man II on an old CRT with the antennas and everything. We lived in Louisiana at the time, if THAT says anything.
I grew up gaming, almost three decades, total. I've made friends through it, I've gotten through tough times with it — drunken times, rageful times. It's my sanctuary, my Tristram, my campfire, my checkpoint. When I need to vent, when I need to chill, when I need to just hangout for a minute and forget how awful a day I just had, I've got robots to drop and pirates to skewer and plants to explosivo and nations to conquer — whole worlds ripe for exploring!
In the end, I know he'll do what he wants to do. That's the whole point, this grand experiment called parenthood. One day, I'll be able to think back on this and say, "Well, it is what it is," whatever decision he makes. I'll be proud of him, no matter what.
My only hope is that, years from now, when my wrinkles are heavier and he's out blazing his own path through the world, I'll still be calling robots out of space, and he'll be my passenger.