One Game Dad
Parenthood means changes, mostly to free time and what’s possible during that.
My interests have changed with time, none more so than over the past few years. But the recent birth of my first child has not just seen a change in my interests but the time I can dedicate to them. I have become in effect the one game dad.
My daughter is only six weeks old. In that time she has thrown my entire schedule to the wind. Not that I kept much of a conventional schedule but I did have one. Swedish classes, rugby, freelancing, going to the gym, time with the wife, video games, reading, podcasting - all had to fit into a schedule somewhere.
I didn’t always schedule well and some things have fallen by the wayside. Namely that novel I was working on. And the other one I was editing. But I was finding a balance between work, life and personal demands. Then we had a daughter.
Things, many things, are being reprioritized as a result. My free time is down to a few minutes and it’s something I may trade sleep to get more of. If I’m not up trying to get my daughter to sleep.
That further constriction on my time has got me thinking about what I want from my media. Be it a video game, book, movie, TV, sport, gym session, my own writing or another activity. And I think I’ve whittled that down to three basic concepts. Escape, Effectiveness andConcision.
It’s more than a good story, or a good use of my time. It’s something that gets me out of my head or thinking about another idea for a while. So exercise, a podcast, even a cup of coffee can be an escape. This could also be expressed as “not doing stupid shit”, because there’s nothing more jarring and off-putting than characters making dumb decisions.
The reason I like playing rugby, beyond enjoying the sport, is that it’s an effective use of my time. I get to exercise and socialize at the same time. If I’m being told a story I want it to be a good story. A difficult thing to judge from the outset but something I’ve come to quickly recognize. This holds true for non-fiction as well. Too boring or too much of a slog through the minutiae of a given topic that only serves to showcase an author’s erudition.
Brevity may be a better word. But conciseness could be as well. And by that, I mean I don’t want fluff. Books don’t need to be 800 pages to tell a good story with exposition on the fabric weaving techniques of a particular tribe. Nor do TV seasons need to be 24 episodes or run for 8 seasons. Get in and get out and either be an escape or an effective activity. It’s something I want from everything I do.
I don’t plan on doing reviews of games, movies, tv shows, books, etc. Rather, I’m going to look at what I used to play or get to play now and how it respects a person’s time. After all, I am a one game dad now, and my time is not my own.
That said, I don’t have a regular publishing scheduled. Or clear idea how any of this will play out. Though I do want to keep podcasting. At some point I will expand on what I mean by escape, effectiveness and concision. But for now, those are my intentions… when I have time to actually follow through on them.