Growing Older and Gaming

A lot changes when you get older so don't forget to enjoy the small things!

What you enjoy in your free time is invaluableOver the years I have started to learn a lot about myself and my gaming habits.  This definitely became apparent after moving out on my own and really looking at my life, property and finally getting bills.  Growing up is hard and learning how to juggle life, finances, friendships, relationships, bills and multiple jobs can be difficult in their own right. var adunit_index = 4000; if ((adunit_index != 1000 & adunit_index != 1001) || (adunit_index == 1000 && device_category != 'MOBILE') || (adunit_index == 1001 && device_category == 'MOBILE')) { if (active_ad_units[adunit_index] != undefined) { console.log('Dyn Unit Legacy', active_ad_units[adunit_index], adunit_index); googletag.cmd.push(function () { var adunit_index = 4000; if (typeof(pubwise) != 'undefined' & pubwise.enabled === true) { console.log('Dyn PW'); pwpbjs.que.push(function() { pubwiseLazyLoad([gptadslots[adunit_index]], true); }); } else { console.log('Dyn Direct'); googletag.display('div-sjr-4000'); googletag.pubads().refresh([gptadslots[adunit_index]]); } //googletag.pubads().refresh([gptadslots[4000]]); }); } } The thing that I have been finding harder and harder to fit into a daily schedule is gaming.  Why is this?  Over the past few years I have been taking note of a few things that have really affected me and my time for playing games.MaturityHaving to grow up is a large part in how your enjoyment of games will change.  Games are ever changing just like you and they have matured in ways that you may like or dislike.  So what do you do when your favorite series gets a reboot and no longer resembles the old games you loved?  What if that old itch is no longer scratched by the same games?How to Accomplish This:Don't fight it.  Learn to appreciate the changes that get made down the line. Some games and genres might just not enjoyable anymore for various reasons.  Just like your taste buds, you mature and your tastes change.  Accept that maybe you don't enjoy a genre as much as you use to for reasons you might not understand.  Forcing yourself to enjoy something out of nostalgia will only make those memories sour and hurt you in the long run.Some times you just need to change your perspective and look at things in a new way to enjoy something all over again.  Don't just bash your head against it until you like it again.Best advice?  Go back and play that game again.  You know the one I am talking about.  See if it is what you remember it being and learn from that.RestraintI both love and loath Steam sales.  Those are the times when my will is tested and my mind tortured.  Learning when to say no and not impulsively buy things is a large part of learning to budget your life.  It is one of the hardest things I had to learn because I use to have some bad impulse control when I wanted something.  But like all things, my impulse buying has come to an end.How to Accomplish This:It is never easy to do and takes the right mind set to accomplish.  This is what I do: Realize I want something Step back Look at it objectively (see below) Come to a conclusion The questions to ask before impulse buying a new game are these:   Will I have time to play it?   What other games do I need to finish?   Do I only want it because of it's price?   Do I REALLY want to play this now?   Do I need it? Needs and wants are two separate things.It is so much easier to impulsively get a game just because of the price or thinking you will play it someday, but really you are better off saving your money.  I rarely feel regret over not getting a game on sale or even when it releases because usually those sales come back and that game is not going to disappear in the next few months.  I think that is something people need to remember so that enjoy what they have at the moment and keep that extra money in their pocket.PriorityLooking at a JRPG these days fills me with dread for the fear that I do not have the time to dedicate to is.  When you need to remember to pay bills, get to work on time, get clothes washed, find that missing sock and more; how do you know when is the best time to be playing game?How to Accomplish This:Make lists.  When you write things out you might be surprised by what you find.  You might have way less to do then you thought or you might have more then you expected.  Seeing this will give you perspective and help show you what you find important in your everyday life.  From this you can allocate time to each thing and finally be able to work in more or less game time.Finding a good career, making that meeting or helping a friend move is more important then making your guild's dungeon raid.  The real world requires time and dedication because without that you will never end up making something of yourself.TimeTime is probably my biggest issue now.   Working two jobs, needing to meet with friends, chores around the house, wife to tend to and so one and so forth.  I usually got enough on my mind so worrying about playing a game in my ever growing backlog is hard to justify.Games require time which once you are out of the comforts of your old home, time is a commodity.  How to Accomplish This:In the perfect world, I would be a billionaire that will never need to work and plays what ever I want when I want.  Sadly, that dream has yet to come to fruition.  Until then I need to learn how to budget my time and find free time to sit down and enjoy a game.  That or just schedule a day (weekend most likely) that I grab some snacks and just immerse myself in a game.  In ConclusionI made this list for the reason of simply trying to give a helping hand to those just getting into college or having just graduated.  I figure most people know these things or have figured them out by now but for those still trying to find answers, I think this applies to more than just gaming.What makes you happy in your free time is what will relax you after a long day at work or help relieve stress from everyday woes.  It is important that everyone finds time in their life to enjoy the things that bring them happiness whether it be writing, drawing, painting, surfing the net, jogging, reading or even gaming.  Making sure you fit in time to do these things can change your attitude, boost your mood and help you feel more ready to take on the next day.Things change when you get older, you just need to learn how to adjust.  Fighting it will only make it harder.  Follow the simple suggestions I made and you should be able to find time to finally finish that backlog just like I need to.

Columnist

I like video games so I talk about them! Works for me!

Published Aug. 18th 2013

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