Being an adult gamer comes with limitations we didn’t think we’d have as kids. Sure, we can buy games, but do we have time to play them? No.
As a kid, I thought I’d have a tonne of money for games and could game all the time without my parents telling me not to. Oh yeah!
Well, my parents no longer tell me not to play games (a bonus of having my own house), but I have a wife and daughter who rightfully have a monopoly on my time (a downside of sharing said house).
As far as money goes, as the breadwinner in my house, I’m responsible for earning enough money to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads, which I do (barely). We have debts, but that seems to be a common thing in this day and age. I have limited money to play with at the end of the month, which means I have to be frugal with my game choices.
Then comes another Steam Sale to sucker punch me.
Titles worth £30-60 are suddenly on sale for £5-10. How can I resist? £30 later and I have a handful of games that I’ve managed to convince myself I needed in my life. The problem? I still have no time to play them all!
When I was younger there would be maybe five blockbuster games released a year. A Tomb Raider, a Metal Gear Solid, maybe a Gran Turismo, and so on. Even discounting the abundance of time we enjoyed (but maybe didn’t appreciate) in our youth, a handful of great games is feasible to get through in a given year.
Now in 2016 we seem to have a Blockbuster title dropping every other week. Franchises are born every month, with sequels being pumped out at a relentless pace. Add to that individual games by smaller studios and indie titles, many of which offer exceptional experiences, and very quickly things can begin to feel smothering. And, oh crap, a developer just announced a HD remake of a game I’ve already played twice but I need it in my life.
I’ve managed to resist the last few game sales, but I’ve been tempted. In reality, I’m just delaying the inevitable; the moment I’m a little further through my Pile of Shame I’ll justify that one or two new games wouldn’t hurt.
This is everything I dreamt of as a kid, but the reality is a bit of a nightmare. It’s like walking into a buffet of my favourite foods that I haven’t eaten in a while, knowing I’ll only get to taste a few of the dishes then they’ll be gone forever. Someone fetch the violin and play me a sad song while I state longingly at my Steam list.
I’ve got my plate ready and I want to feast, but I’m getting rations. Adulting is hard.