Is it just me, or is portable gaming starting to make more sense for those of us that have a wife and kids?
You might be wondering what I mean by this. Let me elaborate. Ok, so, most of us here are regular gamers. We like to play our games. Problem is, if you have a wife, and you have kids, and a job, then you know what it's like to try to manage what little free time you have. It's pretty hard for me to sneak away from the wife and kids, go into my computer room, and sit there and play Fallout 3 for 4 hours straight.
The wife and the kids can feel resentment if you do that a bunch. You're basically "checking out" from the family, if you're doing that. It's one thing to do it after all the kids have gone to sleep, and the wife is going to watch her reality shows, or read a book or whatever, but it's another thing to do it at 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. I think it's important that we spend quality time with our wives and our kids. Especially the kids. Kids need to have their fathers around them.
Yet as a relatively "hardcore" gamer, I feel a bit conflicted. I work 40 hours per week, and it's hard to find time to really get my gaming in, so when the weekend comes, you'd like to be able to hunker down and get some serious quality time in with your favorite games, but as a family man it's hard to just tune out the rest of the family like that. So, that's where portable gaming comes into the picture. I've noticed that during my "family" time, there are certain periods of 15 minutes, or 20 minutes, where there is nothing really going on, and if I have a portable game system with me (PSP, DS, Vita, etc), I can get a nice 15 minute or 20 minute burst of gaming in. Sure, I could try to fire up my PS3 or my gaming computer or Xbox 360, but by the time I have the thing turned on, and have actually gotten into the gameplay, I only have like 5 to 10 minutes to actually play, and I can't accomplish anything in the game.
With a PSP or a Vita or a DS, I can have it in suspend mode, and just flick it on, and continue my game of Hot Shots Golf, or whatever it is that I'm playing. With the portability, I can go from room to room, front yard or backyard, and be able to keep track of what my kids are up to, and be near the wife, etc, etc. (yeah, I know it's hard to play portables outside with the sunlight and whatnot, but you get the idea). I will say, that I don't think you can take your portable gaming system with you, and just have you head buried in your portable, and just because you are sitting next to your kids or wife, you're "with them" so to speak. That's not the case. But.... Again, there are these windows of downtime, where the wife has to go do something real quick, or the kids have to do something real quick, where you're just kind of sitting there, waiting for them to finish what they are doing, so you can get back to the family time. It's these little windows of time that allow portable gaming to really shine.
At least for me, that's been my experience. Just wondered if any other dads/husbands have noticed this. I spend less and less time gaming on the PC or PS3 or Xbox, and way more time playing a Vita or DS or PSP. I still love the full console gaming experience, but finding the time for it seems to be a bigger issue lately....