Portable gaming is starting to make more sense for guys with wives and kids.... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 10:10 AM - Thread Starter
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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....
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post #2 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 11:42 AM
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You said it exactly how it is for me!

My last hardcore gaming was Sunday early in the morning, about 2 hours before the family's normal wake up time. I just couldn't sleep anymore. Spent the first 15 minutes trying to find the headphone cable extender (as I don't dare try to get my Uncharted on with the subwoofer kicking in) and getting everything booted up, 3D glasses on, and save-game loaded. It really worked well as when my wife did get up she was fine with the explosions as she couldn't hear them.

Another recent invention has greatly helped my gaming. We hadn't succumbed to the tablet wars yet but did just last month. And no I'm not talking about gaming on a tablet. It's all configured for my wife to use so she has the tablet available to her while the 3 year old is using the family PC. (kid loves win7's media center... can sit on there navigating favorite shows and pbs web page all on her own - daddy is so proud) Anyway this new tablet has allowed me to sit there with the Vita in my hands (how can she complain, she's on the tablet). In fact, she isn't aware that the Vita isn't the PSP. How wrong is it not to tell her

Yes it is Uncharted 3, and yes I'm aware it came out half a year ago. That's how long it takes to get enough solid time to play these things. My backlog is many games deep. It does help not needing to buy them on release day though... what's the point? Pre-order it, buy it on release day, put it on the shelf to play next year.
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post #3 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 12:15 PM
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i intend on getting married soon, but i really freak out when i know the missus will cut down on my gaming time when she moves in. Really feel sorry for you guys, but to be sincere i think nothing beats the presence of your family. Take that away and see how miserable you will be. It's a case of '' Can't live with them, can't live without them". LOL!!!
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post #4 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 12:21 PM
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Depends on the wife. Mine asks me "how come you haven't been playing games much lately?"

Although the answer is my kid hogging the PS3 during the opportune times.
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post #5 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Is it just me, or is portable gaming starting to make more sense for those of us that have a wife and kids?

Indeed. I haven't been into portable gaming since the original Gameboy. But now my iPad gets more time than my consoles these days.

Married + Career = me at 11 years old?

It helps that I've also found iPhone games that my wife loves. Now she's as much a junky as I am. Thank you, portable gaming.

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post #6 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 12:56 PM
 
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Key is to get a good wife.

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post #7 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 02:43 PM
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Your kids are going to learn a lot of stuff from you. How and when to play is one of them. They need to learn that everyone including Dad deserves some time alone to play. Your wife shouldn't mind as long as you're giving her equal time to go out with her friends without the kids or whatever it is she likes to do. I know my wife never minded me playing games when I had done the dishes first!

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post #8 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 03:32 PM
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Funny the timing of this topic, as I was JUST talking to someone recently about this. Been married a year, gaming time has been cut considerably. Not only the available time, but sometimes I just can't be bothered to load up a game on the PS3 or 360, after a full-time job and doing the 'father/husband thing'. Doesn't help that there's only one TV in my house and no current plans to buy another one, which leaves me with mainly my ipad, 3ds, or PSP to have 'quick-burst' gaming sessions. Not only that, but I game during my lunch-hour when I have nothing else going on.

So, this topic very much applies to me.

Too many systems and games....not enough time or money!

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post #9 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 04:09 PM
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It makes sense, so much so I'm pissed vita wasn't a standalone portable ps3
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post #10 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 04:27 PM
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I can't get away with playing a game downstairs while she is upstairs reading on her Kindle. If I had a psp or vita i bet she wouldn't mind...Hmm, maybe I should get one of those!
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post #11 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ticker305 View Post

It makes sense, so much so I'm pissed vita wasn't a standalone portable ps3


You know what's scary about your quote up there ?


Maybe a Wii U isn't such a horrible idea after all. Of course, it would greatly depend on the range that you can get away from the base unit. I wonder if Nintendo would come out with some kind of range extender you can buy, to extend the range of the Wii U tablet. If only that thing had legitimate thumbsticks, and if only you could just take the tablet on a trip with you.
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post #12 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 05:58 PM
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As said above, all depends on Wife and kids, my friend has been 3 years married, when they didn´t have had their son they (yes both of them) played A LOT the PS3, she loves videogames as much as my friend, so it was not unusual the find them in PSN at midnight playing games, but everything changed when their first kid (and hopelly the last he sais ) was born, lets say that the little angel DEMANDED full time, now, three years later that demon angel stills demands full time he always looks tired because of little Dante ( angel´s name), and is lucky if plays games twice a week, and wifey is no longer interested in games, life is full of changes
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post #13 of 34 Old 03-26-2012, 06:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, no matter which way you look at it, children dramatically change how much free time we have. Before children, free time was much more plentiful. Even with a wife. But you add kids into the mix, and free time really dwindles down to a precious few hours in the evening. Most people like to surf the web and watch some TV, or movies or sports, plus play some video games. Video Games isn't always No.1 on that list.

Most evenings, I basically have from 9pm to 11pm to do whatever it is that I want. Kids are asleep, and wife is either reading a particular book, or watching some TV. I can use that two hour window to play PC games or PS3 games or whatever. I can use it to surf the net. I can use it to hop onto Netflix and watch a TV show or movie I've been meaning to watch. I can pop in a Blu Ray. So many options. Video gaming isn't always my No.1 choice.
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post #14 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 05:58 AM
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I love these threads.....it's like Dr Laura goes to E3.

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post #15 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 07:46 AM
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My key to succes... my GF is still at school 2 night/week and she work on weekends... plenty of free time for playing
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post #16 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 08:19 AM
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I know how it feels. Wife and two kids (4 and 2.)

When she gets a couple of books that she really likes, I can get a week or two of evenings to myself (kids are in bed by 7pm) but even then there are things like doing the taxes or even just not feeling like going down to the basement to play every night that can stall out a game.

I've got about a handful of games that sit, abandoned half way through for no other reason that I got pulled away and then haven't gotten around to playing them for a period of time. Soon you come to feel like you don't even remember the story or play mechanics so you don't really feel like picking it back up in the middle, but you don't feel like starting over either...

As such, my real games need to be compelling from start to finish. Which is sad because my preferred genre, RPGs, usually have significant periods of dry or slow parts. A 6 hour passage of slow or grinding parts can kill a game when you only play about 2 hours a night 2 nights a week.

As such, I have been turning more to my android tablet for gaming. The reality is that it only takes about 5 minutes to grab some munchies and power up the basement to the point that I have a game running, but even still, after the kids are in bed it is just much easier to sit down on the couch and turn the tablet on than go down and get the basement all fired up.

The problem with mobile games is that there are very few that have the depth of story and polish that I would like *and* be playable in 1 to 2 hour segments.

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post #17 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKMad View Post

It does help not needing to buy them on release day though... what's the point? Pre-order it, buy it on release day, put it on the shelf to play next year.

This is where I am. Digging through the bargain bin instead of paying full price. I don't have the time to keep up like I used to with a 6 month old in the house.

To the OP, I find myself gaming on my phone a lot more with the kid around.
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post #18 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 10:21 AM
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Its very hard to do. I tried moving the 360 into the bedroom and play on a small monitor while she watches tv.....Turns out, they dont like wires and controllers clunkying up the room.

Tried to limit my time playing in my room. No matter how little i play, i still feel guilty for isolating myself in the room.

I bought me a vita and its working out good so far.
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post #19 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 10:35 AM
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I understand what the OP is saying, 100%. I used to play every night, but with the family, I just don't have the time or energy to spend all night. I pretty much only play The show now on my PS3 if I play any games.

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post #20 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 11:32 AM
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post #21 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 11:41 AM
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yes, it is hard as we get older, kids get older, more responsibility to keep up with the things we want to do. My ps3 is on our main TV so I never get to play until everyone goes to bed, weeknights I can get about an hour or so in and on the weekend s a couple of hours, I have pretty much stopped buying games for the simple reason of lack of time. I am playing dark souls right now and I'm almost at the end, and all of a sudden i'm struggling to find time to finish it.

In the summer I would rather be outside, but when I do have free time I have to decide if I wanna get in the pool, or go for a ride on my harley....who in the hell came up with this idea of having JOBS anyway!

I rely on my iphone alot as I can pick it up and play for 5 mins or 20 mins at a time, when I have time...but face the facts guys, as you get older our needs fall into our childrens needs and we come last. I work 50+ hours a week, have 3 kids at home, 2 of which are very involved in every school sport they can be, so my leisure time is about non existant...you can try to fight it, but it seems to happen this way as family comes first and no one wants to sit and watch you play games in the middle of the day

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post #22 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darthrsg View Post

Is there a thread to turn in our gamer cards?

Lol

Too many systems and games....not enough time or money!

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post #23 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 12:04 PM
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man, you guys are making me count my blessings that i'm divorced!

i have 50% custody of my 8yr old daughter, so every wed/thurs/fri and every other saturday, she's with me and that DOES limit my gaming. but, i usually find plenty of time on the other days to indulge my addiction.

fortunately, she's a gamer (it's genetic), so we find things to play together and that helps. as a result, i can kick some serious ass at Lego Star Wars, and that PSN game, 'Feeding Frenzy'.

so, i think as we become more involved in our family existence, we don't necessarily surrender our 'gamer card', we just evolve to the point where we recognize what's really important in our lives. also, it is our duty to help usher in the next generation of gamers!

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post #24 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maximuslcd View Post

yes, it is hard as we get older, kids get older, more responsibility to keep up with the things we want to do. My ps3 is on our main TV so I never get to play until everyone goes to bed, weeknights I can get about an hour or so in and on the weekend s a couple of hours, I have pretty much stopped buying games for the simple reason of lack of time. I am playing dark souls right now and I'm almost at the end, and all of a sudden i'm struggling to find time to finish it.

In the summer I would rather be outside, but when I do have free time I have to decide if I wanna get in the pool, or go for a ride on my harley....who in the hell came up with this idea of having JOBS anyway!

I rely on my iphone alot as I can pick it up and play for 5 mins or 20 mins at a time, when I have time...but face the facts guys, as you get older our needs fall into our childrens needs and we come last. I work 50+ hours a week, have 3 kids at home, 2 of which are very involved in every school sport they can be, so my leisure time is about non existant...you can try to fight it, but it seems to happen this way as family comes first and no one wants to sit and watch you play games in the middle of the day

Yeah as the days get longer my gaming goes down lots.
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post #25 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 01:48 PM
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My kids are 7 and 9 and they have completely taken over the PS3. Plants vs. Zombies, Tiger Woods, the various legos games, feeding frenzy etc

I never get to use the thing unless they need help on some leve.
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post #26 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 02:35 PM
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post #27 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamieva View Post

My kids are 7 and 9 and they have completely taken over the PS3. Plants vs. Zombies, Tiger Woods, the various legos games, feeding frenzy etc

I never get to use the thing unless they need help on some leve.

Living the dream. Living the dream. I can only hope that my children will someday be so lucky.

I would happily give up all of my gaming time if it meant my (nonexistent) children were playing games instead.

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post #28 of 34 Old 03-27-2012, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashboard View Post

My key to succes... my GF is still at school 2 night/week and she work on weekends... plenty of free time for playing


Yeah, that's an amazing situation. Man... in my earlier days, before kids, I sometimes had some sweet situations, where I would have like a month off work, and could just almost game all day long, and then when my fiance got home we would have dinner, and do whatever, and then later at night I could play some more. I finished a ton of games back in those days.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post


The problem with mobile games is that there are very few that have the depth of story and polish that I would like *and* be playable in 1 to 2 hour segments.

-Suntan

Sounds like it's time to buy a Vita. Vita might not have any "deep" games yet, but you know they are coming.



Quote:
Originally Posted by darthrsg View Post

Is there a thread to turn in our gamer cards?

Yeah.... You're looking at it, lol..
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post #29 of 34 Old 03-28-2012, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Sounds like it's time to buy a Vita. Vita might not have any "deep" games yet, but you know they are coming.

I'll wait and see. The Vita looks like a nice game platform, but at the same time, I feel pretty bittersweet about the PSP. Too many hassles with it and too little added functionality to justify its inclusion along with the other gadgets. It would have to have some really compelling games to justify a purchase. Currently it doesn't have them.

And to be completely honest, although gaming is gaming, pulling out something dedicated (like a VITA) while sitting at 35K feet next to a colleague on your way across the ocean is just not cool compared to dinking on your phone or tablet.

-Suntan
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post #30 of 34 Old 03-28-2012, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan View Post


And to be completely honest, although gaming is gaming, pulling out something dedicated (like a VITA) while sitting at 35K feet next to a colleague on your way across the ocean is just not cool compared to dinking on your phone or tablet.

-Suntan

Eh, you gotta get over that. I stopped worrying about what other people thought of me, years ago. It's so liberating to not constantly think about "What will my co-worker think if I start playing a portable game system right next to them?"

Life is too short to worry about that ish.
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