I miss gaming

When I was a teenager, my friends and I used to crowd around a black & white TV with dials on the front for tuning and trash talk each other while playing pong and breakout on an Atari 2600. We used to always look for games with multiplayer options. We moved on to Commodore 64’s, then Nintendo’s, Sega’s, Playstations and Xbox. It became a Saturday thing for us. Everyone would crowd around mine, have a few drinks, and bash the crap out of each other. Bloody lot cheaper than nights out in London.

The last console we actively played as a group was Sega’s Dreamcast in the 90’s. We had a few brief meets with the Nintendo Gamecube, but everyone was grown up by then. We went our separate ways.

Then came multiplayer online games. We met in those quite a bit and kept contact. Most of the guys kept playing. I drifted though. I met my missus, who is a gamer herself, and is currently beating me on games completed this year 300 – 1.

At some point I found and played Little Inferno. The first game in years I had actually played through. It’s not a long game, it looks childish, but it is oddly adult. It has themes running though out that you can’t go back, only forward. It ponders if you waste time staring at a screen (or fire) or if you had good times, and lived an enjoyable life looking at a screen. What’s more important? The meaning of the game is left ambiguous.

Recalling this game got me in a philosophical mood though. I am aware my working hours were getting longer and longer over time. I was not aware of how devastating that is on my life. I have tried to live my weekends, but week days have almost been exclusively work for 12 hours a day, and oh god that commute.

I used to enjoy gaming, socializing, reading and technology. I cannot remember the last time I read a new book cover to cover. I cannot remember the last time I followed technology news with excitement. I cannot remember the last time I went to the pub with mates. Where did my mates even go? I just lost contact with everyone over the years. I do not just miss gaming, I miss living.

Holy crap how much of a job has my job done on me?

I do need to work hard at being a freelancer, its tough going it alone. But do you know, everyone closes across the Christmas period. I do not see family across that week (I do not get on with them). So during my Christmas week, I am going to read a book, complete a game and go down the pub.

37 thoughts on “I miss gaming

  1. Anne J.

    Whoever said balancing life was easy was lying! 🙂 Life keeps happening but we hardly live and this weekend living isn’t good at all. Sigh! But we keep trying. We don’t give up. All the best! xx

    Reply
  2. WeeManMike

    I can relate on so many levels. I think my first game was pong, but it was definitely a square brown console with a couple of small yellow controllers with dials on them, along with a single yellow button.

    I can’t remember when I got an atari 2600 and I only had pac man and asteroids on it, but I played the arse off them for days on end!

    Like you I drifted on to other consoles, but I’ve always been a Nintendo fanboy and only ever owned their consoles. I seem to remember drifting away from friends of that time when they started getting into PC gaming and seemingly the games took on a more serious edge, rather than just for fun, I did meet my current partner at the same time too.

    No idea where any of them are now, but I occasionally dabble with some online emulators which bring the memories flooding back of yesteryear. And then I go on a day or two binge of playing them lol

    I seem to have got to a stage now that if I spend hours playing games, my adult guilt kicks in and I feel the urge to go do adult things like tidying up and organising stuff, nothing overly important but it feels like I am wasting time playing games and having fun.

    It wasn’t like this before I took on adult responsibilities like a job and bills. Oh to have those childish care free days back again!

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Aha, Adult Guilt! Thats one evil bastard right there! It can take the fun out of absolutely anything!

      Preferred Sega over Nintendo, Sonic beats Mario! 🙂

      Reply
      1. WeeManMike

        How very dare you sir. To even insinuate such a thing is tantamount to treason! …. this has to be resolved with a game of Smash Brothers!! (^-^)

        Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Jet Set Willy with some latter Phantasy Star? That’s a good gaming life! 🙂

      Reply
  3. therealjonfreedman

    Your Christmas week plan sounds great. It is doable and you’re not setting yourself up to fail.

    If you’re looking for a book to read, I highly recommend “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. It is a fun read, a novel set in the future that is all about gaming.

    Good luck on your journey!

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Hey I think I have that in one of the Humble Bundles I got the missus. I’ll check it out. 🙂

      Reply
  4. blessmyjourney

    “So during my Christmas week, I am going to read a book, complete a game and go down the pub” sounds being me time, just like me during my birthday, have fun 🙂

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Hah, yeah I cannot remember the last time I did something for my birthday either. Man I have been a dick with my life for a to long!

      Reply
  5. prettyoddandsuch

    Relatable. I also have been so consumed with life that I am unable to enjoy life. I used to play a lot of video games, too and for my birthday I bought a vita, and I played one game! I haven’t used it since. I used to devour books, but I haven’t sat down to read one for enjoyment in forever. I plan to also make more time for real life.

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Hard to enjoy life when life takes over isn’t it?

      We shall get it figured out!

      Reply
      1. magickmermaid

        We get so involved with trying to make a living that we aren’t living! Being your own boss is great. More hours spent working, but at least you are working for you!

        Reply
        1. sable Post author

          Maybe more hours working, but consider commute inclusive I was spending 14+ hours a day devoted to the day job? That’s life sapping! It’s not wonder life has gone by.

          Reply
  6. tcriggs

    Funny… Me too! Semester is over, Christmas break is looming, and I have begun looking for a good figure-it-out game. Back in the day… Played MYST, um some creepy ghost game I can’t recall, PYST, and a Time travel one… dang… memory… first thing to go right? lol. Last one was Portal 2… maybe a good puzzle game will fix that memory problem. lol.

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      I have Portal and Portal 2, just never played them. First ones meant to be quite short, maybe thats the game I should bash through?

      Reply
      1. tcriggs

        I never got to play Portal 2 all the way through. The girls took over the game and I ended up watching THEM beat it. lol. *wonders if there is a Portal 3* hmm…

        Reply
  7. M. Matheson

    Read on of my books… No More Mister Nice Guy you might find it a lot like Little Inerno. Or Flatline which has a message but is mostly intrigue and violent crime amongst outlaws from my insiders POV. MMatheonBooks.com
    They’re cheap. Quite a few entertaining free stories too.
    I love games but I’m terrible and easily addicted. My wife beats me 9 out of 10 times

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Annoying when the missus beats you isn’t it?

      Now theres a thing, I once half read a book called No More Mister Nice Guy, but it wasn’t fiction. Sorta self help book?

      Reply
  8. lghiggins

    I hope being your own boss will improve things. I know you still have to work hard, but at least you won’t have the commute. Bing! You just received 2 hours per day!

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Well, some days, others it was like 4 hours with a 12 hour day. Add dog walks, cooking, washing, general man house jobs and then wham. How did I have time to fart during the day?

      Reply
  9. colorfulbookreviews

    It’s so easy to get caught up in work, especially if it is a job we enjoy or find satisfying. But research actually shows we work better when we detach ourselves and have clean breaks from work time (I am horrid at this).

    Also, I would heartily second the recommendation of Ready Player One. I wasn’t even heavily into the gaming culture referenced but still enjoyed the novel. Would love to hear your thoughts on it if you do read it over Christmas break.

    Reply
    1. sable Post author

      Had I enjoyed the work I would not be so regretful that I have not read a book or played in game in so long heh.

      The more time I have at home, the more I deeply regret sticking at that job for 17 years. Doh!

      Reply

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