How It’s Like to be a Gamer Dad

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Responsibilities come when the most wonderful being in your life comes. It’s challenging, frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, I look back and hug him as firmly as I can — thanking this world that he is here with me to see him grow, and love the things that I also do.

Video-games have been part of our lives ever since we were children. There are late nights when we were 5 years old, stealing time and sneaking past our parents’ bedroom to play Sonic: The Hedgehog and Toy Story at around 12 midnight. Striking with nervousness when the sound of the light switch clicks, we hurriedly turn the television and console off, and crawl back to our room like Metal Gear’s Solid Snake. Imagine, our own children will also do the same crazy thing like sneaking past our rooms just to play video-games, it’s cute and it strikes us back with nostalgia.

Finn, my son, was born 3 years and 3 months ago, and it was the best thing that happened in my life. Although I have my cute little rugrat, he usually gets one of the PS4 controllers when I’m playing a game — Rocket League, in particular. He knows the game’s disc case, and every time he visits our room with my wife, he usually looks for Rocket League in my pile of games beside my PS4. And what’s amazing is that he knows, he remembers what it looks like, and runs to me and say: “Papa, play car? Play car?” while I’m in the middle of a thrilling sequence in Batman: Arkham Knight.

It ruined my playthrough. The difficulty was set on Hard, and I was up against Deathstroke. All I can feel was being annoyed by my own son. Then I told him “After this, we’ll play car”, and suddenly he held my face with his cute tiny hands, turning my head to look at him, and he gave me this sad face which almost seemed like he was going to burst out and cry. I had no choice but to quit Batman: Arkham Knight and inserted Rocket League to play online matches to make my son happy.

Not a representation of the actual author.

Seeing my son happy, laughing every time when my car in Rocket League flips back, forward, and sideways like crazy. And he shouts “ball! hit ball!”, and when I make it fly, he then follows it with another big voice saying “fly car, papa? fly car!”. I look back at him, and witnessing him smiling and enjoying when he sees me playing Rocket League is something I don’t want to set aside. He holds the other controller, following every finger movement I do with the analog stick and buttons, I can already see my son to be a future gamer, and hopefully loves my hobby with passion.

Even if your child gives you a lot of headache and frustrations, or even get annoyed, these complaints won’t replace how charming they are when they’re still little. When the time comes they get older and a pain in the ass, you won’t be able to turn back time to spend again the moments you had when they were younger. It’s not easy being a dad. There are struggles and times when shit just happens, but when you see your little kid running to you with a smile and arms wide open, everything will turn out just fine.

If you’re a gamer dad like me, you’ll know how it feels. But if you’re in the process of having one, I tell you, there’s nothing more delightful to have your own little buddy to play with when they grow up. And I’m excited to meet my first baby girl, Freyja, in a couple of days! Finn will level up to big brother!

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