I recently read Keza MacDonald’s article on Kotaku about struggling to get into Destiny 2 now that she has a nine month-old baby, and was able to sympathise somewhat. We’ve just had baby number two (now approaching 2 months old), and I caved and bought Destiny 2, which is (as expected) proving tricky to play while dealing with an infant.
But I was a little surprised to read some of the hatred directed at the article and author (okay, mostly on Twitter). Here’s someone writing an article about her experiences with a notoriously grindy game that she likes, but is coming to terms with the fact that she may not be able to explore all its content due to other commitments. It’s an opinion piece.
She’s sharing a story, to which, going by the comments on Kotaku, many others relate, and for some reason she’s the subject of abuse for expressing the fact that she’s finding it difficult to balance gaming and family. We all know the downside of the Internet giving everyone a voice is that not everyone is worth hearing, but still:
Gaming time was getting pretty good for me recently, with my toddler getting to bed early and sleeping well, and I was able to get through a lot of games over the last year or so. Having a pregnant wife was helpful, too. She’d be off to bed by 9pm each night, meaning a good couple of hours gaming each evening and still a good night’s sleep before work the next day.
Then the boy arrived.
Let me be fair - he’s great, but has some pretty bad colic/reflux, meaning he can be a bit of a nightmare in the evenings, right around my well established gaming time. So my gaming time is once again at a premium, and I’m struggling to find predictable time to arrange anything like Nightfalls, Trials, or the Leviathan Raid with my clan. It means I’m restricted to grabbing Flashpoints when I can, but very often have to ditch a Public Event halfway through due to the wee guy having a screaming fit. Fortunately, being part of a clan helps, and Bungie have made the game much more accessible in general, even letting clan progress give weekly engram drops to help others rank up.
I’m reminded of my post from a year or so ago which gave some tips I found useful first time round, and I’m having to take my own advice. As much as I want to fire a load more hours into Destiny 2 (and my ever expanding backlog), I’m having to pace myself.
Yet again, I’m feeling the allure of shorter single-player experiences that will let me save and quit whenever I need to, or pause and come back in ten minutes. I’m drawn back to the “less-is-more” type gaming experience and have a little bit of fear about some of the bigger games in my backlog (Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Hitman, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Ghost Recon: Wildlands). The exception is Forza Horizon 3. Although it’s a massive open world with a lot of gaming in it, races are only a few minutes long and I can easily dip in and out of the game when I have time.
I feel Keza’s pain of wanting to explore all Destiny 2 has to offer but feeling like you’ll never get a chance. Hopefully in another month or two we’ll get my son into a good bedtime routine and I’ll get my gaming time back, but until then, it’s a case of taking the time when I can get it and enjoying more drop-in games - fortunately I’ve got a few in this year’s Bean Dive that I can knock out while working towards recovery!
Any other parents out there struggling to get time with Destiny 2?