Letting Go of The Familiar

My son is 10 months old.

I thought many selfish things before I got to meet him — principal amongst those the thought that I would continue not just to game, but to have the same desire to game as I used to. To my sheer amazement, this has just not been the case at all.

The transformation of my life goals, my desires, and even my thoughts is still something I’m coming to grips with. Recently, I read this post on Medium about nostalgia:


that I learned from, as it relates to my struggle. Here’s the relevant excerpt:

I think that’s the difficult part about Nostalgia: balancing the respect and acknowledgement for what a memory is.
It’s hard to only use it for happiness and strengthening of one’s self-identity, when it often leaves a feeling for wanting more.

For so long, it has been difficult to keep the positive effects of nostalgia in check. It’s great that nostalgia helps me shape my identity and who I am, but it does often leave me wanting more. For so long, this “wanting more” has been an impulse to re-play past favorites that I spent so much time with.

Despite the many games released each year, I tend to fall back on established games from either my youth (NES/SNES collection), or college years (late 90’s CRPGS and MMOs). I haven’t played through many recent titles, even ones deemed by the gaming community as “unmissable” — such as the Witcher, Batman: Arkham *, or Mass Effect series. I have, however, replayed much of Diablo 3’s content as all character classes. Whether that’s nostalgia, or a testament to the psychologically-addictive techniques Blizzard bakes into their games is anyone’s guess.

For 10 months, this urge has been greatly diminished. I no longer have the same interest in gaming — and I certainly don’t have the same amount of time with which to do so. A few hours a week results in my desire to maximize the amount I can accomplish in each gaming session. Where once I may have read about the new patch notes for Final Fantasy XIV and felt a surge of longing to pore over every note and wonder at how each change would affect my character, I instead want to figure out how to spend the few of hours I have with my son before he goes to sleep.