Gaming Dads: David Hughes
Now here’s finally someone who’s got my kid count under his belt! Splitkick reader David Hughes is 27 and has two girls and a boy, ages five, four and two respectively. He’s primarily a stay-at-home dad that holds a part-time retail sales position and is starting a new business called Hughes Performance Computers.
JH: Do you consider yourself a serious gamer now? How about before? Do you have a particular platform that you prefer playing on?
I’m a pretty serious gamer, though I’ve gone through long down periods because of trouble with carpal tunnel/RSI in both wrists (one contributing factor to leaving graduate school). Right now I’m pretty much 100% PC in my gaming habits, partly because my wife monopolizes the consoles, but mostly because I’ve come to love the improved graphics and modding flexibility of the PC. I also benchmark every configuration I sell through my computer business, so I’m playing games all the time for “work”.
JH: When your children were born, how did they affect your gaming lifestyle? Were you granted more or less time to play? Did your platform of preference change?
I wasn’t as serious a gamer then as I am now, to be honest, but it also didn’t change my platform much. When my first was born I spent most of my time playing single-player Xbox games on a 13″ TV in a tiny apartment. When the other two were born I was still primarily a console gamer, but the amount of time I played really didn’t change much. In fact, late-night video games often got my wife and I through the sleepless newborn baby nights. We’re both big gamers so it’s not like I feel cramped in my gaming time because she wants to do something else.
JH: Did you profession allow you to adequately adapt to the somewhat new schedule a newborn can bring in? How? If you have an office job, did they allow for paternity leave?
The graduate school I went to made it really difficult for people who had to work part-time outside of the school and who had families, so that part of my profession changed considerably. Since I’m the stay-at-home parent now, my other job didn’t change much, but being in retail there’s a fair amount of flexibility (and I work primarily weekends). I’m hoping my computer business takes off so I can work out of the home all the time, but that’s realistically several years away (if at all).
JH: If your household members made up the multiple visages of a totem pole, where would you put yourself and why? How would you be portrayed?
This is a weird question. I’m not quite sure how to answer it. I guess I’m somewhere in the middle, since my wife’s the breadwinner but I handle pretty much everything else (kids, cleaning, bills, etc.). I’m the glue that holds everything together.
JH: Other than games, did anything help you cope with the new addition?
We had no air conditioning the summer my first was born, so we spent a lot of time walking around the mall. Until the third came (making walks pretty awkward), my wife and I would take walks nearly every day after she got home. A drink every now and then and coffee in the morning also does wonders.
JH: Do you feel like you are better off now, or before you had children?
There are things I miss but, honestly, we’re not terribly social people so it’s not like we used to go out every night. I think I’m better off because kids show you what’s really important in life.