As a child, games were directed towards children. Many still are, but overall, a large number still cater to the age group that grew up with them. According to the ESA, the average “gamer” is 34 years old. Thirty-four. How do we reconcile with the fact that games are no longer only for children, and how do we wrangle all of the responsibilities that come with being an adult with the love for games instilled in us at such a young age?
Gaming as an Adult
I’ve known several adults who have stopped playing games. They transition from the Mithra White Mage to the fully functional, responsible adult with no time for games.
I’ve also known several adults who continue to play games and neglect their duties. They remain home with their parents, with a hard-working spouse or roommate, fail to keep jobs due to skewed priorities, and struggle to understand where the disconnect is between their actions and their successes and failures. They are responsible for their actions, but as the first generation to deal with this level of immersion in gaming, I can’t help but feel some level of sympathy and understanding.
Then there is the in-between: those of us who work hard, clock out, and play hard.
There are certain difficulties that comes with choosing to play games as an outlet to release the stresses of the “Nine to Five”.
- Future employers may see MMORPGs or some other time-consuming game on social media and immediately discount you as a candidate due to your perceived “priorities”.
- Your boss may see you as irresponsible.
- Peers may see you as childish for playing games.
- You may have to prioritize children.
- Your spouse may not share your enthusiasm.
And most importantly:
You may feel badly about choosing to spend your free time in a way you enjoy because of how others may perceive you.
That is where the idea spawned for Off The Clock Games. As an American, the idea of having to “work” 24/7 in order to be successful is extremely prevalent, and to combat this, we must develop healthy boundaries between work and play.
What is Off The Clock Games, exactly?
The goal of Off The Clock Games is to become a resource and support network for hard-working adults who play video and/or board games on a regular basis, those who live with someone who games, or those who simply wish to understand the allure.
The first deep-dive will be a review for the Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition Starter Kit, and a look at how my local group is attempting to learn a game that takes years to master after totally dominating our day jobs, cooking dinner, and taking care of children.