Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gaming impact of children

Having children seriously reduces the amount of gaming one gets to do.
They're really worth it, but it's a big impact. That's all well and
good to say, but let's see some numbers.

First of all, to correct for annual events and the like, I looked at a
sliding window of 365 days. Prior to having kids, it was somewhat
variable, but going into 2004 it was pretty steady at around 550 games
every 365 days. Then, the drop. In the first year of my daughter's
life, I fell below 400 games/year and it gradually climbed back up to
about 450 when my son came along. Let me tell you, the second is a
bigger impact than the first, and the numbers bear me out, both as a
percentage and as an absolute value. In the first year of my son's
life, the rate fell to 266/year and hasn't recovered much since. So:

  • First child: 30% drop (then up 10% after 2 years) (-150 games/year)
  • Second child: 40% drop (-175 games/year)

On the flip side, my daughter is ranked 4th among people I play the
most games with for the year so far (in the top 75 overall), after
three game night regulars. And that's only games played according to
the essentially correct rules, and to completion. With her, currently
age 3, the big hits are Go Away Monster!, Monza, Who Lives Where? and
any "daddy game" she can get her hands on. Plus, she's become a very
good rules explainer. The other day she taught me the full rules to
Karambolage, exactly correctly and very clearly. Hopefully, as she
gets older the interest will remain.