I recently took a week long vacation which was much deserved as I work far too hard at my day job. I decided to reward myself by providing no limits to my gaming “needs” and had recently purchased Fortnite, so I was all geared up for some epic fort building and zombie killing. What would come was quite possibly the first ever gaming hangover. I must preempt this by saying that I am no amateur gamer. I have been playing games since I was in my early elementary school years. I mean I have saved Princess Peach, god knows how many times; I have rescued Princess Zelda on numerous occasions; I have driven thousands of miles across Gran Turismo, Project Gotham Racing and Forza roads; I have become “Dovahkiin”; and I sunk over 500 hours into protecting “The Traveler”. So gaming to its fullest is not out of the ordinary for me.
33 Is Not The New 16
When I was a teenager I remember having some of the best times playing video games with my friends until 2-3am on a Friday night, playing pickup basketball most of Saturday to then play more video games Saturday night into the early morning hours of Sunday. This took place most weekends when I was not playing baseball or basketball for my school teams. Fortunately for my teenage self, limited sleep played no part in my energy reserves for the next day. My grownup self would like to believe the same is true but I am terribly mistaken. If I get anything less than 6 hours of sleep I am struggling to keep up with my two children the next day and my ability to play video games late into the next night decreases drastically. I fooled myself for some time by saying that late night coffee consumption was a good thing and that it didn’t really impact my ability to sleep well, but those are lies. Candy and other forms of sugars are no exception either. As a teenager I could eat Airheads and drink Mountain Dew to push my sleepless nights to the limits with no upset stomach the next day and now those precious days are gone. Sleep and diet are all too important for this 33 year old body and mind I’ve got to work with and the reality of that hurts.
So I began my vacation and I had my closest friends to play Fortnite with me. I’ve got a solid crew between TG Bulldog, Stupendous52 and DARKMOOSEY, all of which are friends IRL who have a similar passion for gaming. While I have myself to blame for what is about to unfold, DARKMOOSEY is often the pressure behind the nights in which I stay up the latest and he is definitely proud of this contribution. I started my first night of vacation with a solid 4 hours of gaming with my friends and learning the ropes of Fortnite, which is an amazing game. I have not had a game hook me as much as this one has since Destiny. The following night I played another 4 hours straight. Mind you, my children go to bed around 7:30pm so I’m gaming from around 8:30pm to 12:30am which is not crazy but with work and family life, I only get to do this late of gaming on rare occasions anymore. The third night of vacation came and another 4 hours of Fortnite passed in the blink of an eye. Followed by nights 4, 5 and 6 with more of the same. By the end of the 6th night I had put an impressive 24 hours into Fortnite with no sign of slowing except for the 2 night camping trip planned on my 7th day of vacation.
However, I wake up on the morning of the 7th day with a massive headache and while I would not go as far to say it was a migraine, I was nauseous and I had trouble even making my children breakfast. I managed to get them both fed but had no appetite of my own and only had enough energy to miserably lay myself down on the couch. This was quickly followed by a feeling deep down in my gut that was tipping me off that I was about to pay my respects to the porcelain throne. After vomiting I had some relief but the throbbing in my head lasted for half of the day before I felt like myself again. I had never experienced a video game hangover and this is the only explanation that makes any sense for the sickness I felt. While I can look back at this and laugh while I write this blog post, I felt pretty terrible in the moment. I suppose that my youngster days of gaming with no boundaries is over and I need to be wiser as an adult gamer to get the most pleasure from the hobby I love.
Tell Us Your Gamer Stories
If you’re finding that your gaming habits are changing as you get older or that you are suffering the consequences of continuing to act as if you were still young, comment below and let us know the terrible truths behind your experiences as aging gamers.
I love gaming! I love being a Dad to two young children! I love being a husband! What's great about my life is I've got kids who are interested in gaming and a wife who understands my need to game. I grew up in the 80's playing Nintendo classics and dabbled a bit with PlayStation before seeing "the light" that is Xbox. I love everything about it and am looking forward to sharing my experiences through the lens of a gamer, dad/husband and as a gamer with a Master's Degree in Psychology. Let the analyzing begin!