Having a baby drastically changes both your free time and your budget. So much so that I’m actively evaluating what games to purchase this year far in advance of their actual arrival. Battlefield 3 for example, is not only an instant purchase, but also something worth upgrading the TV and/or PC for. That’s a given. Other AAA titles are still worthy of a purchase, but it’s hard to justify getting ALL of them. For example, this month sees the release of Brink, which I’ve been waiting patiently for for months, and LA Noire, which is supposed to be quite fantastic and a perfect follow up to Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption, which was my personal “Game of the Year” last year. Rockstar has really grown up as a company. Both of those games hit in less than two weeks. Do I purchase them immediately and expand my “pile of shame” (the pile of games I’ve yet to complete – Fable 3 I’m looking at you!), or do I wait the obligatory 2-3 weeks for them to drop in price (and player base) and miss out on potential multiplayer goodness. Or, is that an illusion? Will people continue to play multiplayer games in a diminishing community after tepid releases, resulting in the “seriously, are there really only 2 servers running for this?” scenario. Or does that really matter if your friends are playing it as well, which they won’t be.

Sadly, I don’t have a group of gamers to play with any more. Obviously I count all of you as friends, and a good number of you have an Xbox, but we don’t really game “together”, and that’s ok, I’m just pointing out that my motivation to play multiplayer games is unfortunately based on playing with strangers (and killing them) and not so much as a “team” sport anymore. It used to be, which is maybe why the transition is so hard. God, I haven’t been to a LAN party in forever.

Regardless, the point of this post wasn’t to lament on past FPS glories, but to emphasize the point that life truly has changed and that video game purchases are now further down on the list of priorities, although still well within the top 10. So, what will it be? To buy or not to buy? Who knows. I guess that really depends on how my diapers I need to buy this weekend, lol.