When it comes to a newborn, “parenting” feels a bit like a misnomer. I mean, there are some things I’m doing to try to develop her little mind, to introduce her to the world, but mostly I seem to fall into an endless cycle of changing nappies/cleaning her, feeding her and getting her to go to sleep. She is only awake for a little while at a time, and most of that time is spent looking after those baser needs. However, there can be more to it, and in the early hours of the morning, I start to think of it as a video game.
Seeing as it keeps me entertained, I thought I would share the various genres of games that I think parenting falls under at this fragile age. I’m sure as she gets older, it will take on more tactical elements and perhaps some elements of psychological thriller or horror, but for now most of her parenting falls into these genres.
Time Management Sim
I’m not even going to mention The Sims because that’s far too easy. However, much like other time management simulation games, parenting at this age feels like a mad dash to complete certain tasks in a set period of time. Like those restaurant management games that involve cooking and serving food to a range of customers, parenting a newborn feels like a list of duties that need completing. I’d love to see the game, Baby Sim, where players have to change nappies, feed, do dishes and laundry, and maybe even find time to bathe themselves all in the gaps of time when the baby is awake or asleep. There could even be a player stamina bar that gets filled by eating and sleeping, tasks that are also only possible while the baby is asleep. Oh, and how about adding a hard mode by having to do it all alone as compared to with a partner? The possibilities for this game design are endless – in fact, I’d love to see it made as a mobile game. If someone reading this decides to make it, please just give me an acknowledgement in your credits.
Also called a procedurally generated death labyrinth, most of these games follow a set of fairly standard set of rules that are difficult for the player but start to feel easier as the player learns rather than as the game itself gets easier. Each play through is different, adding tons of replayability and challenges for the player. Similarly, parenting a newborn is a new challenge each day as you have no idea what you’ll be faced with. Will she sleep through the night? Will she decide crying and screaming are her best life choices? Or will she be a breeze, lulling me into a false sense of ease for the day?
There is nothing turn-based in parenting a newborn, it is pure action-adventure, but there does seem to be some degree of leveling up. Since that first day with her, I have mastered the art of changing her nappies and even added the new skill of breast feeding. While I am still training towards giving the perfect bath, my level has gone up when it comes to calming her when she’s upset. I’ve even added a new ability, baby massage, that I am training and hoping to upgrade soon.