How the PS5 and the pandemic have made me better appreciate time

The thing about becoming an adult is that no one fully explains the importance of time. It’s natural to develop new interests and hobbies as you grow older, but being able to enjoy those things requires having free time. And as I attempt this whole adult thing, it becomes more and more difficult to find time for things I used to love. But a pandemic can surely clear a schedule, and this newfound freedom has allowed me to fall back in love with gaming.

At first, I was happy with my PS4, putting an absurd amount of hours into playing Red Dead Redemption 2. I had only owned the system for a little over two years, and its main use was as a glorified Netflix streaming device, but now my PS4 was finally getting the true attention it deserved. So when the hype started coming out about the Playstation 5, I tried to ignore it. What kind of person would I be to just jump ship on something that’s been nothing but loyal to me?

Despite that, I could feel my eyes wandering toward the PS5. I knew I didn’t need it, but eventually my resolved cracked, and I had to have it. Sony, meanwhile, had made it nearly impossible to buy. The release of the whole batch of next generation consoles has been a shit show. If you wanted to get your hands on a PS5, you would either have to pay a ludicrous amount on the resale market or just be lucky enough to actually secure one in your online cart.

In my hunt for the PS5, I never once entertained the thought of filling the pockets of resellers as they took advantage of Sony’s poor rollout. So that just left me frustrated every time the system would be sold out in what felt like milliseconds. I didn’t want to keep going through the process of being denied and having the feeling that I failed, even knowing the odds were tough. So I gave up. My PS4 was still there to be played and it was really all I needed.

Then, just as I thought I was completely done with anything PS5 related, temptation reared its head.

Charles McDonald, who’s a fantastic NFL writer at For The Win and also a good friend of mine, was also getting frustrated in his quest for the new Playstation:

Me and Charles maybe had different approaches to PS5 acquisition, but we both agreed that Sony was really fucking the situation up. My frustration led to me giving up, but his was channeled into success.

For some reason Charles didn’t stop at one. His obsessive nature led him to keep checking how fast the systems would sell out, which in turn found him in possession of another Playstation 5. Lightning had struck twice. Being the good dude he is, and knowing that we were both ready to ride on Sony if need be, Charles offered his spare to me.

When I finally got the chance to open up the box, it was a moment of euphoria that I didn’t quite expect. My brother watched as I opened the box, and he said I had a glow like the time I opened up my PS2 on Christmas many years ago. My interest in video games had waned over time, but there I was, older but excited to pour countless hours into my new system.

Then time slowed down again.

When I went to purchase the new Call of Duty game online, I was hit with the notice that the game would take at least thee hours to download. And that was just one part of the game! I bought Call of Duty on Monday night, and literally as I type this, the game is still downloading.

Still, if the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that we can’t take time for granted. Time to work on ourselves. Time to build bonds with family and friends and appreciate the moments you’ve shared, and look forward to the time you can have when we are able to go outside safely again. Time to just mess around and do whatever silly thing that makes you happy. It’s been video games for me.

So while I would do anything to speed up this damn download time, I just keep going back to thought that for a moment in time I really felt like a kid again, and that’s the specific time i’ll always cherish.

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