An old stereotype that has persisted into modern times is that gaming is a hobby for children or adolescents. But what happens when the youthful gamers of days past grow up and become parents in their own right?
Vivy Evynse Majengen, perhaps better known as 'Ai Gaming', is a well-known streamer and one half of a power gaming couple in Malaysia. If you're part of the PUBGM community, you may have caught a glimpse of her wedding video with caster Terence "icybaby12" Yong, which was aired during the PUBG Mobile Club Open Spring Split Global Final live in Berlin.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Vivy regarding her experience as a new mother to beautiful baby Elyse and how it has impacted her lifestyle as a gamer. What follows are her personal insights and opinions on the topic.
Having a child is undoubtedly a life-changing experience. What would you say was the biggest change to your gaming habits after you had Elyse?
A lot has changed. Prior to having Elyse, I could play games and stream any time I wanted, be it morning, afternoon, or even all night long. But now, I need to adhere to a strict schedule for gaming and streaming - in the daytime, I send Elyse to daycare, then spend quality time with her at night.
Please give us a quick 24-hour rundown of your day - before becoming a parent versus after becoming a parent.
Before: I usually wake up in the afternoon after gaming all night with my friends - I didn't really have a strict schedule. I'd stream, have dinner, and continue streaming; I could also go out anytime I pleased.
After: My day is more structured - at 9am, I will wake up and get ready to stream. 10am to 7pm are my usual streaming hours, but sometimes this period will be spent working or having meetups. At 7pm I’ll have dinner, then the rest of my night is spent with Elyse.
There is strictly no more gaming after 8PM, because I want to fully focus on Elyse. Besides, I usually don't get enough sleep every day as newborns need to be fed every few hours throughout the night.
Are there any strategies or time management tactics you use to create time for gaming? If so, what are they?
As a full-time streamer, I play games for a living. So, I do not really need to set aside dedicated time for it as I'm not gaming for leisure (though I do enjoy my job a lot!) I just try to make sure to enjoy gaming as much as I can while I'm streaming for work.
After delivering Elyse, time management becomes even more important to properly juggle working and getting as much rest as I can so that I am not tired and cranky on stream. Being tired is not really an option for me as a streamer.
So basically, my hours spent streaming is the time I spend enjoying games.
How do you think gamer parents differ from non-gaming parents?
I don’t think there are many differences between gaming parents and non-gaming parents. The main difference is just whether they play games or not. By that, I mean non-gaming parents would surely have hobbies of their own as well, so they would also be able to find time to do things - just like how us gamer parents find time for our hobbies.
Are you going to raise Elyse as a gamer? Why or why not?
Elyse being a gamer...why not? But I would not encourage her to start gaming at a very young age - maybe only after she reaches the age where she can differentiate between good and bad. I also don’t want her to get addicted to video games, which would be detrimental to her health physically and also mentally.
I admit that there are many advantages to being a gamer like myself, but I can’t deny the disadvantages as well.
Which would be the first game you introduce to her, and why?
Those farming simulator games, haha! Also word games such as Scribbles and similar titles. It would help develop her intellect and she can enjoy herself while learning. As long as the game does not include violence, blood, or nudity and the like, I am fine with it.
If you were relieved of childcare responsibilities and distractions for 24 hours, which game would you sit down and play?
This is a tricky question, because if I were relieved from childcare responsibilities and distractions for 24 hours, I would love to sleep and rest or go out and have fun with my husband instead of playing games! *laughs*
But to answer the question, I would like to play Apex Legends and Mobile Legends to rank up without distractions.
What are your plans for the future? Will you be returning to full-time streaming / working in the gaming industry?
I would like to start a business and own properties. As for work, it will not necessarily be in the gaming industry. I used to work in construction, so I might take construction jobs in the future or even start a construction company. Now, I am still pursuing Business Studies but had to take a semester off for maternity leave.
Lastly, what advice would you give to gamer parents expecting or planning to have a child?
Having a child is a very huge responsibility. It’s totally different from having a pet cat or dog. You will need to spend all your time with your baby, which means you might have to leave your gaming hobby just to take care of your child (unless you make money from gaming).
Gamers - especially those who live in urban areas - will need a lot of money as everything is expensive nowadays. Kids are no exception, so the money that you'd normally spend on gaming peripherals or new games that you've waiting months for might be used for baby diapers instead - and let me tell you one thing, baby formula is not cheap. Your monthly Mobile Legends starlight budget will be going towards baby care instead.
Also, planning is very important. Whether you want to have a child or not, no one is ever ready truly ready to be a parent until you really have a child. Financial and emotional readiness are both important in being a parent. Accept all the help you can, especially from family members. It will make you feel much better and makes handling things so much easier.