Children are magical and special little things, which bring light into the lives of so many and help provide meaning to an otherwise meaningless existence. Well, according to some, anyway: to others they're detestable time-stealing gremlins which only serve to make their creators - themselves the carbon equivalent of Paul Blart: Mall Cop - somehow more smug and insufferable than they were before they decided to have a child.

Amazingly, however, despite most children being the worst sequels since Highlander II, people are still making them, with potentially damaging effects not just on sane people caught in the crossfire but also the poor parents themselves. Fear not, however, as NeoGAF - no stranger to bawling children - has produced a thread about How to Game, Even If You've Made the Awe-inspiringly Bad Decision to Terminate Your Own Life With Extreme Prejudice. Here's what I learned.

Some Gaffers don't understand what paternity leave is...

In fairness, not everyone lives in the lily-livered Old World of Socialist Europe, where money is handed out for free and syphilis is the number one cause of death, tied with choking on grapes and accidentally auto-eroticising oneself with a cravat. So it was inevitable that when one Gaffer mentioned they would be getting some paternity leave it would cause spasms of confusion, with one reply stating that "Europe is a weird place", presumably because Not America sees fathers as people (kind of) and not permanently disgruntled cash machines who only interact with their kids to scold them or tut displeasingly. In fairness to GAF (shudder) these sorts of opinions are quickly rebuffed with logic and reason, suprising all except clock repairmen, and it must be said that the thread as a whole took a strong stance on Dads Actually Doing Dad Stuff. Fair enough.

...Or how it (or anything) works

The batman

Got to admit: I always thought that Batman was meant to be one of the world's smartest men, and yet there he is on GAF. Strange.

The less said about this one, the better, because

A) It's enormo-stupid

B) See A

C) All of the above.

It may all be a joke, of course, but still: why take the chance?

Handhelds are key...

Forget your 1000-dollar beast mode PC, your PS4, and your Xbox One (haha): according to GAF the key to parenthood is having a handheld to, er, hand at all times, which is as important to Gaming While Serving an 18-year Bid in Parent Jail as a shank is to someone in the slightly less despair-laden world of real jail.

Instant suspend/resume is the main feature lauded, as is the ability to put it in your pocket when you need to make a quick move to stop your ill-advised legacy inadvertently wandering off out into the Big Apple for a mildly perilous yet family-friendly adventure, or whatever it is children do when you're not looking, like hanging out with orangutans and shit. Wait, those were two different movies. I think they were sold as a double pack once, though, so it kind of works. Onwards.

...and the Vita is surprisingly popular

Psvita 605

It's doubtful that when Sony was designing its over-engineered brute of a handheld that it thought tired, regret-filled parents would be one of its key cheerleaders, but here we are in space year 2016 with Gaffers joyfully anointing it king of mistake-soothers. As mentioned the suspend/resume feature is greatly appreciated, as no-doubt are the PSOne Classics, which mum and dad can play as they wistfully reminisce about the good old days before it all went totally fucking sideways, like Michael Corleone daydreaming about Apollonia before she got blown up in that carbomb meant for him - albeit slightly more harrowing. Well done, Sony. You've found someone who loves your machine as much as the people who designed it, and on NeoGAF, no less.

Get loads of sleep

Another key consideration now there's a tiny human to look after is sleep, which seems obvious until you realise these people spend a lot of their time arguing about frame rates and exclusives and loads of other stuff that doesn't matter but must be argued to the death. Anyway, sleep is essential to gaming while under the influence of having children, and so particular times must be set for when to game and when to actually spend time with your kids/spouse. Some Gaffers are even distrustful of people who still get to play RPGs, which makes sense - as RPGs are rubbish - but not really for the reasons they think.

Anyway, the sleep advice is all good stuff, until you realise that if you just adopted the Uberman sleep cycle you could do all these things and more, you posers.

Budget yourself

Another important one, this: don't spend all your money on video games, as kids can't eat these, even though they will try. User arbok26 has a budget of $300 for the year, which seems reasonable enough, particularly as there aren't enough good games out there to justify spending half that. So do the right thing and spend it on nappies and food and comedy sunglasses and all the other things you should buy for your kids.

Learn how to hold your kid at the same time as a controller for maximum effectiveness

Got it

Perhaps the most in-depth piece of advice in the entire thread comes from Head.spawn, who has devised a way to hold their child and a pad at the same time, because why compromise? Did Eddie Murphy compromise in Beverly Hills Cop 3? No, he had a gun with a CD player and a microwave built in because he can. This is the same. There are pictures and everything, along with step-by-step on how to make it all happen like the motherfuckin' multi-tasking hero that you are. My favourite line is this one, which although as useless to me as Kinect is to anyone is still great:

"With your arms facing angled forward... you can totally hold a controller and securely hold your baby in a way that is very relaxing for them."

Very relaxing. We'll take your word on that one. But what if you need to move? Don't worry, you're covered.

"[T]his hold is also good and easy for transitioning to a seated position and if you plan ahead and have a pillow or something to rest your arm on, the show can continue for a respectable amount of time until they eventually need to feed again."

Perfect. All you need know is an elaborate Rube Goldberg-style pulley system for feeding the kid and you'll never have to stop gaming ever again, because we all know you're sitting on the toilet while you're doing this. We all know.

Reject responsibility, embrace your inner Lucan

Finally, some sanity. User Poster#1 has a rather novel way of avoiding the Lovecraftian horror of raising a kid: simply run away. By far the best advice in the entire thread, I feel.