6 Ways to Game Up for the Apocalypse
Well. This is awkward.
I don’t know what to say, Jesus. I mean, some guy said you were gonna show up to party Saturday night, and then you didn’t, and we were all like “Hey dude, you sure about this?” and he was all like, “Yeah yeah, I got this note from him saying so,” so we stuck around all night but the beer ran out so most of us figured we’d just take off. Haven’t seen that guy since, he won’t even come out of the house. What a dick, huh, Prince of Peace?
So Earth dodged the bullet… this time. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from all this, it’s that the end could come any time, be it due to a higher power or just plain ol’ inept human fuck-up-ery. It’s up to us to live the life we have, while we have it. We here at Padinga are here to help! Here are some ways that we, as gamers, can be sure to live each day like it’s our last.
1. Play that one game you’ve always wanted to play
Everyone’s got some kind of wild game they always wanted to play, but was always a hard one to manage for some reason. Maybe it’s an elaborate controller like Steel Batallion. Maybe it’s an obscure arcade game like Computer Space. Or perhaps it’s on a difficult-to-place platform, like the Virtual Boy’s Mario Clash, or Grim Fandango which doesn’t play on modern Windows PCs. Whatever the case, do what you gotta do to find this game. There are a lot of small-time game stores that often carry these oldie goodies, and often times a web search will help you find facilities that have rarities available for play. Sometimes it just takes a little cash and eBay.
2. Beat that one game you never got around to beating
You know the one I’m talking about. The one that got away. The one fantastic game that you played plenty of, but never finished. Everyone’s got one. Me… I’ve got somewhere around 20. Sure I’ll get around to beating Chrono Trigger someday, but an event like a fake apocalypse makes a gamer want to get that done sooner. Do yourself a favor and make the time to squeeze in that oldie goodie.
3. Go to that trade show/convention you never went to
There are only a few major gaming shows or conventions in the US each year, and many of them don’t even take public admission. Something like E3 may be out of reach, but PAX is an excellent alternative; it may not have the announcement fervor that E3 has, but it’s a lot easier to play the upcoming releases, plus they’re more friendly to your average fan, as opposed to focusing on press coverage and serious business. If you’ve ever wanted to make it to a gaming show, do yourself a favor and start planning that vacation now.
Oh and while you’re at it…
4. Cosplay… Yes, cosplay
That’s right. Cosplay. Hell, even if it just means dressing up like a game character for Halloween or Christmas parties, there are plenty of Link costumes on eBay. Believe me, it’s not the depraved level of otaku hell that some believe; it’s a hell of lot more fun than it looks. You’ll make friends and have a good time relaxing in a new set of threads. E3 isn’t friendly to cosplayers unless you’re a hot chick in skimpy clothing working in a booth, but there are plenty of other ways to let your inner character out. Even if you need to have a few sips of that good ol’ over-21 firewater to muster up your courage, you won’t regret it.
5. Throw one last gaming party
Well, hopefully not the last party. Even anti-social basement jockies have friends, you know. The key is bringing them altogether for a proper whizbang, a beano, a shindig, a hootenanny. Not to sound cheesy, but the times with your friends are some of the best you’ll ever have; sure that may be time not playing games, but when you combine the two, you can’t miss. $50 worth of soda and groceries can buy a lot of good times with the right kind of multiplayer games keeping everyone busy.
6. Get yourself out of the house/apartment/basement
This’ll be the tough one. You know what you really need to do? Get some sun. Go out in the open air, look up at the sky and take a deep breath. Find local nerd gatherings, like a PC gaming LAN, a tabletop hobby shop, or other local events. Metro area alt-lifestyle newspapers will often have notices of things like commercial gaming parties and nerd conventions. Just get out, meet new people, and have a good time.
People are always wondering what the Answer to Life is, and I can tell you it’s one of two things. It’s either 42, or the answer is “Living it.” Games are an amazing part of our lives, but like any good pie, you’re going to have more than just filling. There are other parts of the pie that are key, like crust and over flavorings. Without those extra parts, you just have mediocre filling, and that’s the way the gaming lifestyle works too. Supplement your life with more than just filling, and everyone, especially you, will be better off for it.