Ah, the dog days of summer; a time for hot chocolate, another log on the fire, that smell of pine, and of course all of those awesome new gaming releases. Wait, I think it’s possible that I may have mixed up my seasons. That’s right, another summer means another bout of gaming drought (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it). So break out your Corona and your beach chair and let’s discuss some non-gaming things that us gamers can do while the rest of the world enjoys that horrible orange ball in the sky.
5. Read up on your lore.
Games today are great. They provide so much more than just goombas to jump on (no offense Mario, you know I love you). Halo, Diablo, World of Warcraft, Metro, as well as many other story-rich franchises have everything from novels to comics that help fill in the lore of their universes. Even if your favorite series doesn’t offer that, there is always Wikipedia on your phone or tablet as you sip a Mojito by the pool. And if fiction isn’t your bag, there are plenty of good reads about the industry as a whole.
4. Cook your favorite fantasy food.
Lots of games these days (especially those in fantasy settings) include all manner of food from their respective universes. Get out there and recreate some! From the grounded-in-reality fare of Skyrim to the WTF food of Fallout, there are plenty of choices. Even better, take some pictures and throw them up on a blog. There are plenty of people out there who would love to see what “Mole rat wonder meat” or a “mana cupcake” looks like in real life.
3. Do all the things.
This is not gaming related at all, but stay with me here. It’s summer and the weather is nice, so get all the other things in your life done. Does your car need a tune up? Does your roof need a few new shingles? Whatever that honey-do list is that you’ve got in your life, make the most of the summer long gaming drought and get it done. That way, when the days start getting cooler and the games start getting hotter you’ll be ready. Trust me, you’ll be happy when Destiny drops and you don’t have to spend that first weekend cleaning out the garage.
2. Create a winter plan.
Even if you don’t like idea number 5, you should still grab that tablet and hit the pool. Figure out what games are coming out and when. It sounds a little OCD, but trust me, it’s a good idea. Do game A and game B come out within two weeks of one another? If so, pick the one you like better and save the other for a sale. You probably won’t play the lesser game while you’re knee deep in your new favorite anyway, so save your money. See what the pre-order and collector’s edition bonuses are if you’re into that. Oh, and budget. Budget, budget, budget. Summer is a time for planning ahead as a gamer, so build your gaming budget and work those extra hours if you can. Again, you’ll thank me later.
1. Get away from gaming.
What? This is supposed to be a list of gaming-related things to do, right? Well what is it that they always say, ‘distance makes the heart grow fonder’? Once those days get short and the flood of blazin’ new triple A titles drop, you’ll have so much gaming to do you won’t know what to do with yourself. To share a quick experience of my own, when Dark Souls II came out for consoles, the PC release was still a month away. With my mouth watering, it was all I could do not to go back and play Dark Souls until my eyes bled. I stuck it out though, and didn’t touch DS once until the sequel was out. That way, when I finally had my hands on DS II, I wasn’t already burned out on the gameplay.
A conclusion (or how you could just ignore all that crap).
Yeah so those five ideas are all well and good but we all know you’ve got free PSN titles, free Xbox Live titles, a Steam library ready to burst at the seams and all manner of other games to play. So maybe just throw all that crap I just said out the window, pull the shades, crank the AC, grab a controller, and get to gaming.