Although they have long been maligned as violent time wasters, video games are a great and mentally stimulating way to unwind after a stressful day at work or spend a long weekend that would otherwise be hopelessly boring. Whether they are creative building games, strategic puzzle games or exciting adventure games, video games of all sorts can be wonderfully entertaining. However, if you’re planning to treat yourself to a whole day just for gaming, there are a few things you should do to make sure you’re not interrupted.
It’s easy to get sucked into a game and completely lose track of time. You end up dehydrated without realizing it, or you’ve been eating garbage food all day with no protein and no vitamins. Have some light, healthy snacks handy, but more importantly, stay hydrated and plan to take time to stretch and get some real food in you from time to time. Ordering in on game days is a time honored tradition and there’s nothing wrong with a little comfort food from time to time, as long as you don’t make too much of a habit of it.
Sometimes gaming is a group activity where friends all gather in the same place, but more often these days if you’re playing video games with friends, you’re probably meeting online. So it’s a good idea to make sure you’ve got the right time, especially if your friends are in different time zones. It’s also a good idea to do the odd speed test on your internet to make sure you can support the game you want to play. You may even want to use a hardline in instead of connecting over the wi-fi. Wi-fi is convenient, but it’s not perfect. You don’t want to leave your friends hanging in the middle of a boss fight.
Planning in the real world is not just essential when you’re meeting up with friends who might be in different time zones. It’s also important to make sure that you’ve done all the chores and tasks you need to get done first so you can really enjoy the day. Setting aside a specific amount of time is a good way to ensure that you aren’t interrupted in that time, but it’s also a good way to make sure that you stop.
Health and Comfort
First of all, make sure that your gaming space is comfortable and won’t negatively impact your health. Ergonomic keyboards and properly comfortable and supportive seating are a must, but so is a setup that reduces glare and eyestrain. If you’re going to be gaming for a while, you might want gaming glasses to filter the blue light from your screen, protecting your eyes and your sleep cycle. It’s also a good idea to be sure that you have enough hydration and fuel to keep going.
A good, immersive video game won’t just let you stop. You’ll be sucked in. You’ll be invested, you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of something and you can’t stop now. The stakes are generally heightened, and the rush you get from every little victory creates a feedback loop. It’s designed to be addictive, like most popular media. Setting a stop time might be the only way to get yourself to stop, especially with longer running games. Tempting as it is, you don’t really want to play one game all night long. It’s not going to be as much fun as you think.
Video games represent a whole new kind of medium for telling stories and challenging our minds. Not all games are created equal, of course, but many are just as well written as your favorite novel, just as mentally stimulating as a crossword puzzle and just as cinematic and thought-provoking as a great film. There’s no harm in dedicating some of your time off to enjoying your favorite video game, as long as you’re properly prepared.