Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sick day: Five things to occupy a gamer's time

I've been sick for a couple days now and it's starting to drive me mad.

I'm sure we all have a list of things we would do in the event of faking a sick day, but what happens when you're actually sick, groggy, and unable to put forth much effort beyond glugging loads of orange juice and keeping up a steady diet of chicken noodle soup?

If you're like me, you hate letting a day go to waste, even if you are stricken with a cold. Therefore, I've put together a little list of things that might help you get through those long hours of achy nothingness.

Reorganize your backlog
Got a shelf full of game cases or a CD wallet crammed with discs? How about put those bad boys where they belong? For the games out in the open, I recommend four groups consisting of "games I've finished," "games I still need to play," "games I'm currently playing" and "games with online I like to return to from time to time."

If you're more organized and have everything in a 200 CD wallet, then alphabetical and by console is the way to go. Just know that, whichever way you go, this time-filler might also provide some anxiety due to discovering how many games you own and have never gotten around to playing. I found a dozen last-gen and last-last-gen titles I got on the cheap and completely forgot about. Too many games, too little time.

Play downloaded titles
We're probably all guilty of downloading a game for five bucks only to forget about it a day later, usually because of a disc-based game you also bought recently overshadowing it. Sick days are a great time to open up that digital library and give all those smaller games some attention.

You can play on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, and maybe even discover a hidden gem you didn't even realize you owned. Besides, it's a sick day. You probably don't want to get into anything too deep when you're all hopped up on Dayquil and cough drops.

Let Netflix Streaming whisk you away
If you own a modern gaming system, chances are you also have Netflix streaming. Why bother with daytime soaps and all those lawyer/technical university commercials when you could be staring at fantastic shows with nary an ad or interruption?

A couple recommendations off the top of my head: X-Files, Xena, Weeds, The Twilight Zone, Dexter, Skins and, of course, South Park. The sick hours will fly by with these classics keeping you company.

Treat yourself to something new
Nothing you feel like playing? The Wii, 360 and PS3 all have vast libraries of games just waiting to be downloaded and enjoyed. Is there a title you wanted to get but didn't feel like spending the money on? You're sick, dammit. Live a little. I give you permission.

Clean out your hard drives
I hate sick days the most because they force me to lie around, getting nothing done. Similar to reorganizing your game library, cleaning out your systems' hard drives will not only give you some much needed space, but it will make you feel like you actually accomplished something useful.

Got a bunch of old shows and demos lying around? Get rid of them. That Wii menu looking a little too random? Group everything by category. Your PS3s cross media bar just a long list of titles, photos, music and videos? Divide everything into folders.

Trust me, you'll feel better...About how organized you are, not about the sickness. This will in no way actually cure you.

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