Gaming is a beautiful thing. It allows us to see the most beautiful worlds, witness stories based on characters and events not seen anywhere else, and it’s still evolving day by day. Some of the better moments when gaming have been with the people you care about most, whether it be with family, friends, or just someone special to you in some way. While gaming is more commonly enjoyed in single player and I, like many others, am a single player at heart, I can’t deny that some of my favourite moments in games have been when I’ve been playing with friends or those who matter to me. The fun is often multiplied, and you can find new ways to explore worlds and games that you hadn’t before. You can mess around, have fun, and spend more time with people you care about, bonding over that most amazing of things: videogames!
The thing is that many of us, myself included, complain about how many developers take time and resources away from the solo campaign in order to slave away at another bland multiplayer mode with achievements you’ll never be able to get two weeks after release because everyone’s stopped playing because it’s naff. Yet sometimes we don’t appreciate the fact that they’ve given us an opportunity to share the experience of playing the game with others, or how much more fun the game can be when played with friends. Co-operative modes can help alleviate the stress gained from playing the game solo, and there are always the competitive modes that you and your friends can kill time on at the very least.
With the bad, average or blaverage multiplayer games come the good, however. Think about games like Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress; games where you don’t care that the only way you can enjoy them is with others, and games you end up loving to pieces because they’re so well crafted and give you so many great experiences. The Left 4 Dead series alone has given me so many amazing and hilarious memories of playing with my friends that I wouldn’t even know when to begin, or stop. Not only that, but even going back to the N64 – Goldeneye, Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers – the experiences that stand out most to me aren’t my single-player successes, but moments where playing with friends has created memories that I still look back on fondly even in my old age. The years change, and so do the friends and the games. Don’t look back in melancholy though, because you can still have it just as good today. In fact, with the ability to play and talk with other people over the internet, and the aforementioned insistence on forcing multiplayer on you, there are still so many ways to create amazing memories with friends that can last for years to come.
Now, I’ve been giving it some thought, and I’m not one for making big plans or anything, but I’ve decided there should be some kind of day for all this. We’ll dedicate it to spending time with loved ones, and playing games all day. A day where we can sit around, joke, and have a laugh… and do all this while gaming; especially with those we want to spend the time with. A day where we can put all of our gaming differences aside to relax and have fun. I shall call this day… Gamingtimes Day!
Gamingtimes Day – to be remembered in celebration of Saint Gamingtimes, who brought love to all through the power of videogames, and may or may not actually exist as some kind of teaching of religion or morality, and lived so that we could all celebrate the power of multiplayer upon his death. Oh yeah, he’s dead. I forgot to mention that part. It was kind of important. As was the bit about the war, but that’s for another time… Oh and then there’s the really awesome space battle between *mumbles*… And the bit where he *mumbles*… And the finale when you find out that *mumbles*… and that his father is really *mumbles*… and his best friend betrays *mumbles*… for the MacGuffin of Power…
Hey, look over there! A distraction of some kind!
Ahem. Where was I? Oh yeah, Gamingtimes Day! Now, I’ve given it some thought about when I want to hold this celebration, and I’ve honestly thought long and hard about this one. After my somewhat open-to-interpretation manner of how I arrived at my decision, I decided to reserve Gamingtimes Day for a date that I was sure wouldn’t clash with any other kind of meaningful celebration or occasion: February 14th.
I checked. Nothing going on. At all.
So, how do you celebrate Gamingtimes Day? Well, it’s simple: just spend the day gaming with those you care about. Play a bunch of multiplayer games with all of your loved ones, and share the joys of video gaming with everyone else. It doesn’t specifically matter about the game type, as long as you’re playing with those you care about, and you’re having fun.
Not convinced? Still confused? Here are some questions posed to me by other people about this special occasion and, hopefully, the answers will convince you to celebrate Gamingtimes Day with me, and everyone else!
“Ed, I’m sure there’s already a holiday on the 14th called V…”
Nope! there’s nothing significant or important at all operating on that particular day of the February calendar. Trying to convince me otherwise is probably a lost cause. If there was, however, another occasion occurring on this particular 24-hour stretch of time, there’s surely nothing stopping you from celebrating both?
“Are you sure this isn’t some holiday for lonely little geeks such as yourself?”
I don’t know what you’re talking about, real question posed to me by someone trying to insult me and fundamentally find a lack of logic in my idea! I’m completely fine and not at all lonely or heartbroken, and this day wasn’t inspired by previous February 14ths where I was forced to feel bad about being alone while spending all day playing Left 4 Dead online with friends. Stop badgering me. Stop it. LEAVE ME ALONE!
“Why just one day? Surely you don’t need a specific day to tell you to game?”
Say there was a day in which, now bear with me, because this is going to sound a little crazy but… what if there was this one day where you’re told by society that you need to spend that day giving gifts and spending all your affection on someone you care about in a romantic way. Now, imagine that this day was started to help promote love between you and that special someone, and they told you that this one day was solely for the purposes of love, or the pursuit thereof! Isn’t that just crazy? Why would you need just one day to tell you when to love, or that one day to show that special someone how you feel? Shouldn’t every day or, if not every day, a lot of the time be spent doing that anyway? Why do you need just one day to tell you when to care, or when to do one specific thing, specifically? I hope that answers your question and doesn’t obfuscate anything in any way at all.
“But the people I care about don’t like playing games!”
Well, now is the best time to educate them. Nowadays there are lots of “casual games” designed to help wean people into games. Now, put your feelings aside about them, because you could always try using them? If not, there’s still nothing stopping you from throwing them in at the deep end and playing whatever you want but, sometimes, making a sacrifice could be the difference between just one day, and more times gaming with those you love in the future.
“Can you play with yourself?”
Why yes you can, incredibly inappropriately put question! Maybe you don’t like everyone else. Maybe the people you love don’t care about games? Maybe you just want to forego the whole process entirely, and just spend the day playing games without the need of a specific day to tell you to do it. Well, there’s nothing stopping you from treating the day just like every other, and going ahead with life.
At the end of the day, Gamingtimes Day is an optional bit of diversionary fun and there’s no need to force yourself, or anyone else, into it. It’s all a bit of fun, and isn’t even entirely serious. Just relax, and enjoy it.
Besides, if you’re busy that day, there’s always the 15th…
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