Gaming Connoisseur: Gaming Marathons Part 1: Preparation

What I consider a gaming marathon today was actually just called gaming back when I was a young lad (what I call responsibility today was also vastly different as cleaning my room is one of many things I have to do now, oh childhood, how I squandered you). Today’s adult gamer just doesn’t have the time or resources to validate playing games for extended periods of time on a regular basis. Sure, I get my two to three-hour sessions in when I can, but anything above five means something that’s important in the maintenance of my lifestyle is getting neglected. This is not to say that the gaming marathon is an art lost to those of us with a couple of decades under our belts, it just means that a bit more careful planning must be taken in order to guarantee an amazing (and guilt free) day of killing fantasy creatures and saving magical princesses.

Marathon

Think of the gaming marathon like any other endurance activity, minus the health benefit and sense of accomplishment

Step by Step, Oh Baby (Gotta Get with Yah Girl)

The initial planning stage is what I call Game, Girl/Guy, Job or GGJ for short. First, you have to figure out what game or games you’re going to play, as valuable time can be wasted sorting through your collection or switching between games throughout the day. Also, certain games need a certain length of time to fully take advantage of the gaming marathon. Single player FPS campaigns need around 7-8 hours while a game like Fallout: New Vegas may require 4-5 full days of non-stop gaming (by the way, don’t do that, it will kill you).

Secondly, you need to inform your significant other what your plans are so that they do not interfere with cuddle time (super important) or a black tie event of some kind as having an angry partner could spell disaster on the day of the event. Buying them gifts or being unusually nice before informing them of the marathon is often a good way to soften their annoyance at you requesting a whole day for gaming. If you’ve had an argument in the days leading up to the marathon, a sexy oil massage followed by non-selfish sex should do the trick (add chocolate covered strawberries for a sweet treat and up to 3 additional hours of gaming). Since they always seem to have a list of chores for you to do or friends (who you often times hate or are indifferent to) for you to double date with, a week or two of advance notice is probably the best. Should your love bunny also be a gamer, then requesting this time may not be a problem at all unless you’re a single system household and, in that case, a whole slew of additional problems could arise. If you can’t play together, allow them to have a similar day in the future.

Cats

These cats respect the hell out of my gaming

Those of you with kids should probably send them to grandma and grandpa’s house so they stay out of your hair and don’t question why mommy or daddy has been sitting in their undies all day. While kids do say the darndest things, it’s best for them to say those darn things at someone else’s house while you game (if you couldn’t already guess it, I’m not a parent, only a cat owner, and those cats know to stay the hell out of my man cave while I’m playing video games or working out). If you don’t have a significant other, then make sure this marathon doesn’t prevent you from reaping bountiful booty because that’s extremely important (if reaping bountiful booty isn’t your prerogative, we need to talk, because handjobs and finger banging are way better than a successful WoW raid or prestiging on Call of Duty).

Finally, should you happen to plan on the marathon taking place during the times you usually work, requesting time off is a must, as the gaming marathon is never worth a lost job (no matter how freaking awesome we all know Skyrim is going to be). Don’t tell your boss why you’re taking that time off because it really isn’t any of his business and you don’t want him to think you have issues – non-gamers just don’t get it (should your boss be a gamer and your marathon is timed around a major release, he’s probably already taking time off, off so it shouldn’t be an issue).

You Should Be Like the Ants in that Story about The Ants and a Lazy Grasshopper

Cupcakes

Delicious and deadly, use with caution

Once the initial planning stage is over, it’s time to collect supplies. This usually entails food and beverages but those of you with pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes should probably have your medical needs locked down as well. While gaming seems to run parallel with crappy food, take into consideration that you need energy to stay up late and sugary snacks or beverages and high carbohydrate foods will cause you to crash, which is detrimental to the longevity of a marathon. Stick to complex carbs and lean proteins, a turkey sandwich is perfect in these situations and a handful of almonds will fill you up and give your coat a beautiful sheen.

Caffeine is also a factor to take into consideration as it’ll keep you alert should you begin to get sleepy, a condition that is closely followed by the need for a blankie and snuggle time (different from cuddle time as snuggling is during sleep and cuddling happens post coitus or during scary movies). Green tea is the healthiest way to stay alert, coffee is the easiest to come by and energy drinks are best when you think you might need to climb trees afterwards and scream like a crazy person. Should you ignore my advice on the crappy food, at least heed my warning on the combination of crappy food with large amounts of caffeine as failing to do so will cause you to either feel something burst when sliding into first or hear something splatter when climbing up a ladder.

Sorry For Partying

I take my endurance gaming as seriously as I take my endurance foot races and thus model my diet in a similar fashion, with one addition; alcohol. This may seem counter to what I just proposed, but drinking beers has a way of numbing the stress that comes with countless hours of shooting stuff and there’s nothing like a celebratory shot of whiskey upon the decimation of a super tough boss (super tough puzzles deserve shots too). One must be cautious of how much alcohol one ingests, as, like the sugar crash, a booze crash is just as bad and often times equates to a puking session or pooped pants. However, should you be playing competitively against others, adding a drink requirement to their losses may help motivate them to play better and should they suffer the booze crash, allow them to feel their defeat the following day (if this is your method of play, make sure you have a tarp down in your gaming den or the marathon takes place at their place, for obvious reasons).

Beer

If brews can keep guys smiling early in the morning, they can keep your attitude strong throughout the course of your gaming

All above-mentioned food and beverage items will require a fridge within 2-3 feet of your gaming space (best case), a mini fridge within the same distance (middle case) or a cooler (worst case, although it can double as a foot rest). Finding a lackey or subservient significant other to fetch desired items works as well, but speaks poorly about your character. A trained dog or monkey is a better plan, although, unless you already own one, the amount of effort put into its training may be a bit of overkill unless you plan on these marathons being a recurring part of your life and/or have a family member that could benefit from a helper animal, though again, utilizing an assistance animal for your gaming endeavors doesn’t necessarily help your reputation either.

The Elephant in The Room

I want to conclude this piece with my opinion on the “poop-sock” and its use in endurance gaming. While I’ve tried to help you make your session as efficient as possible with some basic planning tips, hitting pause so that you can take a potty break is an okay thing. I understand it’s tough to ask your online buddies to wait a second while you visit the can, but we gamers have enough stereotypes to fight without dealing with the implications of pooping into socks or wearing diapers in order to keep gaming breaks to a minimum. If you really feel like you HAVE to utilize a “poop-sock”, then at least imagine your favorite deceased relative looking down at you from heaven as you strap an alternative toileting system to your butt hole, it might just dissuade you from continuing with similar actions in the future.

Sock man

The poopsock's equally abhorrent cousin

Having a plan before you begin your gaming marathon will only benefit you throughout your time and has proven to cut back on unnecessary distractions and stifle the long-term negative effects of endurance gaming. Remember, the gaming marathon, like any endurance event, requires determination, dedication and a solid grasp on the ins and outs of your digestive system.

Gaming Connoisseur – Gaming is already a very stimulating and often times personal experience, but every gamer thirsts for a way to take that experience to the next level. This series will deal with ways that video game enthusiasts can enhance or even alter the way they play in order to prolong the longevity of a beloved title or discover something new.

Sources:

All me baby, including DMSM (so don’t steal him or I’ll kill you with Rhino Lined fists)