The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Tips for the busy gamer

(Note: this editorial is specifically intended for all of my fellow geeks out there. If anyone else chooses to read, I applaud them and hope they do not believe me to be a guy sitting somewhere in a “geek cave” doing nothing but pressing buttons on a controller and eating stale pizza.)

November is the busiest time of the year for anyone into geek culture. We’re getting near the beginning of the holiday season, and software developers tend to throw out all of their good games over a one-month period. In a way it’s similar to what Hollywood does with films. Outside of the summer, the majority of the hits come out in either late November or December. So from a marketing standpoint, it makes perfect sense to throw out virtually every good game when tons of people will be ready and willing to pick them up.

Tragically, this also means trouble for college gamers who either need to come up with a smart strategy of balancing study and gaming or end up blowing off one of them altogether. This really shouldn’t be allowed; either your professors are upset at you for wasting time or you are upset at yourself for not giving yourself any time to break from the pages upon pages of study material.

So therefore, I am hoping to impose some kind of master strategy here for the unfortunate gamer. Think of it as tongue-in-cheek survival guide until after finals week, since at that point everyone’s responsibilities dissolve, at least those that have a grade attached to them.

Advice No.1: Buy games with definite endings.

“Fable 2” looks like an awesome game. I’ve seen the previews on TV and read a review or two online. I just know that if I am ever to start playing it, it will be a complete disaster in terms of my time commitment. Games are a great way to relax, but during the semester, you’re better off buying a game like “Call of Duty” or “Mirror’s Edge,” one with some replay value but won’t keep you from doing anything else.

Advice No. 2: Play as a form of taking a break

Video games are meant to be fun-I know a good many of the detractors out there like to refer to gaming as juvenile, but really it’s like any other hobby you use to blow off steam: do it in moderation. I’m certainly not one of those people who wants to tell you to finish your homework before you even pick up a game; with some time-consuming assignments it’s better to take some time off and go back to them later. So, spend a little bit of the afternoon writing the paper and then relax for an hour or two. Plus, it’s always better to go back to an assignment after you’ve had some time to process it.

Advice No. 3: Only play online on weekends

There’s nothing more frustrating than losing online at “Halo” or “Gears of War” to a ten-year old kid shouting into a microphone. Revenge seems inevitable, but remember: you’re better than that. You’re getting an education, you have friends and there’s no need unleashing your anger (and wasting three hours) trying to destroy the hopes and dreams of some kid who shouldn’t be playing a shooting game in the first place. If you must wipe the floor with him, do it on the weekend when you can afford losing an extra hour.

Advice No. 4: Remember that your friends and family love you…

…and they would be awfully disappointed to know that you spent all of your money buying “Rock Band 2,” “Fallout 3,” and “LittleBigPlanet,” and you can’t afford to buy that set of earrings for the special someone or the action figure for the nephew. Games are expensive, especially when you consider all the taxes, downloadable content, controller batteries, online subscription fees, downloadable content and so on. Buy maybe a game or two now, and then ask for a few others as gifts. Even if one of your friends is bragging about how awesome “Spore” is, just remind yourself that it’ll be worth playing once you have the time to really get into it. That or just hijack his computer for a few minutes and give it a trial run.

The good news for me is that I’m so behind with my gaming that I don’t even have to worry about buying anything new. In between trying to finish “Grand Theft Auto IV” and “Metal Gear Solid 4” I’m going to be busy for quite some time. So, my fellow gamers, feel free to laugh at me for being so slow. Or, to my fellow readers, feel free to laugh that I’m writing this in the first place.

Matt Carter is a senior journalism, creative writing and Asian studies triple major. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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