Hey Harvey!

Posted on Mar 18th 2020 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under How To Survive, Video Games, Tetris 99, Words With Friends,

Image from Wikipedia

Well gang, it looks like many if not most of us will be hanging out at home a lot more for the foreseeable future.  I'll have you know I did warn my Beloved about all of that Plague, Inc. she was playing last year.  In all seriousness, I do hope everyone stays safe and calm and healthy.  Since much of the world is in some form of lock-down and many of us are looking at more screen time than expected, I wanted to share some suggestions on how our family is planning to ride out the upcoming season (and how gaming helps.)

In actuality, aside from the kiddos being home for a few weeks, not much is changing at our digs (so far) except fewer visitors.  As with any stretch of time outside the normal pattern, days can start to run together.  One thing that helps immensely is keeping structure and rhythm each day, which can be tough to do when the obvious temptation is just to let everyone stay up all night and sleep in the next day.  Every morning we are still keeping a normal schedule. 

One of the first checks on my daily list is a workout on our recumbent exercise bike for about ten miles.  As I've referenced before, this is my prime daily video game time; I get a good 45 minutes to an hour, depending on if I let myself play a little more to get to a good stopping point.  I had been playing through How To Survive 2, but a horrible glitch wiped my inventory after many hours of play, so right now I'm working on Control.  I've found not every game is great for workouts; I about made myself miserable playing Bloodborne and Dark Souls III because of the required precision, but grindy RPGs or less-intensive action games work well for me, as well as arcade-y racers.

Perfect for a good bike workout.

While our bike has been a mainstay for years, if that's not your thing I recommend trying a treadmill or hands-free step machine, anything you can get a workout on while safely using your hands to play.  We bought a few cheap exercise devices at Salvation Army and yard sales until we found what we like and eventually upgraded when we proved to ourselves we would stick with it.

If that doesn't work for you, now is the perfect time to pull back out some old classics like Wii Fit,, one of the many Dance Dance Revolution titles and pads, or one of the countless fitness titles like Yourself! Fitness or EA Sports Active.  Lots of the modern stuff is already sold out but if you can find it, Ring Fit was a hit at our home.  Just Dance and the Zumba titles are good for some folks, and if you have the kits for it Beat Saber and many of the VR boxing games are known for good workouts.  Basically, any daily structured exercise routine that you can stick with is worth it. 

I still find dance mats new-in-box at thrift stores from time to time.  Can't beat the classics.

Speaking of structuring your day, games with daily bonuses are another great method of generating a consistent rhythm.  Over lunch I usually catch up on all of my Words With Friends content, and at night I generally unwind with the daily Tetris 99 challenges.  Tons of games now offer a reason to load up every day, although it can be overwhelming to have too many.  I'm just sticking with these two for now, and they give me an extra boost to look forward to.

Strange, I feel like I've seen this image recently...

The current term "social distancing' makes many a gamer laugh; we've been doing it for decades, and it is called XBox Live and PlayStation Network.  As much of an advocate of couch co-op as I am, right now our weekends are a bit more vacant.  Thus, scheduling regular gaming time with friends online means I have a few hours set aside with specific friends every week.  It really helps to know I can still hang out with folks and also not worry as much about the frustration that can come with randomly jumping online.  Right now I have a persistent time of the week I play Halo Wars 2 with a buddy and on a different day and group of friends, we select and play through various co-op campaigns.  Then Friday nights are still open party gaming, like Killing Floor 2, Risk of Rain 2, and Rainbow Six Siege.

Such an easy game to lose a few hours in, alone or with friends.

If you don't have any online services and have no interest, maybe there is someone in your home that enjoys watching games.  As I've mentioned in the past, my Beloved and I pick narrative-heavy games and play together, usually with me at the controls as she makes any decisions the story offers.  Now that the kiddos are older, there are always newly built Mario Maker courses they want us to try or classic shmups to out-score.  The recent release of Dreams has my interest for music creation and my middle son's interest for sandbox game creation.  And at the suggestion of someone who had yet to complete it, a couple friends and I have been playing Dark Souls where we pass the controller after every bonfire or death.  Games are still keeping our family and friends connected.

Wait...wrong image.  Now I want someone to build the PS One game Dreams in the PS4 Dreams. Talk about incep- nevermind.

Finally, perhaps staying up all night or gaming all day is exactly what you want to do to wait out this particular crazy moment in history.  Most of us have an enormous backlog, so make a list of what to play and jump in!  I'm trying to wrap up a bunch of single player goodies like Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Atelier Ryza, Langrisser I&II, Slay The Spire, Wargroove, Journey To The Savage Planet, Two Point Hospital, Frostpunk, Greedfall, The Outer Worlds, and that's just off the top of my head.  I guess if I have to stay in for awhile, the virtual buffet of gaming has never been better.

I've heard this game can take an hour or two if you are looking to collect everything...

I certainly hope and pray for everyone's health and safety until we are past this.  In the meantime, take care of yourself and others, stay active, and stay connected to family and friends as much as you can, including your fellow RFGeneration community!


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Some good suggestions. Not much is changing for me, since I work in the healthcare industry, so I'll be reporting for duty until they tell me not to come, or am told to work from home. And even if I were to stay home, it wouldn't change much, since I don't get out much. But with so many unable to go to work, assuming they're not having to pick up side work to survive, it is a good time to get in some additional gaming.

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