Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Big Game Hunting - Gaming when you don’t feel like it

I’ve got a confession to make. Sometimes I feel like doing nothing – not even gaming. It’s one of those odd things, because gaming is my ‘downtime’ but sometimes, I just can’t get myself into the mind-set.

Over the last few years I’ve learned a couple of ways to deal with it – whether I’m sick, or tired, or too busy, and I thought I’d share some of the ideas, plus ask you guys how you handle it.

First though, I’ve found that understanding why I don’t want to game is critical – if it’s because I’m too tired then I try to conserve energy a little while before the games. If it’s because I’m too busy, then I take that as a sign I NEED to game. No ifs, no buts, I need to game. If I’m at the point where I’m tired and can’t game because I’m overwhelmed, that’s when I need my downtime most.

First rule of gaming in our household is if it’s anything more than a common cold and we’re going to be around a table with everyone, we don’t game. It might seem extreme sometimes, but I’d rather miss a week of gaming in our house than pass everything onto everyone. So far we’ve avoided sharing most versions of the flu and upset stomachs, but we do, unfortunately tend to pass colds around like currency sometimes.

Second rule in the house is if the GM or more than one of us ‘can’t be bothered’, there’s always the ‘get out of jail free’ option of silly games. The reason we’ve set that rule up is because when you game weekly for several years, you DO need a break. It’s sometimes difficult to recognise and I confess, sometimes I just need coaxed into a game to enjoy it, but if there’s more than one of us really not in the mood, it’s easier just to play a board game.

And the final rule? Know ourselves well enough to work out how to play the game to enjoy ourselves. If I’m distracted, that’s difficult, but if I put everything down and walk away for a couple of hours, I’m usually much better for it. It’s important to remember that though, when I’m really not in the mood - I’m too tired or I think I’m too busy. Gaming is good for your health – it’s a solid outlet that allows you to blow off some steam by shooting the head off Tyranids, or biting/staking/clubbing with a vampire. There’s nothing quite like it in the world, so the next time you’re not sure you want to play in a regular game, you should think again.

D Kai Wilson-Viola particularly enjoys tormenting poor Mexican vampires...

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