3 Ways to Lose a Weekend

I remember my first “Lost Weekend.” It was Thanksgiving 2005 and all my family was out of town for the holiday. My roommate drove trucks during the night and I used his PS2, and rented the game, God of War. I remember one of the nights he walked back in from work and I asked, “Why are you home?” He looked at me and said, “Dude, it’s 4 a.m.! What are you doing up?!” I finished it that weekend.

Granted, it was a long weekend.

As a business owner, I gave up regular video gaming back in 1999 because I know I tend to play a game until I’ve beaten it. The weird thing is creating video games is what I originally wanted to do when I went to college, but there weren’t any educational programs at that time. I have always kept watch, however.

So when online gaming became popular, and I watched and listened to friends, family and media talk about how absorbed people became with the games, I avoided them at all costs. Luckily, I do most of my work on a Mac. At that time, most online games were for PCs.

While I don’t feel the need to lose a weekend, I have been feeling the ‘call’ to game. I even bought a PS3 a few years ago with the intention of occasional, ‘recreational,’ usage.

Now, I’m not one for military games or games that involve shooting lots of other people. Strangely, I have no problem slaying ogres, dragons, or zombies. They are, obviously, fictional.

Keep in mind, that  when I first started playing video games, a player’s character was no more than a square on a screen. In fact, the Odyssey game system I used had colored, transparent, static cling game fields you’d overlay on your television. So, the Pong game appeared on a green tinted court.

Knowing the above information, and without wasting more time, I give you 3 Ways to Lose a Weekend.

3. Drink Lots of Alcohol.

Not the most recommended way to lose a weekend, and I can’t say I’ve ever done it. But I hear it’s effective. Remember, drinking alone is not recommended. And you’ll want to pick your drinking friends very carefully. I also recommend finding someone else’s blog to get real recommendations, because I’ve never done this over an entire weekend. You may also need counseling or join a group if you’ve used this method recently and have already graduated from college.

2. Sleep and/or Read a Good Book

Now, I can speak from experience, this is glorious. I actually got in over 31 hours of sleep from Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. until Monday morning at 6:00 a.m. I might have stayed in bed all weekend (since I wasn’t feeling well anyway), but there were household and parenting duties to attend to. I have, done this particular method for losing a weekend from time to time. It often has to be done if you tend to be a work-a-holic as well.

1. Buy Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

And this is the crux of the article. We rented this game for our teen this weekend. He was begging for it on 11/11/11 when it was released (AND because his birthday is coming up). Thanks to Redbox, we were able to try it out for our PS3 for only $2.00. And thanks to a power outage that effected part of the town Saturday night, he was limited to just an hour and a half of game play.

Now…back to the point of starting video games when your character was just a square. This game is AMAZING! Not only the quality, resolution, and fantasy setting (which in itself is enough), the creators at Bethesda Softworks have come up with a gaming engine that, literally, has an unlimited amount of game time. This is due to a huge combination of factors like randomization, reactions based on character action, and an incredible 16 square mile ‘world’ to explore. When you look up from the flowers on the ground you just picked to the mountain peak in the distance, you can actually travel to that peak and explore.

The game was played in our house for a total of 6:15 (according to the game clock) with all of us, at one time or another, trying to help from the sidelines. Puzzles, battles, and even learning how to tan leather and sharpen a sword at  a local blacksmith shop are things you can do in the game. And, one of the most amazing things is how unique you can make your character. We didn’t try it, but I bet you could almost design one of the Navi from Avatar (or get pretty close).

It’s taken a day for the awesomeness to sink in. And I didn’t even play the game…yet. But I believe I feel a ‘lost weekend’ coming up for me…if I can wrestle control away from the teenager in the house. (Game is rated M for Mature…mostly due to the violence). Check out their ‘documentary’ about how they built it and all the hand drawn details they obsessed over.

As a last comment about gaming (and not really the Top 3 Ways to Lose a Weekend), here’s an image I put together  to show the difference in old games and new, specifically in the game Resistance where aliens are attacking the earth.

What other great ideas do you have for Losing a Weekend? And…have you played Skyrim yet?