At the time of writing, we are about to enter into those glorious summer months. With a few weeks away from work, you will get the opportunity to indulge further with your gaming passion, joypad in hand, and blinds pulled down to block that pesky sun. Whether you’re into your retro games like we are, or into more modern titles, you will have plenty of time to play through some of your favourites. That’s summer sorted then!
On the other hand…
You might want to put your joypad down this summer! Difficult we know, not only for you as a games-loving parent, but for your gaming-obsessed kids too. We aren’t telling you to give up games entirely, of course, as your summer downtime might provide you with more opportunities to play than normal, but there are other things you could be doing with your time.
Here are some excellent reasons to put down your joypad (for some of the time) this summer.
#1: Some weekend trips are perfect for gamers
Load up your car and head out for the weekend with your family, and head out to those places that can let you engage your gaming senses. You might want to visit Sheffield, for example, primarily to give you the opportunity to visit the National Videogames Museum. Perfect for those of you who prefer retro to high-definition gaming, you can get the opportunity to play and learn more about games from yesteryear, including the fabulous Monty Mole and the speed-tastic Outrun 2! Or why not visit Glasgow, Cardiff, or Belfast? Taking a look at this list of UK gaming events, there is a lot going on this year at these places and more, with gaming conventions, expos, and retro fairs that are sure to thrill and excite any gamer. And at this point, we realise we are cheating a little because your hands won’t be short of a joypad or two at any of these places. With this in mind, think about other fun places to visit, such as Legoland in Windsor; perfect for those of you who love Lego of the physical or gaming kind. In short, you don’t need to stay at home if you enjoy gaming, so do your research and have a day or weekend away in a place that will let you geek out over the summer.
#2: Relive your favourite games through a vacation
If you’re planning on a vacation this year, then why not keep your gaming habit in mind. Fifa fans might want to consider UK and European football tours, for example, with the opportunity to play in football tournaments in locations that may be familiar from your favourite footy games. And talking of locations, you could visit those places in the world that will be familiar to you if you have played the relevant titles. A visit to the Caribbean might stir memories of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, as will a holiday in Florence if you played the second game in that series. Or what about a visit to Venice or to the Great Wall of China? Tomb Raider fans will remember these fabulous locations from the second of that classic series of video games. You see, while you could visit these places virtually, you might have a greater experience by getting up close and personal with these incredible locations in the real world. Still, while it is fun to visit these places, you shouldn’t attempt any of Lara Croft’s or Ezio’s moves, high tailing it across rooftops and fighting dangerous bad guys while you’re away on your vacay! Some things are better left to your TV screens!
#3: You will get to bond with your kids
Sure, you can get a lot of father-son bonding time while playing your favourite split screen games on your console, but there is more you can do together. Why not go on a camping trip, for example, and spend time with your children under the stars? Eat marshmallows, tell stories by the campfire, and explore the natural world around you. Or why not do more with your kids in your local area? Play outdoor games in the local park, take a cycle ride into the country or visit any local attractions that you will all enjoy. Spending time with your kids, be it locally or on vacation away, will help you to create memories that will last forever. You will talk together, laugh together, and take part in real-world experiences that can sometimes be more invigorating than the adventures you play through in your video games.
#4: You can swap your smaller screen for a larger screen
No, we aren’t talking about replacing your TV for something that barely fits your living room wall. Rather, we are talking about the cinema, and while we realise you will be swapping one darkened room for another, there are plenty of incentives to go to the movies this summer. There’s a new Men in Black, Toy Story, and X-Men movie, for starters. Godzilla is smashing through our screens too (hopefully not literally), and Spidey is swinging into action after (spoiler alert) escaping the finger-snapping carnage of Thanos in the recent Avengers movies. Then there are remakes of Disney classics The Lion King and Aladdin, an Artemis Fowl adaptation, and for adults only, a new Tarantino movie. In short, there are loads of movies to see this summer, so check out this comprehensive list and start to save your money for the exorbitant popcorn prices now!
#5: Going outside is the healthy option
Video game detractors (usually our parents and partners) often cite the unhealthy aspects of gaming. While their suggestions that our eyes will go square is (hopefully) a load of old nonsense, they do have a point when they talk about the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and a lack of fresh air. For both your physical and your mental health then, make an effort to get off your sofa and into the sunlight for a dose of vitamin D. Play rough and tumble games with your kids in the garden, take up a hobby that promotes some form of exercise, and spend time enjoying the sights and sounds of the world outside your front door. You will feel better for it!
We hope you have a fantastic summer, whatever it is you get up to this year!