Smile and Nod

Smile and Nod: Games to Ease the Summer Drought

Russ Pitts | 9 Jun 2008 17:00
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And here we thought the end of the Writer's Strike would bring some relief. Alas, no deal.

The game industry again has its cyclopean attention focused on the holiday season, when every game developer and his mother will be competing to have a product under your holiday tree, and those of us who play games year round are - again - left to cool our heels in the grips of the summer drought.

According to the prevailing wisdom, people don't play videogames during the summer. During the summer, so the wisdom goes, people are outdoors, living life, ogling bikini-clad coeds and embarking on shenanigans. Unfortunately, the prevailing wisdom hasn't caught up to the times. For one thing, it's damn hot out there, and those of us in the over thirty and seriously involved set aren't going to be too busy with the bathing beauties this summer.

The average age of the audience keeps rising and yet the bean counters still treat us like children. This is a problem, fellas. You're still acting like the post-adolescent boys you once were, tinkering around with a forbidden hobby no-one but you understood. Ain't like that anymore. Now we're a genuine industry. Wake the hell up.

Also, with gas at around the price of a hamburger per gallon, shenanigans are going to be limited to those in which we can indulge close to home this year. Piling everyone in the car to head to Wally World would require we sell the car when we get home to pay off the trip, and that ain't happening.

Yet still, there are no games. This weekend, with the better half out of town, the gas tank as dry as my bank account and the thermometer panting for breath, I spent a good two hours debating which game to pop into my Xbox. Sure, I'm waist-deep in half a dozen titles at least, but on a weekend like this one I wanted something new. Something to inspire giddy anticipation. Something I couldn't take my hands off all weekend. Something to fall in love with.

I'm still fond of GTA IV, but our affair has settled into that middling phase where we already know what each other is going to say before we open our mouths. While it's nice and relaxing to slip into something familiar, like sipping at a perfectly concocted mint julep, the torrid summer months are for quenching the insatiable thirst. Like say, with lemonade and Everclear.

So what do you do when you're out of Everclear? You go digging around in the back of the liquor cabinet for the stuff you bought for such-and-such girl before you broke up with her, or that somebody brought to your party that one time then completely forgot about after they passed out in the pool. Sometimes the best drinks are made from leftovers. Don't believe me? Two words: rusty and nail.

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