Do’s And Don’ts For Gaming

The whole world has a fever. Here in New York, I sit inside with the fan on my face as the city sweats through the hottest week in nearly ten years. Europe is engulfed in forest fires, drought is sharpening East Africa, and incessant monsoon rains are drowning Bangladesh. The world is very sick. People will die and be dead. But I think we still have to play video games.

At times like this, when everything is so clear, I tend to dismiss art and games as frivolous. But they are really a panacea. Video games help us go somewhere better, or at least, somewhere where we can at least try to be a hero. There is no beating Fortune 500 companies that dump oil into the water or governments that get excited by dropping billions on plastic, excess and more waste. But you can beat a match and feel a little better, even if the sun on your shoulders clearly wants you to disintegrate. I’ve put together some do’s and don’ts to play during climate change.

Do not deny our reality

Climate change is real. It’s scary and a real shame. Being such an old and important problem, it intimidates you to curl up, but accepting discomfort helps you feel a little more in control and a little less anxious. Acceptance is exploitable—fear is not.

Give yourself a break

Acceptance should not mean that we constantly sink into every disaster. Be careful with yourself and set boundaries, if you have to, around depressing news and Twitter. If you have free time and want to relax, let yourself completely relax. Pay attention to the heat that comes from the thick air in your garden without wondering why it is there. When playing a video game, focus completely on the video game.

Don’t forget a towel (and maybe a spray bottle)

OK, so you play a game and pay attention to the environment and how your body feels in it without judgment. Great use of mindfulness. Now that your headspace is taken care of, you want to make sure your body self is taken care of as well.

If you sweat a lot, use a skin-friendly cloth-such as cotton or muslin-or, you know, just a plain old towel-to avoid discomfort during gaming sessions. I also like to get away from my PC from time to time to spray water on my face or arms. This is grounding and cooling, and you can get a spray bottle or a Face mist for this, or use your fingers as nature intended.

Keep the light

Cotton, linen, micromodal and rayon are breathable and absorbent fabrics that keep your skin dry in hot weather. Looser clothes also let air in and dry you out, while white clothes absorb the sun less. But if you play alone and off camera, take off your clothes. Being naked is very airy and breathable, and your body takes care of the rest by sweating. You are one with the universe.

Don’t be so caffeinated

I know energy drink companies love to market their harmful bottle rocket exhaust tanks to tired gamers, but if you’re in hell on earth, keep the caffeine in your regular cup of coffee. Energy drinks can dehydrate, and dehydration coupled with Halo’s stunning retina graphics is a quick way to break your head open and suck up your gaming experience. The same applies to drinking alcohol in the heat.

Sunbathing in the glory of the water

However, the artificial blue of a can of Gin or a frosted glass of Curacao is certainly tempting, so if you have to drink caffeine or alcohol while playing, make sure you combine it with lots of delicious water. Keep a large cup or bottle of water nearby to hydrate while playing easy and accessible—the Centers for health-issue Control and Prevention advises drinking before thirst hits you and sipping water regularly to prevent heat exhaustion.

Don’t buy things (unless you need them)

I don’t know if there is a way to actually make the game “sustainable”.”Consoles need harmful materials (for workers and the planet) such as copper, zinc and plastic to exist, and electricity to run games. But there are ways to be more aware of your consumption as an individual.

The best and simplest thing an individual can do on behalf of the planet is to stop buying things. The environmental news website Earth.org suggests that gamers buy digital rather than body, upgrade devices only when really needed, and avoid unnecessary add-ons that will likely end their lives on their backs in a landfill. Consumerism is addictive and the video game industry loves to take advantage of our addiction, but I really encourage everyone to think about the body things in their lives, what it does for them, where it goes, who did it, and what happens to these employees when we buy more.

Personally, I haven’t bought new clothes (only used, rarely), since 2019, and I find the majority of my other things in thrift stores, flea markets, on the sidewalk, and in buy-nothing groups (all interesting places to find game items as well). Save your money, rely less on things, and send a polite peck to the gas slurpers trying to sell it to us.

Enjoy what you have while you have it.

Practice and discover your right to fix and revisit games at your leisure, long after the release date. If the ocean completely engulfs us in the end, at least you’ll be on a few leaderboards when you go down.

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