October 19, evening – Preparations! Download any game I might want to play, make sure the streaming software is working, load up on healthy snacks. Go to bed early feeling smug about being an awesome adult who properly prepares for things.
October 20, 4:30am – Fire alarm! It’s just a false alarm but it takes two hours for the noise to stop and the cats to calm down and for me to fall back asleep. So much for smug preparation.
7:45am – IT’S GO TIME. Shower, pot of coffee, let’s play some games.
8:00am – But wait, what to play? Something soothing, not too complicated or loud. Sounds like it’s time to make a Panda monk! Apple Cider came by the Twitch stream to keep me company and give insider tips. I got to about level 8 over the course of a couple of hours. The Pandaria starting zones are very pretty and the quests were fun, plus I quite like the lady panda models. I also enjoyed the gender non-specific conversations with Ji Firepaw.
10:00am – Get another cup of coffee, and realize I don’t know what to play next. Something new-to-me, and with a little more action.. Ooh, Assassin’s Creed II, as highly recommended by Arolaide. I had no idea that there was a modern day framework for the story, and the art style of the game is awesome. I also helpfully stream me making faces and failing to jump over a box for 10 minutes. God bless the constant connectivity of our internet generation.
12:30pm – Quick healthy lunch and time for some RIFT. Someone in Twitch chat reminds me that there are “only” 20 more hours to go. Goodness.
3:00pm – Off to an appointment with Trion Community Manager Elrar to tour some of the shiny awesomeness in RIFT’s Storm Legion expansion beta. I locally record the whole the whole tour and end up with a 350gb video file. Everything looked amazing and Elrar was super nice. This was my first time doing something like this, and I tried to ask smart questions instead of just my usual things like, “Why is your game so awesome?” and “Do you remember taking a photo with me at PAX because that was the coolest?”
4:15pm – Tour over and now it’s back to the live RIFT servers to finish off the special Extra Life Corgi rifts. A non-RIFT guildie asks in Twitch chat what we’re doing. “We are running around the world opening events to see if they’re full of corgi dogs.”. I feel that this summarizes quite nicely why people both love and hate MMOs.
7:00pm – I am now “Grim Mercredi of House Fluffington”! I feel I have accomplished something with my day. I quickly cooked up some healthy hot food for dinner. We have enough friends around to do a group game, so it’s off to Dungeon Defenders! This game is the best thing ever with 4 players — it’s first person, team-based tower defense. We blow through the boss that stomped us last time and keep playing until another boss stomps us.
9:30pm – The East Cost folks who have been hanging around providing support start to apologetically head off to bed. I curse them good naturedly. Someone says in chat, “Only 11 hours left!” and I tell them to stop saying that. I love video games but 11 more hours seems almost insurmountable. Clearly I need to spice things up a bit so it’s time for some Bioshock, which I’ve never played. Unsurprisingly, it’s gorgeous and terrifying. I smack stuff around with a pipe wrench for a while until the first Big Daddy encounter kills me.
11pm – Maaaaaaybe it’s time for something a little more peaceful and a little less likely to terrify me. Sounds like it’s time for.. FTL! This turned out to be both a good and a bad decision. FTL is super fun, if a little unforgiving, and has a nice retro mellow vibe. However, it’s also low on action and full of tiny text which makes it not that much fun for people to watch.
11:30pm – Give up on streaming FTL, but fortunately That Angry Dwarf saves the day with a stream of the first chapter of The Walking Dead. I was expecting TWD to be more of a traditional action game, but in fact it is a gorgeous story-driven experience. It was extremely intense to play, apparently, but quite cinematic to watch while I repeatedly kill all my crew in FTL. (Oops, did I open the podbay doors again?)
Midnight – “Only 8 more hours!” Oh god shut up.
1:30am – Snack time again. I go and ponder my choices. Celery sticks, salads, frozen spinach, peanuts. Okay seriously, why did I buy all this healthy crap?! Who am I kidding? Bloody hell. I run to the corner store and buy a handful of chocolate bars.
3:00am – Even the West Coast crowd has gone to bed now. That Angry Dwarf breaks out I Wanna Be The Guy Gaiden on the stream while I play some more Assassin’s Creed 2. I think I’ve decided that Ezio is really cute, and video game characters are not usually my thing. For some reason I write that down as a crucial revelation I should bring up on the podcast later.
~ Unknown time ~ – I seriously do not remember what I was playing. I mean, I played something. Possibly many things. I can’t really account for my time though. I think at one point I booted up the Trion Extra Life livestream and remarked that they looked even more exhausted than I felt. I’m alternating ciders in between cups of coffee.
6:00am – The Easties start waking up. My attention span is getting shorter and shorter, and the next two hours (“Only 2 more hours!”) consist of a ton of games that I can only manage to play for 20 minutes a piece, including The Wonderful End of the World, Audiosurf, and Glitch. I also boot up RIFT and stare at the login screen blankly for a few minutes before I decide I don’t want to play it more today.
7:30am – I have been saving Tropico 4 as my emergency game, because it’s one of the few genres of games (city builders) that I literally COULD play for 8 hours without thinking about it. It is definitely time to break it out. I am tired, frazzled, and the sun is coming up.
7:35am – Nope, not even Tropico 4 can save me now. I leave it running and just put my head down on my desk for 15 minutes.
7:50am – “ONLY 10 MORE MINUTES” I shout in Twitch chat. What have I become?
8:00am – Is it over? Did we survive? I actually have to tell That Angry Dwarf to stop playing CS:GO so we can record the podcast and go to bed. Recording the podcast at 8am seemed like a great idea a week ago and seems like a very bad idea now, but it works out.
9:15am – Sleep time go. Overall I played way fewer games than I anticipated. Also, one thinks that gaming is pretty low impact, but it requires paying attention and using twitch movement or solving brain puzzles and starts to add up over a few hours. ThatAngryDwarf and I raised $650 for sick kids, and had a great time doing it. I’ll be back next year.. but not before then. And next year, I’m buying candy.