Campus consoles: Students’ guide to video games

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Student life is great, until your loan runs out, then there’s only one place to turn: your trusty video-games console.

What can be gleaned from a half-watched documentary on the history of human evolution, is that approximately 100,000 years ago primitive Homo sapiens congregated around revolutionary life-warming flames, whilst sharing tales of hard fought hunts to take their minds off of the fact that they didn’t have any video games to play with — those bloody savages. However, thanks to the wonders of evolution (or possibly God) our former spear-wielding thumbs have finally found their true calling in the 21st Century, set in a perpetual crab-claw motion. It’s the age-old adage of which came first: the Gamer’s Thumb or the PS3 controller?

According to mainstream media, video games are often held as the contributing factor in the cultivation of todays doomed generation of anti-social, nihilistic, plague of jaywalkers, with lower self-esteem and people skills than the collective of Weight Watchers gathering. But walk past any campus room door, and there are greatly favourable odds that you’ll hear the screams and chants of students bonding over the uncanny sound of a SWAT-556 unloading into a Chechen terrorist. The weighty downtime of university life doesn’t have to be coupled with loneliness and boredom. With the right games collection, likeminded intellectuals, vagrants and ruffians will happily cram themselves into your prison cell of a room.

Of course the award winning, first-person shooter franchise Call of Duty is undoubtedly the undisputed Queen Bitch of this. The popularity of the shooter means that everyone from the luddites, to the casual gamer, to the Charles Mansons of the virtual world are familiar with the premise of COD. It’ll cut out much of the time wasted over button confusion, and add many hours of M27 time. Whether you’re duking it out against each other, or joining firepower to take out a vitamin d deprived teen from Stockholm, merriments will undoubtedly be had, which is why any incarnation of the Call of Duty series ranks in the must own category for your budding student.

modern warfare 3 split screen
Modern Warfare 3 split-screen. Why not play it in German for extra laughs?

As far as fighting games go, your astute student will know to steer clear of the uber-realistic branch, namely your Fight Night’s or UFC Undisputed types. Too complex and too slow paced is the diagnostic. Moreover nobody has the time of night to learn the intricacies of the ground game, or how to defend a kimura — my apologies to the 99% of readers to whom that means absolutely nothing, but it kind of proves my point, no? Enter the modern day classics such as Tekken 6 and Street Fighter IV. A high intensity, heart-pounding beat-em up is always the cure for taking out the many frustrations of a three hour lecture on metaphysics —that or Jaegermeister, either way someone will be on the floor seeing stars around their head.

Of course with the manna from above that is you Student Loan, there is no financial hurdle large enough to stop you from purchasing any of the afore mentioned titles. Just as long as you have enough green to pay for the endless array of pre-drinks, club entries, overpriced Vodka Rebulls, taxi-fares home (Sweet baby Moses, the effort it takes to go out on the pull! And let’s face it, money well spent is waking up with Fifa 14 in your pigeonhole, instead of a quibbling venereal disease in your bodily holes).

And when Lady Hangover rears her regrettable head (you definitely should have said no after that 10th Tequila shot) the open world platform will be waiting to nurse you back to full HP. Let’s face it, if you get out of bed within the next few hours of this hangover you’ll most likely die. Therefore the intrinsically immersive experience of the wide landscape offered in Skyrim, GTA, and your Fallouts will no doubt act as a Florence Nightingale to your vodka soaked noggin. Why go to the shops in your PJs for bread and toilet paper, when for less effort you can commit to Tolkeinesque treks across undiscovered lands to slay Mages and Orcs in equal proportion.

gta 5 gameplay
The Grand Theft Auto series has a deep story, but it’s equally great for casual hangover sessions

By now it is seems like a fairly established truth of the transformative social effects that possessed by gaming. However, a word to the unwise, if the reader should happen to possess the dexterous, hand-eye coordination better suited to the dicey field of cardiothoracic surgery, how about you do your friends the magnanimous honour of letting them win at Marvel vs. Capcom? Remember, not everybody has cultivated the reflexes of an Olympic Ping-Pong player needed to beat Jill Valentine’s face into pixelated pulp with Captain America’s shield. Be diplomatic with your ability. Let your friends win the greater part of once in a while. It’s a common but ill expressed fact that Blitzkreiging your flatmates at Battlefield does eventually lead to pilfered milk and ransacked cupboards ­­— if only the consequences of real life war were so trivial!

As a concluding thought, the thinking man’s procrastinate will say if you’re going to waste valuable essay writing time, you might as well spend it shooting Jackels in the face. What’s the alternative? Watching a middle-aged administrator from Lancaster serve deflated soufflés on Come Dine with Me? Oh the Academic Life…



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