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Rainy-day gaming

The weather here in the UK has surprised us these past couple of weeks (at the time of writing). Instead of our usual summer where you might see a bit of sunshine but are still wise enough to take a jacket when you go out, we’ve had clear blue skies and soaring temperatures.

We should be appreciative when we have warm spells like this but try to play video games and you’ll soon be wishing for rainy days again. The thought of sitting in the same room as PCs and lamps adding to the hot air when it’s already over 30 degrees inside doesn’t make streaming a pleasant experience; and the glare on the television caused by sunshine sneaking around the blinds means you can’t actually see what’s happening on-screen clearly anyway. You might as well put down the controller.

It’s not only these factors that make gaming on a sunny day less fulfilling than normal. There’s just something about grey clouds and the sound of rain outside that makes video games feel even more special. You know the feeling I’m talking about: a quiet weekend, the housework finished in the morning and lunch now eaten, drops of rain gently hitting the window and muffling any other sounds from outside, nothing to do for the rest of the afternoon except lose yourself in a digital land and possibly save the world.

It’s during periods like this that I’ve discovered titles which have stayed with me for a long time afterwards. To The Moon is an example and it’s now one of my favourite games. It must have been a Saturday morning when I decided to grab a cup of tea and turn on my laptop to install it, with the intention of only making sure it ran ok before getting in the shower. Around four hours later I was still sitting in my pyjamas on my bed, crying my eyes out and wondering how a video game could do this to me.

There was also J.U.L.I.A: Among the Stars. I decided to do a little work on my backlog during a day off work and this was a title I’d picked up as part of a sale some months before. I pretty much stayed in the same spot for nine hours because I was so engrossed in this story about a woman and artificial intelligence (AI) who were lost in space. It made me feel as though I were playing through Myst for the first time all over again: that feeling of stepping into an unknown world, trying to figure out why you’re there and what’s happened.

Then there was The Red Strings Club. It was a release which had been on my radar for a while, so I gave it a try when it was appeared in the Prime Gaming bundle one month and I happened to have a spare afternoon. I’m not sure a game has ever left me with so many questions about myself and my views before. It asks us how far we’re willing to go to suppress the worst aspects of our personalities for the good of the population; do our feelings make us who we are and is happiness at the cost of free will ultimately worth it?

The Red Strings Club, video game, bar, woman, Larissa, bartender, Donovan, android, Akara

Experiences like those described above could explain why rainy days and time off work give me a strong desire to play point-and-clicks. I can’t deny that this is my favourite genre and the one I turn to most frequently, but there’s just something about this type of game which makes it fit perfectly with lazy afternoons. Perhaps this could have something to do with nostalgia and memories of my childhood: maybe they remind me of school holidays filled with strange characters, conversation trees and overflowing inventories.

Somehow the rain makes it easier to switch off from the rest of the world. It presents you wish the guilt-free excuse of staying inside while waiting for the clouds to pass; and the sound of the drops dull other noises so it’s easy to pretend everything outside your room doesn’t exist for a moment. The only thing to do is focus on the story unfolding on the screen in front of you, immerse yourself in the world shown to you and shape its future – whether it be a point-and-click or some other type of game that takes your fancy.

According to the weather reports at the time of writing, we have another day or so of these clear blue skies and rising temperatures before the storms are about to hit my part of the country. I know I should be out in the garden making the most of the sun while working from home, taking long walks through the local nature reserve, or enjoying barbecues at my parents’ house. But there’s a part of me that’s looking forward to the rain coming in and getting lost in a totally different kind of adventure.

Are you a fan of rainy-day gaming? Or is there some other time you find perfect for video games?

Kim View All

Video game lover, Later Levels blogger and SpecialEffect volunteer. Big fan of wannabe pirates and fine leather jackets.

30 thoughts on “Rainy-day gaming Leave a comment

  1. You have a point, it does always feel better and more guilt-free to play on rainy days 😄 I really hate the glare on a sunny day, it makes it next to impossible to play anything

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    • I’ve been keeping an eye on the weather reports for this weekend and, although they seem to change several times a day, there’s a possibility of rain in my area… I’m keeping my fingers crossed! ha ha

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Playing games sometimes requires me to make excuses anyway (“yeah sorry I’m working”, that sort of thing — technically sort of true!) so the rain makes it easier. Though the fact that the US is going through the apocalypse for the rest of the year at least makes it even easier to excuse staying inside constantly. Immersive games are great for rainy days, though I also like a visual novel sometimes on days like this.

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    • One of the silver-linings of the lockdown has been the opportunity to spend more time on video games. I had about two months where we weren’t able to see anybody and I played much more than I would do normally, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it!

      How are things going over in the US? I’ve been staying away from the news for the past month, so I’m really out of touch with what’s going on…

      Liked by 1 person

      • They’ve been pretty bad here. Deaths have been rising quickly from the virus (a lot of them very avoidable in my opinion, thanks partly to some people acting irresponsibly and partly to a total lack of leadership on the federal level and in some states like mine) and there have been a lot of layoffs because of it. Ahead of the election in November, people are getting angry over the situation.

        It’s going to be very bad here for a while, at least on a relative level for the US. I have family overseas who are going through a lot more, so I can’t complain too much.

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  3. Do people in the UK not have air conditioning? Weird question, I know, but I’ve read comments made by several folks from that island and all of you talk about oppressive heat like you lack a/c.

    I like a rainy day to play games, but I’m enough of a degenerate that I’ve never had a problem with spending an otherwise perfect day inside at the computer. Though with the weather for half the year here being terrible frozen, dry air garbage I guess that’d suffice as my excuse for not leaving my cozy spot in front of the computer for at least half the year.

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    • It’s true, we don’t. Most houses here were built when the need for it was rare but the summers here are becoming successively hotter. Hopefully the need for it will become so common that houses will start being built with it. For now, if we need to cool-off, the best we can do is to open the windows and get out a fan.

      Liked by 2 people

    • 52 weeks in the year, for the last 20 years, I don’t recall it being hot enough to justify air conditioning for more than maybe 2-3 weeks tops.

      We make the most of it in vehicles and sleep with windows open 😝

      Liked by 2 people

  4. “and the glare on the television caused by sunshine sneaking around the blinds means you can’t actually see what’s happening on-screen clearly anyway. You might as well put down the controller.”
    My thoughts exactly. I used to close the blinds in the evening, so I ended up missing the neighbourhood during the “golden hour”, until I decided that I just couldn’t bear that anymore.

    There is something beautiful about a rainy day spent indoors. It enhances what’s outside and so enhances what we appreciate about what’s inside. I also like having my window open just a little bit, so I can hear every little flow and drip – and I can smell the petrichor afterwards. There isn’t a game that stands out to me as one I’d play on such a day particularly but I do like to read a book. It’s the way the rain and the breeze mixes with the feel of the hardback cover under my fingers and the smell of the old paper. I know how it sounds but i just can’t live without sensations like that.

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    • Doesn’t sound like anything other than ‘good’ to me. We need to appreciate the little moments like this, and I think the lockdown has taught us to take pleasure in the small things just like reading books on raining days. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read it this morning after a terrible nights sleep leaving the window open and the hurricane level winds sending a candle next to it flying and smashing on the floor. Gaming in rain? gaming in wind!!! that aside, yes for me it’s definitely a wet weather activity, i’d pigeon hole it further into a seasonal activity with a stronger feeling towards gaming in the autumn and winter and the summer sun to spend exploring the world though a little tricky at the moment.

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    • I love gaming in the winter. I always find myself turning to games with a ‘fairy-tale’ feel about them at that time of year… maybe it’s something to do with knowing Christmas is approaching. 🤔

      How are you coping in the wind? It’s thankfully not as bad here now as it was on Friday, it felt like the house was going to blow away at one point!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Glad it’s settling down but definitely an autumnal feel in the air which I’m happy with as always cook in the summer 😏 slight tangent but really enjoyed playing the first watch dogs for the fact it was modernish day Chicago and rained a lot so never felt so overheated playing it. A psychosomatic? Response I think

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  6. I game whenever and wherever I cam without guilt haha. Must say that I hated to game while it was like 37 degrees inside my house. Sweat was dripping off my face and it felt like I was actually running IRL instead of Black Desert Online 😂

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    • Hey you, I haven’t seen you in ages! How are you doing? 😄

      We didn’t even bother trying to game while the heatwave was on here in the UK recently. The thought of turning on the PCs and adding to the hot air… no, thank you! ha ha

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love gaming during snowstorms and blizzards here. The roads are awful, the snow is piling up, it’s dangerous to go anywhere.

    During these days there’s nothing more comforting than being curled up on my couch with a controller, under a warm blanket and with my two cats sitting next to me. 😁

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    • We don’t often get a lot of snow where I am the UK, so I’ll have to make do with the rain… but this is the perfect excuse to stay inside and play video games! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rain has that lovely ASMR quality to it that can act as wonderful background audio, for example when playing a game where you are going about improving stats (training in Pokémon is one such case). Also having the option of different gaming styles can match different real-world scenarios, so, say, handheld games can suit Summer weather!

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    • I must admit, I’ve not done as much gaming as I’d have liked this summer because some days have just been too hot. But someone did say to me that playing something featuring a snowy or winter level worked for them because it made them feel cold!

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        • I’ve not played it myself, but I know so many people who have been using Animal Crossing to pass the time over the past few months. It sounds as if it has helped many people through the lockdown – and maybe through the warm days too. 😄

          Liked by 1 person

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