It’s a beautiful day outside, at least where I’m living. The sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the sky. Wherever the birds are, I’m sure they’re singing right now, as if life is some kind of Disney musical. All that’s missing is a gorgeous princess with an amazing singing voice. It’s a beautiful day outside — and I have plans to spend it catching up on my PS3 backlog. I may finally invest in that Outlast: Whistleblower DLC and even turn on my PS4. While social norms seem to dictate that it’s customary to spend time outside on a day like today. I don’t feel guilty about it — nor should anyone who feels like spending a sunny day immersed in a game of his or her choosing. I will proceed to list the top five reasons why that is.

Well, there's my afternoon spent.

Well, there’s my afternoon spent.

5. It’s hot out there.

I’m not sure what the temperature is like elsewhere, but around here, it’s one of the warmest summers on record. It may not be that bad compared to other places, but British Columbians are a lot like the local salmon population; we notice any variation in temperature and don’t care much for even remotely high or low temperatures. If I were to go outside, I’m sure I would feel the heat.

The good thing is that there is such a thing as air conditioning. The room I am in is at a comfortable temperature and it also happens to be where my video game collection is, along with my entertainment system. I can also grab a glass of water whenever I see fit. My current location is like an oasis and I see no reason to venture out of it simply for the sake of social protocol. Besides, I’m in a place where I can engage in my favorite hobby. If you find yourself in similar circumstances, I certainly won’t judge you if you opt to stay in.

4. Video games don’t come with a threat of melanoma.

There are all sorts of medical concerns associated with venturing out in the sun. I don’t expect to contract skin cancer, but a sunburn is a very real possibility, especially with my pale complexion. Moreover, I do have to deal with mild outdoor allergies, which I only have to contend with if I venture outside. In all honesty, I have a dust allergy, too, but my outdoor allergies are worse. Maybe I’ll take my video game character out for a stroll in the sun. I certainly won’t experience any side effects from that.

What an actual backlog might look like.  Mine's worse.

What an actual backlog might look like. Mine’s worse.

3. Now is the time to chip away at that backlog.

With big releases fewer and further in between during the summer months and, depending on your current situation, the possibility of more spare time, there is no better time of year to get through games that have been piling up. I happen to have one of the worst backlogs in existence or at least one of the worst physical backlogs in existence. Time spent outside could be time spent making progress.

2. Handheld gaming allows for the best of both worlds.

Systems like the Vita are designed to be taken outside. Not only is it a great system to play indie games, but you can also claim that you did spend some time outside because it would be the truth. My Vita backlog is piling up, too, come to think of it. Besides, if you haven’t tried handheld gaming on a hammock and you have the means to do so, I’d highly recommend it.

1. You shouldn’t feel guilty for enjoying any of the things you enjoy.

To put it simply, everyone is different. Some may enjoy spending time outside while others, myself included, prefer to spend time immersed in a great game. If people are going to judge, let them judge. The fact is thatwe are all capable of deciding how to spend our day and to bow to social pressure, simply for the sake of complying with abstract norms, would be to ignore our capacity for individual autonomy. Go out and enjoy the sun, if that is what you want to do, but don’t try to be someone you’re not, just to impress others around you.

Well, there you have it. Feel free to weigh in with your thoughts and, if you can think of more reasons not to feel guilty about enjoying a good game on a sunny day, leave your comments below and have a wonderful day, regardless of how you choose to spend it.

Written by T Ross

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