More Than 15 (Mostly)Free Ways to Beat Summer Boredom
My friends over at Good Girls Gone Geek wrote an article about what to do now that your favorite TV show is on hiatus. Maybe the seasons over or maybe it’s at a mid-season brake(why do those exist).
Basically, your bored.
You don’t know what to do.
Your just sitting around, it’s summer. Maybe you know you should be doing something but you just aren’t.
So what do you do?
Let me tell you! There are no, and I repeat no ends to the things you could be doing right now.
It’s awesome. Most of it you can do completely free too.
Proffit mentioned catching up on TV shows you missed. This is great because if you’re like me there isn’t enough time in your life to watch all the great shows that are coming out now. But I want to talk about some of the other stuff you can get up to.
She also mentioned that you could pick up a nice paper book(from the library for free), or kindle I suppose(but no nooks). And of course I completely agree. Her suggestion of the Dresden Files is a good one, but I have to mention a few books I’m reading right now, first:
Hyperion. I have to admit it took a while to grow on me, but I’m very intrigued so far. The book deals with some galactic war(I’m fuzzy on the details) that can be stopped by visiting the planet of Hyperion? I’m not really sure, but I think that’s whats happening.
Anyway a group of people who don’t know nothing each other are traveling to the planet to make a pilgrimage. The book works because everyone has their own shadowy motivations that are slowly revealed throughout the course of the book.
Second if you’re less into the sci-fi but still want a funread, I’d recommend Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighter, and Military Commanders to Ever Live.Whew that’s a long title, almost as long as Flora Segunda! Anyway the book is divided into chapters dealing with a certain historical figure that is some how or another Bad Ass. The book works because it’s written so playfully; completely gone are the long passages and tired structure of history text books. Furthermore the writer, Ben Thompson, is clearly One of Us. He throws in pop culture references from the A-Team to Starcraft describing a battle using the term “Zerg Rush”.
Despite all of this nonsense you come out knowing more than you did before. That’s not to say you should use this book in your paper on why Alexander the Great was sooo great, but it’s a quite entertaining read. Just don’t read it all at once, it can get a little repetitive and exhausting.
In that book, the only scientist he cites as a Bad Ass is Nicola Tesla, which brings me to my next choice. Tesla: Man out of Time is a wonderful, and I believe one of the few notable depictions of Tesla’s life.
Have you always wondered about Tesla after hearing about how he’s so much cooler than Edison?
Or about his crazy death rays?
Well it’s all right here, and it’s far crazier than I could have imagined. Fact can be stranger than fiction folks. While not quite as loosy goosy as Badass, Tesla is written in a flowing easy to read style that makes good use of quotes without boring it’s reader.
It chronicles his life from birth to death(I’m only about a 1/3 through) describing the eccentricities and achievements throughout his life. Some of the science talk is hard to follow, but you usually get the gist. The author makes it clear that his audiences were usually in the same boat: fascinated but utterly lost. I challenge you to not think Telsa is awesome and Edison is a dick after reading this book(animal cruelty is involved).
But maybe you don’t like reading all those words!
Well don’t forget there are new comics coming out all the time(and they don’t go on breaks…most of the time). You’ve got your new 52 from DC which I understand is good(haven’t read any myself).
You’ve got all your Marvel stuff trucking along, but you also have your independents and smaller companies.
Stuff like Atomic Robo, Chew, Scott Pilgrim(if you just saw the movie, the books are even better) are some of the best comics out there. Course you have Y-The Last Man or Fables if you want your comics a little more serious. If you just want a book to sample a bunch of flavors of Alan Moore’s Awesome(that sounds wrong) I highly recommend his anthology of DC stories, and if you like those there’s the more dense Watchmen out there(those prequels are coming out and I hear they’re actually good).
Proffit asked about video games since she’s not quite on the up and up with them. Well I don’t know about you guys but I’ve been playing a lot of Diablo 3 recently. I’m rolling with a female wizard and feeling pretty good about my build in Hell. That’s a hefty($60) payment to play though. If your looking for something free, I was just accepted into DOTA 2. You can sign up here.
Or if you want to play that MOBA style action but don’t want to wait for the invite you can download League of Legends(PC only but free) which should keep you entertained for a good long while. All of these games should scale fairly well to low end computers so don’t think you can’t play if you haven’t invested in a powerful gaming computer.
Don’t know what a MOBA is(I don’t blame you)?
You just want something that you can play for like say 15 minutes and call it good?
Well I can’t recommend Desktop Dungeons enough. The Alpha Version is free, and their creating the full version that will be like 15 bucks right as we speak. It’s a fun puzzle game with RPG trappings that compells you to keep playing with the ability to unlock more characters and better items.
Finally we have RPG’s. This one has the biggest amount of caveats, but… it can return tremendous results.
First of all you have to learn an RPG.
But I guess before even that you have to decide what you want to play, find yourself a group and decide on a game master(GM). It shouldn’t be too hard, just lie if you have to your friends will forgive you later(Get Geek is not responsible for lost friendships).
Hell in this day and age you don’t even need dice, just get a dice app on your phone or laptop(Get dice if you can though, make the roleplaying gods happy).
If you want to play, but no one steps up to be GM don’t feel intimidated, do it yourself. It’s a great experience.
Ok so you’ve convinced some people to play, and you’ve decided it’s at your house; you’re ordering a pizza, your ready to GM, but…what are you going to play? Crap you didn’t think this through!
No, just stop yourself right there.
First of all there are hundreds of RPG’s out there with free “starter editions”. You can find most of them(along with the full versions) over at drivethrurpg , and if you have one in mind just Google it. Now these starter editions usually come with a pre-made adventure(see story and GM resources), and pre-made characters(see players) along with the rules you need to play them. You can roll with these if you want, or just make up your own shit. Do whatever makes it a fun experience for you.
If you don’t want to go that route there are just as many(possibly more) completely free RPG’s. Now these RPG’s don’t have pretty illustrations or super nice formatting, but they can still be tons of fun.
I’d recommend Risus as some of the goofiest fun I’ve had. Plus you can read the rules in less half an hour and be playing.
If you are all “I don’t need charity I can pay” then I’d recommend Savage Worlds, you may have heard of it.
The Explorers Edition which is all you need is 10$, and the deluxe Edition is 30$ I believe.
With either of these books you can tack on any number of settings that strike your fancy, or make up your own.
Better yet put your RPG in that TV show you miss so much. Maybe there’s a second Fringe division team, or maybe your characters are members of the Nights Watch on the Wall, or if you like your RPG’s non-standard maybe your characters are party caterers(ala Party Down) remember just because D&D is what everyone knows doesn’t mean every game has to be about killing monsters.
But that brings up a good point. Your probably wondering why I didn’t mention D&D right?
Well it’s simple.
D&D is pretty complicated, and your hamstrung to medieval fantasy as your setting. If that’s cool with you then by all means try out D&D, but in my opinion it’s not the best choice.
So that’s it! Go have fun, I command you. You have no reason not too. I suppose I’ll stop writing this and follow my own advice.