Video Games have come a long way since their humble beginnings back in the 1970’s. From black-and-white to color, 2D to high-res 3D, and from single player to massively multiplayer, video games have driven technology forward and become one of the biggest industries on the market in the process. So the powers that be decided to dub July 8th Video Games Day, one day a year for gamers all over the world to celebrate video games in all their glory. But as we all know, MMO players are among the most dedicated gamers out there. So what should an MMO veteran like you do to celebrate Video Games Day? Read on and find out!
5 – Betas Betas Betas!
No matter what kind of games you’re into, there’s definitely something currently in open beta that you could be sinking your teeth into. Love the competition of MOBAs? Transformers Universe, Infinite Crisis, and Magicka: Wizard Wars are all accepting open beta signups right now, depending on whether wizards, robots, or superheroes are more your style. Action-RPGs are also well represented, with Swordsman and The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot offering western and eastern flavors of action-packed goodness. You could indulge your inner child by trying out Lego Minifigures Online, or reward it with some 16-bit JRPG nostalgia with Margonem. If you’re more strategically-minded, there’s Tribal Wars 2 for the medieval among you. And the best part is, none of it will cost you a dime! Be sure to check out our weekly updated beta list to find events going on now.
4 – Kick It Old School
There’s always more to do in an MMO. Whether you’re grinding for reputation, gear, or that sweet sweet coin, it would be easy to spend a day working your way towards that next big goal. But for an event like Video Games Day, it’s important to remember our roots as gamers, and as MMO players, that means arcades and LAN parties! Sadly, many arcades have closed their doors over the years, so you and your friends might not have access to one. But not to worry, that’s exactly why they invented the LAN party in the first place! Get your most portable gaming rig or some old consoles, grab the snacks, and head some place with a lot of outlets for some intense, old-school multiplayer goodness. As much as the advances of online gaming have made multiplayer seamless, wireless, and international these days, there’s definitely something to be said for being able to see the look on someone’s face up close as you frag them!
These guys had their LAN party on top of a mountain. You might want to start with someone’s basement.
3 – Aim Higher
One of the most enjoyable things about video games is the idea of mastery. Whether it’s that chest-piece that you raided months for finally dropping or finally beating the last boss on hard, video games have always rewarded hard work and dedication. So why not celebrate Video Games Day by beating some of your own personal records? You could try to solo an old raid boss from a previous tier of content; there isn’t much in the world of video games that’s more satisfying than getting a little payback on an old foe who wiped your guild dozens of times. Or maybe you could tackle your all-time high score in your classic game of choice, finally upstaging your ten year old self, and proving once and for all that experience trumps youthful reflexes. If your mastery is so complete that high scores aren’t enough to capture your gaming brilliance, maybe speedruns are more your style. Learning the ins and outs of a game so well that you can practically do it with your eyes closed takes lots of practice, but setting a world record should be all the motivation you need!
Like YouTube user BunkerTR, who beat the original Mario Bros in less than five minutes!
2 – Pay It Forward, Video Games Day Style
You’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of video games over the years; for video games day, why not give something back? Designers are always looking for a little help to achieve their dreams, and crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter are chock full of great game concepts that could use some funding, like InSomnia, a Deiselpunk co-op RPG from Studio Mono that’s tantalizingly close to its goal at the time of this writing.
If you’re feeling especially altruistic, charity organizations like Extra Life work to bring the joy of gaming and much needed funding to children’s hospitals across the nation. Want a little more bang for your buck? The Humble Bundle store gives you the best of both worlds, as you can help great charities while buying great games!
1 – Do It Yourself
What better way to honor the video games industry than learning to make games yourself? There are all kinds of resources for aspiring game developers out there, regardless of skill or experience level. For starters, you could learn about the most basic components of game design with Twine, which produces html text adventures that are simple enough for even the freshest of amateurs to grasp simply. If you’d like to create something a little more complex, programs like GameSalad and Stencyl allow people with little to no coding experience to create games using a simple drag-and-drop interface. For those who are in it for the long haul, free academic resources like khanacademy can teach you to program at your own pace with free online courses that will take you from the basics of programming to the complexities of animation and beyond. Once you’ve learned all that, it’s time to step up to the big leagues with Unity, the engine used to create such mainstream hits as Temple Run, Kerbal Space Program, and Shadowrun Returns. Unity is perfect for aspiring game developers looking to make the leap into 3D, and it has a free version with a surprisingly robust feature set.
No matter whether you consider yourself a casual gamer or a hardcore veteran, Video Games Day is a chance for gamers of all experience levels, ages, and preferences to come together and enjoy gaming together. This one day a year, there’s no one to judge you for playing too hard, playing for too long, or even for playing the wrong games, because when it gets down to it, as long as you’re having fun, you’re doing Video Games Day right.Related: Beta, Indie, Kickstarter, Video