Coronavirus quarantine and the modern gamer

So if you’re a middle aged singleton with a slight leaning towards nerdiness, how would you spend your Coronavirus quarantine? I thought it prudent to share some of my insights as we hunker down for an extended spell.

Thankfully at Bespoke Arcades we’re fortunate to still be able to work throught the Coronavirus quarantine and are still getting arcade machines where they need to be. There is a skeleton crew working and adhering to social distancing. If you want to see any of our machines, just give us a call and we can give you a virtual tour around our showroom. We’ve all got to pull together and do our part by staying apart…

Anyway back to occupying yourself and maintaining your sanity whilst flying solo during Covid-19. This is perhaps a more personal viewpoint than one of our usual blogs but I hope it serves its purpose. 

Obviously play games and watch a box set or 3

Game Pass– great value with some quality time wasting games like The Outer Worlds or the Playstation equivalent PSN which has incredible exclusive titles. Examples include Horizon Zero Dawn and many more. For the short term you can play some quality AAA titles for a few pounds a month throughout the Coronavirus quarantine.

Maybe rediscover some gaming gems of yesteryear like Super Mario 64 or Metal Gear Solid. Or you can just dream of playing multiplayer Micro Machines with every joystick port occupied… I’ve lined up all my mini consoles which staved off 30 mins of boredom but am still waiting for my PC Engine Mini. Star Fox is just as good as it always was- takes me back…

There’s plenty of box sets or zany documentaries to get lost in so pick a few and make them last. Westworld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Game Of Thrones are a couple on my list to fully catch up on…

Get some long term projects in the go.

And should this give you inspiration to tackle your own small project- please adhere to all safety requirements. Now is not the time to injure yourself…

DIY/home decoration

Be mindful of not being too grandiose in your plans. My Big Book of DIY has two full pages on building your own orangery. I think I’ll wait and don my brand new, still price-tagged tool belt which I added Bluetooth to for that extra special lack of purpose…

Raspberry Pi Zero in a broken Game Boy

which has waited for years for me to start. Nearly done but don’t have any original buttons- these Playstation ones will have to do.

This Game Boy was already knackered so a new lease of life (and casing) was given.

Finally built the Back To The Future DeLorean but I’ve got one indicator light not working  so the project continues. I am quite proud and cannot bring myself or be bothered to dismantle her right now.

Short term projects like

I’ve got a Tamiya Lunch Box to build, upgrade and customise. An awesome Christmas present from a mate of mine (he had a spare). I’m thinking a Sonic the Hedgehog theme with blue glitter vinyl thanks to our plotters at work and CNC cut aluminium accoutrements. Watch this space

Tamiya models always scream to be built. A great father & son / daughter project

Gundam robot build – A Unicorn Gundam I got when I went to Japan years ago is waiting for assembly.

A hardcore, way above my expertise model kit. My buddy’s Tamiya USS Yamato is gonna have to wait till we can meet and tackle this absolute beast. To be honest, neither of us think we have the appropriate level of skill.

Look up Plamo Tsukurou on YouTube and see some of the Japanese artisan model makers. They really are craftsmen at the top of their game. This is how the pros do it!

Or do what Patrick Stewart does and tackle a puzzle– then frame your achievements as some can be infuriatingly hard. eBay is a great place to find some bargains during the Coronavirus quarantine.

3D printing

If you can- buy a Prusa MK3 and print something pointless off like a Groot flower pot. Take a look at Thingiverse and see the wealth of stuff you can print. Be prepared, it can take a while and you should never leave it unattended. But at the moment- we have time.

I mention getting a Prusa Mk3 as they require very little calibration (which I guarantee will drive you to tears on an average 3d printer). I just put the card into my MK3 and send it off to print. Set yourself a small challenge and opt for the kit. Marvel at the straightforwardness of the assembly guide, by the time you’ve built it you will understand how your printer works and can pat yourself on your back. 

Better still, print out a hand, stick it to a pole and pat yourself with that. Then you begin to wonder “am I going peculiar “…

Bear in mind, since quarantine I have burnt myself twice on the 3d printer due to my own impatience or ineptitude so please consider you’re dealing with seriously hot temperatures so always take care, this is no easy bake oven.

Take your time and before you know it like me you will have spent 12 hours printing an awesome statue of One Punch Man’s Saitama. I would show you a photo but Hudson has since kidnapped and buried him somewhere in my garden.

And why not go a little further and watch some YouTube tutorials on the basics of Google Sketchup?. Like He-Man, you too will have the power and actually create whatever you envisage.

Meet up with your friends

As Del Boy once said “No man is an island Rodney”. This is perhaps the most vital pointer- Stay in touch with your friends virtually. I’m sure we’re all getting sick of zoom quizzes but we all need friends as much as they need us. Its hard for families with kids too so its cathartic to meet up albeit via a screen and catch up on everyone’s own Groundhog Day. Good mental health is a priority and part of that comes down to socialising. We all need to, without them I would be struggling.

Stay informed but don’t watch too much news

It can get depressing. You need to know what’s happening during the Coronavirus quarantine but once you’re caught up, tune into something more up your street…

Routine is good

I’m no Jerry McGuire (I wish and awesome film) but a positive mental attitude is a must and a good routine helps this happen. Everyone’s different and it’s hard not seeing your loved ones. It’s imperative that you don’t jeopardise the ones you love.

Get yourself a food delivery slot

and pat yourself on the back. Thanks to your perseverance and repeated page refreshes you reserved a slot. If there were an achievement or perk available you would be an honorary recipient. Be sure to check on your neighbours if they need anything and be glad you don’t have to queue outside a shop.

Exercise and emerge from quarantine like Superman.

You’re no more mortal, as a nerd / geek / otaku you don’t need to go outside jogging like the rest of society. You have the ability to dust off you Kinect sensor and get some Xbox Fitness going throughout Covid-19.

Perhaps go into the attic safely whilst not risking medical intervention and dig out your Wii fit.

Or use the phone equivalent- as a Samsung user (don’t hate me), Samsung Health has various programmes for all levels of fitness for free and at home. I’m sure every phone manufacturer has their equivalent. Even Sky Q has routines available so we all have no excuses.

Peloton, who needs it eh? (Secret confession,- I really want one and right now I’m emerging from quarantine more like the Penguin and Danny DeVito’s one at that).

Look after man’s best friend,

If you’ve ever been to our workshop you will have met Hudson our Client Liaison Officer. Well he’s not seeing his pals either at the moment and dogs feel our emotions so he’s a little down too.

You’re always safe when next to an R2 Unit

Thanks to my local golf courses being heroes, Hudson can run at his top speed of 4mph as far as the eyes can see as long as he stays off the greens.

He’s now getting used to pristine fairways and is turning his nose up at the park’s uneven surfaces and pedestrian grass quality. I’ve tried telling him once lockdown is over so are the luxury walks.

See if you can spot him.

When you start having full conversations with your dog, one can deduce you do need to speak to someone human and yes you are going peculiar.

Make sure you get some appropriately distanced Nature Therapy outside.

We all have our own mantra to endure this rather surreal and solitary event in history and for now this is mine. 

In all seriousness- either Jack, Ben or myself are on hand to help with any enquiries you have at this time. We may not be as vital as our beloved NHS or essential workers keeping our way of life ticking over throughout the Coronavirus quarantine but we are around as per usual to answer any queries you may have.

Whether its about buying one of our machines to keep you company throughout this period of uncertainty or keep your arcade machine ticking over during the time you probably need it the most feel free to give us a shout. Take care and be safe.

Stay Frosty.