Yes, the Winter Gaming Blues are upon us!
But fear not my fellow gamers, there's still hope amidst these cold, bleak Winter months. Let me offer you some advice to get through the harshness of the season.
My first suggestion to help you deal with your lack of new games is to download some demos. Not only will it give you a chance to test out a game before you get paid but you can also play demos of games that you may have otherwise written off in the past or it may be a game you might not have considered previously. Either way, it's a useful way to determine whether you'll enjoy the full version without spending any money. So, what have you got to lose?
Swapping games with your friends is another way to beat the Gaming Winter Blues. Not only will you have a new game to play but you can also make recommendations to friends, which can be incredibly rewarding. If there's enough of you then you could even organise a swap shop. Spend the extra time you have to make invites with a gaming theme, prepare game related snacks or even a beverage or two (for some amazing recipe ideas check out Drunken Moogle).
Alternatively, why not throw a LAN party?
If you prefer your own company (that's a polite way of suggesting you don't have any friends) another way to make the most of the time you have without new games is to hire them from your local library service. Before you do though, make sure you get up to date with the ones you already own or try to combat your gaming pile of shame (the games you've almost completed or barely even started).
When you've bested your towering pile, why not go back to your special editions and spend the time perusing the exclusive limited edition art books and read over all of the detailed notes to truly appreciate the effort put into them. Usually, I look them over on release date briefly only to immediately put them aside and focus on the game. By taking the the time to investigate each edition, not only are you getting your money's worth but you'll also stop your beloved special editions from gathering dust on your shelves.
Another trick to beat the Gaming Winter Blues is to try out all of the available multiplayer modes in your games. These games modes are fantastic for when you've completed a campaign or a single player story. Multiplayer gaming is one of my favourite social interactions but in my opinion is best enjoyed with friends and even a party as little as 2 or 3 can be a lot of fun. You'll wonder where all the time went (unless you're the person I politely referred to earlier who doesn't have friends, of course).
You also have the opportunity to play with strangers too, contrary to popular belief not all of them are 14 year olds pretending to be girls. You never know, you could make some friends or worthy adversaries to pass the time with.
However, if you prefer a multiplayer game with a story then why not use this time to get stuck into a MMORPG? There are plenty out there and if you're strapped for cash this month then try a free trial or play one that doesn't cost anything at all, there are some pretty decent free to play ones out there too. I rather enjoy RuneScape but check out the site What MMORPG? for lots more recommendations.
If all of the above fails to lift your mood then I have one final cure for the Winter Gaming Blues, get yourself to the attic, the cupboard under the stairs or to those boxes under your bed, get out your old consoles, blow away the dust and relive some gaming memories by playing old favourites and retro classics. You'll curse yourself for not doing this sooner and will wonder why on Earth you ever put them in to storage!
So, there you have it, my tips and tricks for surviving gamings harshest season. I hope I've helped to get you through the Gaming Winter Blues. Until next time, stay warm!