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This month sees the release of both the Xbox One and Playstation 4. The video game gods are about to give us two stellar reasons to sit on our asses, shovel junk food into our face and hit buttons for hours on end. That being said, it’s also the holiday season, which means plenty of reasons to hit the bar, down winter beer and strategically place ourselves under the mistletoe.
Ditching your friends to play video games might land you in “Guy Court,” but if you’d prefer a night on the couch playing “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” don’t feel bad. Here are some perfectly legitimate reasons to justify your decision.
1. It Saves Money
Let’s face it, bars are expensive. Even if you don’t intend on having a pricey night, it often happens regardless. You buy your buddies a few rounds of shots if you’ve already downed a few yourself. How many times have you woken up and been scared to find out how much money you blew the previous night? Drinker’s remorse.
Well, fear not, barhopping dummy. You can easily keep it cheap by staying in and playing a little “NBA 2K14.” You might pick up a six-pack, but that case of grocery store domestic will likely cost just as much as one import at a bar.
2. No Temptation
If you’re currently in a committed relationship and intend to keep it that way, sometimes avoiding the bar is a good idea. Why tempt yourself? Half of the people in said bar are likely women, and you’ll likely be interested in seeing at least half of those women naked. So, at a bare minimum, you’ll probably wind up thinking about having sex with a quarter of that bar. And you’ll be drunk.
Sometimes that’s a recipe for disaster. Why not take a preemptive strike and avoid the temptation altogether? Stay home, keep it in your pants and play some “Grand Theft Auto V.” Sure, you may find some of the prostitutes pretty hot, but it’ll end there.
3. No Hangovers
Some hangovers don’t fade after a few hours. Sometimes, if the party is epic enough, they’ve been known to last days. And the older you get, the more your hangovers start feeling like the latter stages of brain cancer. (I’m 32 and love bourbon. Trust me, I know of what I speak.) If you’re fairly certain you’ll need to be productive tomorrow, don’t drink tonight. No one’s ever vomited, then passed out half-naked, after playing a few hours of “Madden.”
4. You Can Accomplish Something
As any gamer knows, an overwhelming sense of satisfaction and accomplishment washes over you when you beat a game. I remember my first bona fide virtual victory fondly: It was “Mega Man 2″ for the original Nintendo NES. I was roughly 9 years old, and to this day I remember how freakin’ excited I was. That afternoon, in my Ultimate Warrior sweatpants, I was king of the g**damn world! Wood Man? Crash Man? Metal Man? They had nothing on me! Mega Man vanquished them all.
One of the great things about video games is that they allow you to relive a portion of your childhood all over again. So stay in and accomplish something, damnit! All you’ll accomplish at the bar is getting loaded and taking an embarrassing Instagram.
5. Be More Smart
Guess what? Playing video games can actually make you smarter! This was an actual study. Last year, to better understand how video games affect the brain, German researchers asked 23 adults to play “Super Mario 64″ for 30 minutes per day over a period of two months. A separate control group did not play video games at all. Guess who had better memory formation, strategic planning and motor skills? That’s right — the gamers!
On the opposite side of the spectrum, I once did a shot of gravy at a bar. Why? Because I was drunk. And stupid.
+ Watch “Guy Court” every Wednesday at 11p/10c on MTV2