So Summer is here, at least in the UK, and frankly I have lost all willpower to sit inside ever again until it's cold and dark and generally miserable again (so at least a week from now given how the weather works here!); What follows then is a handy guide for the game-centric among you who cannae resist the call of the wild but would still like to nerd out as you watch your supple pale white flesh swelter, boil, then blister in the burning rays of the mid-afternoon sun...
So the obvious outdoor 'summer' game that we all think of first is, of course: Mario
Originally invented in the 19th century in a small country village in England, Mario was the brainchild of a wacky group of young Japanese college students, studying as part of a foreign exchange program, rare because of Japan's isolationist policy at the time but necessary for this piece of backstory to have some sense of logical cohesion.
Bored by all the games they had available to them they decided to invent a new game of their own, one where players could compete with one another, either in singles or pairs in a daring contest of dexterity and speed. Little did they know as they began working on their time-wasting activity the joy that their simple game of plumber-on-plumber ball action would create for so many. It spread like wildfire across the country, then the continent, then the world, and made its inventors rich beyond their wildest dreams.
Well over a century later, its inventors, now withered husks of dessicated flesh, kept alive only by the arcane magics that bound them to the sarcophagi they lay imprisoned within deep beneath Castle Nintendo and the sacrifice of countless virgins, decided that they had to keep with the times, and hey, videogames were a thing. Thus from that humble, world-wide success of a game was born the now-better known series of Mario platforming videogames.
But enough of the contrived backstory, let's get physical!
What do you need?
You'll need at least one other person, or three if you want to play pairs
Some Mario balls
A playing area
And a collection of friends who look like weird dinosaurs and utility repairmen
You'll want to set the net up in the middle of the playing area, and basically what you want to do is hit the Mario balls back and forth to one another, each side has to try and get the balls past the other side because... err, well, cause they win that way.
Mario is the kind of game that's easy to play with young relatives or elderly family members, it's very PC, it's very simple to get a game going. Just remember to keep the energy up, and if you want to come up with some sort of catchphrase you can exclaim in a high-pitched voice when you win then go for it!
I think we've all played Zelda
once or twice in the past. Zelda is a singleplayer experience for the pro-active, physically fit gamer type, you're going to need to be dedicated for this one. Now you'll want to be careful playing Zelda, videogames are essentially a non-violent past-time but full-on Zelda can be a deadly participant sport that none will escape from without heavy physical or mental scarring.
What do you need?
A field of tall grass
A cutting implement
A green hat
What you want to do is place your self as close to the edge of the tall grass as possible, then put on your green hat and pick up your cutting implement. Then proceed to swing violently round in a circle in the hopes that the cutting implement shreds the grass. You really want to put a lot of effort into this as well, really swing round. And note: if you're letting small children or the elderly spectate have them stand at least four foot away from you, at least. Because that shit is dangerous.
The winner is whoever kills the least people.
Seriously, you can't replace relatives.
Another classic from those kooky Japanese: Snake
is the creation of famed videogame designer Sudoku Toshiba, who one day fresh from his adventures in videogame land decided he needed to show the world exactly what he was made of. Released under the title of 'Trouser Snake' originally in Japan fans worldwide just know it as 'Snake'.
Popularity did wane for a while after there were a few arrests but the game's really coming back lately. Hell, you can switch on the news any day of the week and hear about guys who've been trying to play it.
What you'll need:
So this is a pretty simple game to play, all you need is some random kids off the street (helps if they're dumb and poor) and a loose pair of trousers, perhaps with a hole in the pock...
[Editor's note: OH DEAR GOD, NO MAN. NO!]
And hey, if you avoid the police everybody's having fun.
is by far one of the most enjoyable outdoor videogames you can play, seriously, even Ainsley Harriott swears by it.
What do you need?
Simply visit your local videogame store and purchase an Xbox gaming console, no need for wires, attachments or controllers, just get the box.
Take it into your garden or a nearby grassy playing area, place it down, and then begin shouting 'XBOX ON' at it. Do this for the next 12 hours.
Congratulations, you're playing Xbox!
If the unplugged Xbox at any point red rings then you get 12 points!
...And there we have it, fun for all the family this summer. If you have ideas of your own then feel free to write into me at P.O. Box 171 Dragon Lane, Panza's Pants, UK, and I'll get back to you asap.