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Game Informer's Guide To Recovering From A Gaming Marathon

by Jeff Marchiafava on Oct 26, 2014 at 05:00 AM

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Sometimes the only way to stay up to date on all the great games coming out around this time of the year is to partake in a long, uninterrupted gaming binge. If you took our advice, you rolled your play time into the Extra Life marathon, and just finished 24 hours of gaming for a good cause. Here's our handy, step-by-step guide to getting your body and mind back in sync with the living.

Step One: Make Fists With Your Toes
Whenever we face a dilemma in life, we always ask WWJMD – What Would John McClane Do? – and the answers have never let us down. Our first step for recovering from a gaming marathon comes straight from Die Hard's priceless advice for dealing with jet lag: Take off your shoes and socks, find some carpet, and make fists with your toes. It may sound insane, but it works, and will bring you one step closer to feeling like a human being again.

Step Two: Take A Shower...Seriously.
Look, you've been up for 24 hours playing video games. Unless you spent the entire marathon playing Flower, you probably pitted out at some point, and now you stink. You might not think that you smell, but that's only because you've been marinating in your own body odor for a day straight. Do everything around you that has a nose a favor and take a long hot shower – gaming is great, but you don't need an olfactory reminder of how much fun you just had. Your muscles will thank you too – along with your family, friends, pets and anyone else that may find themselves downwind from you.

Step Three: Go For A Walk  
Gamers aren't vampires, but sometimes we do a good job of impersonating them. While pulling an all-nighter with an entertaining game might leave you feeling a bit like Dracula, we can assure you that you won't burst into flames if you go outside the next day. Take a walk around your neighborhood or a nearby park. Let your eyes readjust to something other than a glowing monitor or television screen, and soak up some rays so that your body can remember how to make vitamin D again. You know what else is outside? Fresh air – which your lungs could probably use right about now (see step two).

Step Four: Eat A Real Meal
No one is going to blame you for not making a healthy, well-balanced meal (or three) while hunting down Mordor's uruk warchiefs, or doing whatever other virtual activities you were engaged in for an entire day. If you fueled your gaming binge with sugary snacks and caffeinated drinks, however, it's probably time for a real meal. After all, the marathon is over – but your stomach won't know that until you give it some real food to digest. Make yourself a decent meal with some actual healthy stuff – you do know what fruits and vegetables are, right? This is essential so your body can finish recuperating by the time Monday gets here.

Step Five: Take A Nap
You earned it! You cleaned yourself up and gave your body some much-needed TLC – now give your mind a break and take a snooze. Let your head hit the pillow and hope that the past 24 hours of nonstop digital action doesn't mess with your dreams too much. Just make sure to avoid the dangers of oversleeping – you don't want your catnap to turn into full-blown bedtime, or you'll completely bork your sleep schedule.

Bonus Step: Spend Time With Your Family
Oh yeah, you should probably throw this step in there at some point; unless you've been gaming as (the coolest) family (ever!), chances are you neglected your loved ones for the past 24 hours, who have been tolerating your entertainment marathon with varying levels of sympathy and support. Spend some time making it up to them – you'll also probably benefit from some actual human interaction (i.e. not through a digital mediator) right about now. Take a friend or family member on your walk or sit down to a meal with them and talk about something other than video games. Even if it doesn't help your recuperation, you'll make them feel better about watching you sit in front of the television all day and night – which makes it all the more likely that they'll support you next year too.

Got any tips for your fellow marathoners? Share them in the comments below.