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Cannabis & Gaming

Cannabis & Gaming

Approximately four years ago, I was made aware that one of my favorite video games of all time was set to be adapted into a television show by none other than a notoriously very good adaptation studio, Amazon. As a cheap person, I don’t pay for Prime, but you bet your ass that I use my free Prime trial as often as possible. Starting sometime last year I started ignoring the offers of a free month of Amazon Prime because I knew in the back of my head that Fallout, the TV show, was coming. Cut to the end of February 2024 and I’m broke and in desperate need of cat food as soon as I can get it here. Fortunately for me, I have a few squirreled away gift cards and a stocked up Prime trial so I can get the food here even faster. Trial started, food ordered, problem solved.


Then, like some sort of cruel joke that the universe was playing on me, the release date for Fallout was announced. April 10th. About 2 weeks after the end of my Prime trial. I still haven’t seen it and I’m avoiding spoilers like the plague, but you’re probably curious by now about what this could possibly have to do with cannabis, and truth be told, it’s probably nothing. I’m sure I could do some logical leaping and seven degrees of separation in an effort to make some tenuous connections, but the truth of the situation is that the life I find myself living can often be very lonely. I find that some of the greatest joy for me comes from sharing the joy I get from video games with others and hoping that they find something fulfilling in it as well.


All that being said, there is no world in which my gaming takes are radical or even controversial outside of the fact that I have objectively bad taste, but I do find that there are specific genres I find myself drawn to based on my mood or what I’m looking to get from a particular gaming session; not unlike picking the right strain of cannabis.


Cannabis & Gaming - Timberborn

Builders

Let’s be honest, it’s been so long since I’ve been able to pick a strain of cannabis for a specific effect that I couldn’t really tell you with confidence what types make me feel which way, but there’s something out there that really makes me want to organize. To be fair, it doesn’t happen often for me, but this is when builder games come in very handy. These are the types of games I am drawn to the least often, because it’s rare that cannabis consumption makes me more organized, but it has happened and when it does, my go to builder right now is a little game called Timberborn. Still in early access, Timberborn is a city-builder available on steam where you help a colony of beavers survive in a post-apocalyptic world in which humans have died out. In this game published and developed by Mechanistry, you help these beavers survive the seasons and cycles of drought by controlling the water sources with dams and levees, growing crops, making and storing food, researching new technology and eventually, if you’re feeling adventurous, creating and trading with new colonies. Thinking back on the times that I’ve gotten sucked into a Timberborn run, I’m either in the mood for planning and organization or I’m in the mood to only pay half attention while a bunch of cutie pie beavers run around harvesting sunflowers. I will say that if you do plan on getting real relaxed with a heavy duty indica, you may want to set up the basics for your little beaver buddies first because it can get real sad if they run out of food or have to sleep outside. 


If watching a bunch of beavers run around isn’t quite your speed and you prefer more industry, less windmills, might I suggest SimCity or perhaps Cities: Skylines. I am of the opinion that if I’m gonna play a builder at all there better be something cute to look at so I’m team beavers all the way, but based on the hours my partner has put into Cities: Skylines in particular, there is quite a bit to get lost in if you’re a more detail oriented person. Managing taxes and the flow of traffic is just a little too much for my brain post-edible, but some people thrive on that level of minutiae. 


Cannabis & Gaming - Harvest Moon

Cozy

If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past few years it’s likely that you’ve heard of “cozy gaming”. I’m probably wrong but I remember it becoming a popular term around the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons and is one of the more well known cozy games. But what exactly is a cozy game? Kind of exactly what it sounds like, and in my opinion, they are some of the best games to play if you’re all stoney bologna.


Cozy games are the type of video game that you want to curl up with like a good book; low pressure, low stakes and usually very aesthetically pleasing. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you develop and decorate your own island. You can catch bugs, collect art, decorate your house and play dress up. In Harvest Moon: One World, another of my favorite cozy games, you grow crops, collect seeds, and bring vitality back to communities by reawakening the Harvest Goddess. The world of cozy gaming is expansive and includes way more than just catching bugs or growing plants. Try searching “cozy games” and the internet will provide you with lists of the most beautiful, charming little games. 


For cozy gaming I would recommend whatever makes you feel the most chill. I treat cozy games like self care because in my opinion, there is no wrong way to play the cozy games I have. They are strictly for making me happy, so any strain that is going to add on to that blissed out feeling is the one I’m going to be reaching for. 


Cannabis & Gaming - Skyrim

Immersion

Time and time again I find myself playing the same handful of open world RPGs over and over and over again. Most of the time I don’t even beat these playthroughs, I just create new characters and play until I get bored of them and want to create a new one. But I keep coming back and that’s the important part. Now, you already know that Fallout is among one of my favorite series, and with my impressively bad taste I have spent the most time playing and falling in love with Fallout 4. Exploring the post-apocalyptic world has yet to become boring for me no matter how many times I create the same stealth sniper. Besides Fallout, Bethesda is also responsible for the Elder Scrolls series, and specifically Skyrim, a game I will likely purchase another dozen times before my death. The last series I usually include in this group of favorites is the Dragon Age series, even though the gameplay is quite different from Bethesda’s norms. 


What is special about these games to me is their ability to fully immerse you in a world and a story that they want you to experience, but you’re not necessarily boxed in. There are borders on the map you can’t cross, sure, but there is so much world to explore it’s unlikely you’ll even encounter these hard edges because you’re too busy exploring a cave or finishing a task for someone. There’s a loose structure that’s appealing to me, and a sense of completion when you’re able to check a side or main quest objective off of a list. These games have also become a very familiar place for me, so there’s a lot of comfort I get when I re-enter these worlds. 


Cannabis and gaming may have more in common than I began this piece thinking. Some people just aren’t into it and that’s totally OK. Secretly though, I think there’s a cannabis or hemp product for everyone (hemp fiber shirts exist) and a video game for everyone too. I think Wordle is probably technically a video game, right? The stigma attached to cannabis, cannabis consumers, gaming and gamers is slowly being shaken off, and both cannabis consumers and gamers have turned passions into careers. There are entire industries worth millions if not more based in cannabis and gaming independently as well as some industry crossover. Have you ever seen the joint holder that attaches to your gaming controller? It’s genius. All that to say gaming and cannabis have played incredibly important roles in my life, and I think we all deserve a little time lost in a world full of lore and imagination that we find fascinating. 


Happy stoned gaming everyone, I have a wasteland I’m off to explore.

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