Grand Theft Auto V is finally out after five years of radio silence from Rockstar Games' flagship franchise and the Tuesday release has (at least in my circle of Facebook friends) led plenty of GTA fans to take a day or two off from work or school this week. It's called a "gamecation" — an Urban-Dictionary-vetted portmanteau of gaming+vacation — and I've done kind of the same thing recently myself...
I recently took a long weekend away from the office to travel from Atlanta to my hometown of Miami with the primary purpose of watching This is Us, boy band One Direction's documentary-style 3D film, with an old friend, as they are the only other twenty-something One Direction fan I know. I enjoyed time with family and friends all weekend outside of our afternoon date at the theater, of course, but it was really exhilarating just to take time for myself to enjoy an anticipated (at least for me—reserve your judgement) movie release.
Why Entertainment Vacations are a Good Idea
Taking an entertainment holiday isn't for everyone. Some will say its irresponsible or childish to take time away from important responsibilities at work, home, or school to indulge in a video game, the premiere of movie, to enjoy a TV show series, or even attend a book or album release. But here are a few reasons why you might want to consider a gamecation and its ilk a viable mini-vacation worth scheduling. Here are some things to consider:
Plan to rest afterward.
It's tough to focus on work after a late night of queuing up for the midnight release, knowing that shrink-wrapped game is waiting on the kitchen counter at home. For a highly-anticipated game, book or movie, it may be better for overall productivity to unapologetically indulge and set aside the day after to recuperate (and enjoy what you waited patiently for the night before).
It's not just about the release.
Consider this time off for the benefit for overall mental health, just like any vacation. Play the game or see the movie, then enjoy a free afternoon for other hobbies, or getting ahead on household to-do items. I managed to get plenty of time to enjoy local food and visits with family during my hometown movie-cation.
Because you love it.
Plenty of people take time off for obligations, like waiting for a cable guy or even a reunion with their weird Uncle Frank. But anyone lucky enough to have vacation time (or a flexible schedule, or somebody willing to watch the kids for a day) should feel no guilt enjoying it to the fullest (they're your vacation days). If you're looking forward to a new book with the same anticipation as spending Christmas with the family, set aside a few guiltless days to pamper your love of A Song of Ice and Fire.
What do you think? Have you taken an Entertainment Holiday? Do you think it's a bad idea to take time away from work for video games or movies at home? Share your thoughts in the comments.