When a game is as big of a deal as Skyrim, it’s imperative that you make sure you’re fully stocked and ready for the adventure. Join us as we outline what we’re doing here at Living With a Nerd in preparation for Skyrim’s impending release.

Clean up your gaming space/equipment

Our cave

You’re about to spend dozens if not hundreds of hours in front of your PC or TV, completely immersed in a beautiful fantasy world filled with wondrous mysteries and dangerous enemies. The last thing you want appearing in your peripheral vision is a tower of empty soda cans or spots all over your screen. While it’s obviously smart (and responsible!) to keep your living area clean, I find that doing a solid deep clean before a major game drops really does help with my enjoyment. I’m not talking about just picking up trash and straightening up our bookshelves; no, I’m talking about dusting everything in the room, wiping down my monitors/our TV, cleaning the dust out of my computer, dismantling my keyboard and trackball so I can clean them out, and even going so far as to use our steam cleaner to hit any stains on the carpet. Not only does this allow me to enjoy myself in a cleaner-than-normal environment, but it also helps avoid feeling any guilt about spending so much time without doing any chores!

If you’re going to be playing Skyrim on your PC, note that this cleaning extends to your desktop and program list as well. Uninstall anything/remove anything from the desktop that’s unnecessary, fix any registry errors, make sure you have the latest video card drivers…basically, do whatever it takes to get your computer running as optimally as possibly.


Stock up your kitchen

A long time ago, we put together a series of articles which included (semi) healthy snacks and beverages for gamers. Well, when it comes to a game like Skyrim, it’s essential that you not stuff your face with crappy food for hours on end. The best way to prevent you from doing that is not buying crappy food in the first place! Instead of potato chips, buy mini rice cakes or popcorn. Celery is a great choice for game snacking as well, for multiple reasons: not only is it tasty, and not only will it fill you up, and not only is it healthy, but it’ll make you go to the bathroom. Anything that will force you to walk away from the game every few hours sounds like a good plan in my book.

Naturally, not everything I buy is going to be healthy: there will be mass quantities of Red Bull and Bawls (which also have the added effect of making you go to the bathroom frequently.)

Figure out your log system

I recognize that not everyone does this, but some gamers like to keep a log of their exploits when it comes to a game like Skyrim. Whether you’re going to be using a notepad, a tablet, or a laptop, make sure you’ve got space set aside exclusively for it. Also, figure out your filling system BEFORE you start taking notes. Personally, I like to break down my game notes by date, then whether it’s part of the main quest, side quest, or something that occurred when I was aimlessly exploring. It will only take you a minute or two to put together whatever folder hierarchy you choose to go with, but if you’ve got it done before you even start playing the game, you’ll be able to stay organized from the get-go.

Have an alternate game set aside

As amazing as it is to immerse yourself in a brand new Elder Scrolls game, you don’t want to risk burning out on it. I find that, whenever I’m faced with the prospect of playing an epically huge game, it’s good to have a side game to turn to. Something on a portable system works best, since it enables you to go somewhere completely different than wherever it is that you’re playing your “main game”. With a game like Skyrim, I generally find myself turning to my alternate game after roughly every 15 or so hours of game time.

Your alternate game can be any length you want, although I personally prefer to keep it in the same high-level genre as my primary game. My alternate for Skyrim is either going to be the PSP version of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, Trails in the Sky, or maybe even Tactics Ogre.

Make sure your spouse has something to do

Brittnie's newly acquired Osamu Tezuka collection

While Brittnie has expressed some minor interest in Skyrim, it’s clear that she isn’t all too excited by the prospect of playing it. So, to keep busy while I’ve got my eyes glued to my PC monitor, she’s going to play through Fable 2 again. If she finishes it before I finish Skyrim (which is highly likely), she’ll have plenty of new manga to read.

Skyrim launches in less than a week. Are you ready?