The One Good Thing About The Rain: Video Games

At time of writing, I'm in my living room. Outside the window it's raining. Goddamn is it ever raining. It's been raining for about three days non-stop. All of its life-giving properties aside, rain is a pain in the ass. But there is one silver lining in that massive, never ending, stratospherically huge cloud currently squatting above Sydney. And that silver lining is video games.

It's a love-hate relationship.

Growing up in Scotland, where the weather is — let's be honest here — brutally god-awful, I've got a strange relationship with rain. For the most part rain is bad, I would say, but it does provide us with a glorious excuse to stay home and play video games.

It's a feeling with years, possibly even decades of reinforcement for me. In Scotland we rarely have sunshine. In the depths of winter we have about six, maybe seven hours of sunlight. And the rain? It might not be as intense as the storm we're currently enduring here in Sydney but by God is it ever consistent.

The word is ubiquitous. In Scotland rain is never more than a handful of days away.

The end result is this: on the off-chance that we do manage to get a decent day (read: sunny, with temps above 15 degrees) the chances of your parents allowing you to stay indoors and play video games? Slim to zero.

"Git oot there an' play ya lazy bugger."

In Scotland your Mum doesn't provide you with an option. She gives you an ultimatum. Go outside and play. Or die. Talk about living in the age of Aquarius. Scotland has been a matriarchy since the highland clearances in the 18th century. You don't mess with your mum. Ever.

The end result of that childhood, of living in a place where it rains a lot, is this: in my mind rain is inextricably linked to video games. When I see the rain pummelling the streets, it bothers me, but not too much. Because I know not a single reasonable person will be able to question my decision to stay home all day and play video games.

It's an issue I've struggled with in Sydney, a place where (outside of the last three days) the sun always shines and the weather is mostly incredible. In the back of my mind the voice of my Mum: "WHIT YE DAIN' IN HERE, GIT OOTSIDE". I'm 33 years old and it's a difficult one to shake. It's been internalised. The idea that I shouldn't be playing video games when the weather allows me to do something else instead. I'll never shake that feeling.

One strange thing I've noticed about living in Australia: the polar opposite of that idea. It can get so bloody hot that no-one would question your decision to stay at home and play video games. It's an idea so alien to my ears that I've flat out ignored it and gotten heavily sunburned in the process. It's been one of the most difficult things to acclimatise to. I imagine Australian mothers, barking at their kids playing footy in the streets: "what the hell are you doing outside? Get the hell in here and play some video games." I imagine this and I'm dumbfounded.

But regardless, this rain — this pounding rain that batters off the street and is the process of ruining people's lives or at the very least making their day a challenging one — I have a mild nostalgia for it. I know what I'll be doing while I wait for the storm to subside. I'll be playing video games.

In your face Mum.


    Whilst I feel sorry for the Sydney siders and the amount of rain they are having to indure. I say welcome to Queensland lol. It's always bloody raining up here and I hate it. However travel outside of brisbane and 76% of the state is drought declared. Those guys I really don't envy.

    Also don't envy you growing up in Scotland mark. I do love my sunshine.

      Like I said I love the rain but yeah, rain in the north is pretty intolerable, I hate muggy weather, heat + rain is never a good thing.

    i absolutely love the rain, maybe it's growing up in Australia which is the driest continent, I really appreciate it, love the noise, smell and how the bush is slightly less brown. I prefer colder weather too. But as for videogames, I tend to play when I want, not so much based around weather.

      Completely agree so lovely seeing the bush go from brown to green overnight and cold snaps omg just love them

    Can someone who works in the Sydney CBD tell me how bad it really is? I understand that low level areas susceptible to flooding are in danger and there have been already been some very unfortunate occurrences but is this the apocalyptic end of the world that the news last night was telling me? Or are most people still going about their lives? Not trying to be funny or insensitive, just don't trust the media.

    Related to the article - Rain = reading books for me. However I do live in Perth so I don't get to do much reading.

    Last edited 22/04/15 11:17 am

      it isn't that bad I don't think, I live just outside of Sydney and the roads are generally flooding but you can still drive and get around. I think Sydney might be getting it worse than further out west though.

        News this morning was reporting 3 dead and winds of around 120kph.
        The also talked about some suburbs being evacuated.

        I'm in Adelaide, so I have no idea how accurate that was.

      It's funny how hard it can be to get an accurate read on how bad things are. It frequently depends on where you are. We had some heavy rain in February in Brisbane which flooded out sections of road for Northsiders, but left the rest of Greater Brisbane completely untouched. But it was apparently worth some departments sending their staff home early and providing all the typical emergency warnings and contact info.

      Possibly because it was so short, the hail before Christmas didn't get much talking up, but that was largely because it was over in an hour or so. But during that hour, it was genuinely terrifying 'Wrath of God' stuff that devastated trees, buildings, vehicles and more. I'm amazed no-one died. I watched a bus window get smashed, and a tree sawn in half. I saw a brick of ice the size of a house-brick float down the gutter. The church opposite my building lost its roof, which tumbled into the carpark, writing off half a dozen vehicles completely. The new roof is still under construction.
      But it died down so quickly that what's left to report about in warning? All you can do is say, "Wow. That was pretty brutal. Glad no-one got hurt."

      It probably doesn't help that we can sometimes be a tad laconic about it.

      I was responding not too long ago to an American about that cyclone heading a bit further south than normal and that, "Yeah... we might get a bit of weather out of it."
      She groaned and complained, "Oh god. Whenever Australians say 'a bit of weather' or 'it's a bit wet', you can never tell if that means showers or wrath-of-God floods! Eskimos have 50 words for snow, what's wrong with you people!?"
      "Shrug? She'll be right."

      I lI've in the Inner West (about a fifteen minute train ride from the CBD) and from my experience, the rain is fucked, but it's hardly going to spell the end of the world. I work in Kirribilli and didn't even attempt to go in today - there's no way anything could be done, and i imagine that's the same for a lot of people who have jobs which require then to be outside. Trains are delayed, traffic is a nightmare, and some areas (particularly Manly) are experiencing flooding. The Manly dam, for example, is overflowing, with residents being prepared for evacuation. Homes are without power and schools are closed. There's been some fatalities and millions of dollars worth of damage - I'm not downplaying that reality at all.
      So yes, it IS bad, but you're right to question the media's representation. OK, there's a lot of extra water around, but you know what? Once it stops raining, that water will just drain away like it always does, and life will go on.

        Thanks Stu, that looks like the most accurate piece of reporting of this storm I've seen/heard. You obviously missed your calling as a reputable journalist ;)

        Last edited 22/04/15 11:59 am

          Ha ha you know what? I've got a degree in journalism and it's all I ever wanted to do growing up. Your comment made me grin, thanks for that!

        Pretty crazy, and on the point of trains, one of my friends travelling south to Wollongong was 2 hours late for Uni because of random stopping and landslide dangers.

      I live on the Northern Beaches and travel close to the CBD every day up Military Road - the busiest road in Sydney.

      No issues whatsoever besides the obvious rain. The wind was pretty hectic yesterday and there were threats of a damn flooding but generally its business as usual from my perspective.

      My favourite part so far has been seeing so many bins full of broken umbrellas.

        I gave up on the umbrellla after Monday (after trying to walk from CBD to Moore Park with one) and have been wearing a raincoat instead. Fantastic decision.

        I also live on the Northern Beaches, worked late, and was convinced to stay at the office overnight to avoid any problems. Comforting to know that I should actually be able to get home tonight :)

      Hi Blink. I work in the Sydney CBD. Yesterday was quite stormy and windy. Not so much today. Caught the train in both days, no real problems or delays. Delays come about when trees fall on tracks or wiring issues. It seems to be much worse in Newcastle.

    Learned to love the rain in Vancouver. Only saw about 5 days of sun a year there.
    I don't know what it is about Sydney rain that I don't enjoy though. Possibly cos its hilly in alot of places, I don't like the combination of walking uphill and getting wet....

    I remember billy connoly describing the winds in Scotland, how a dog would cock its leg to piss on a bush but end up spraying everyone else nearby instead haha

    I would say I'm glad it's not muggy, but the bastards controlling the thermostat have turned the heater on, resulting in an office sauna. Ugh...

    Rain is for sitting under a soft lamp, with a glass of scotch, and reading.

      ...with a glass of scotch, and playing Bloodborne :-)

    Rain also means mushrooms! So I'm outside hunting those a lot in winter. But it's dark so early the evenings can be spared for gaming purposes. :)

    Except the rain always kills our crappy internet here, and so many games require a connection to play now that I can't play half of them.

    I live in Newcastle, and we got fucking hammered. I counted 31 trees down yesterday on the way home from work (10 minute drive), from which we got sent home early because of how bad it was. Our entire shopping centre was evacuated. It's definitely one of the worst storms I've been a part of. Our fence was even destroyed by a tree.

    We've been without power for almost two days now, so no video games for me...

    Last edited 22/04/15 1:01 pm

    I live on the Central Coast and We have had no power since Monday night and my 3DS battery is running awful low. The Optus network is down in the area so no reception and all the shops are closed. This weather is hell.

    Jeez, reading some of the comments here I actually feel lucky about being able to walk to Uni the last two days, albeit being the only person I saw doing so. Rather pneumonia than pay $15+ for parking.

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