Find all previous editions of the PCG Q&A here (opens in new tab). Some highlights for you:
Has a game ever felt like it's become your job? (opens in new tab)
What game made you really, really fucking think about life? (opens in new tab)
What game did you hate at first, but eventually love? (opens in new tab)
Sometimes you just need a day to yourself, if you can get it. Weekends don't count, because people expect you to do things on weekends. We're talking about a completely free day, where school, work, chores, showering, and eating meals at normal times are all off the table. A perfect day.
Often, these important days happen to coincide with a major game release, and with a few big ones coming up, today's PCG Q&A asks: Have you ever skipped work or school to play games all day? What was your excuse?
To take it further, what's the best excuse? What excuse will lead to the fewest follow-up questions? And on the flipside, what's the worst excuse you've ever tried?
For this Q&A, we're trying something different with our answers: Rather than put together a series of tales from PC Gamer editors (who should probably not be admitting to skipping work), we joined our friends in the PC Gamer Club (opens in new tab) Discord server to chat about our shenanigans. An edited transcript follows—let us know your answers in the comments.
Playing hooky to play games
Tyler: I'll start by saying that I have definitely done this, but I've worked at PC Gamer's publisher for 12 years, so any answer I give would be incriminating, wouldn't it? Well, to hell with it: I'm pretty sure I developed a cough to play through Mass Effect 1. I probably did have a cough, but it definitely came from staying up till 3 am playing Mass Effect.
IronGnomee: Frequently when my kids aren't feeling well but there is really nothing wrong with them I send them to school then send in an email saying "X isn't feeling well so I will be working from home today."
Tyler: Damn, I never thought of the sick kids angle. It's the perfect play. I don't think it would work for me, though, not having any kids.
Kombat601: I remember when Skyrim was first released I made a phone call to work saying the car won't start, and therefore couldn't come in for a day or two. Played Skyrim for 2 days almost straight.
Wes: Senior year of high school, a friend and I both skipped school on Oblivion's release day, then drove around 45 minutes to the closest Gamestop to pick it up. We actually got there before they had copies of the game in and had to loiter around for about 15 minutes before a delivery truck showed up with a big box of copies. This was back in 2006, when we still thought there was good reason to pre-order physical copies of games. Well, there was a chance they'd run out!
erdelf: I developed tendinitis in the leg quite a few times during certain months of WoW.
Jarred: This is sort of separate from playing sick, but when I'm on business trips, I often have several evenings completely free of other obligations. No kids, no wife, etc. It's a bit of a return to my 20-something days when I could routinely stay up late playing games and skipping class or work. I took a second laptop along on my last trip to New York so that I could get in some quality time with Bard's Tale 4. "Sorry, honey, our Intel meeting went really late and I didn't get a chance to call and talk to you and the kids." Thank goodness my wife never reads PC Gamer.
Tyler: I won't tell.
Julez.a: I once skipped school in 8th or 9th grade to stay home and play Counter-Strike. I just said "I wasn't feeling good". I jumped into the usual dedicated server that I always played in—to find out that my best friend IRL had also skipped school (we went to different schools after elementary) and he was already in the server playing. The universe was speaking to us. We played all day and it was incredible. We still talk about it years later.
Wes: The fated skip day. That's pretty great, Julez.
Tyler: Man, yeah, skipping school is great, but skipping school on the same day as your best friend is the stuff of dreams.
Wes: My skip day wasn't really even very daring, because my dad knew we were doing it. He was like, are you going to miss anything at school? At that point I was 2 months away from graduating, had As and was already accepted into college. So I just said "no" and he was like "well okay then"
Evan: I almost fully abandoned a special summer college project circa 2005 so I could play as much Counter-Strike: Source as possible. CS:S had released the previous November, but if I recall correctly I didn't have a working PC at the end of that year. It was bad. Just like, endless, mind-numbing hours of Iceworld and other gun game maps, a full-on sleep/eat-at-the-cafeteria/frag schedule of life-destroying wonder, and two dormmates who enabled me all along the way, bless 'em. Formative stuff. Sorry, Professor Jack.
Kombat601: I had once told my boss's receptionist that i was unable to come into work due to a severe case of not be able to open one of my eyelids, so taking the day of to go see the doctor. Turns out, his child (we used to play on the PS3 together) had a day off due to a teachers training day. When i returned to work, i was told i was wanted in the boss's office, during that "meeting" he discussed my "sick" day gaining achievements and playing different games all day, from information from his son. For that I got a formal letter of reprimand.
Tyler: Damn, that is calculated misfortune.
Jarred: Never become gaming friends with your boss or his kids.
Tyler: It is tough these days. Even if you're actually sick, you don't want anyone to see that you're also three hours into a Civ campaign while you stay home, but everything narcs on us—Steam, Discord, the Xbox app.
Julez: Thank god for Invisible Mode amirite.
Kombat601: ^^ has saved me a few times
Evan: Oh man, this reminds me of something i saw recently. This dude apparently skipped class so he could stream, but then the teacher brought up Twitch in the classroom (opens in new tab). Legendary.
Julez: That's incredible.
Tyler: What a legend.
Evan: Yeah, imagine being able to see your student's hours-played or achievements increasing while they claimed they were out. Whoops.
Kombat601: My brother once got fired for lying as his boss phoned him while he was of sick to ensure he was OK, only to hear CoD: MW2 in the background with teamchat.
Titan the Survivor: Wes is more the "fake being sick so he can watch anime" type of guy.
Wes: Well the last time I was really sick I did watch the entire second season of The Big O, so... guilty.
Kombat601: Now that i have done soo many times, more so than over games. I even pulled a week's sick leave to actually go to Japan to watch the release of the 3rd Naruto Movie.
Tyler: OK, taking a sick week to go to Japan probably beats us all.
Thank you to the PC Gamer Club members who took the time to share their stories! Aside from access to our Discord server, membership includes monthly game keys, a digital magazine subscription, and an ad-free site—find out more here.