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How to make your game last longer in 9 easy time-wasting steps

When you've invested a hefty slice of cash on a game, what's the point charging through it like a demented banshee in the fastest time possible? You want that game to last. The overall experience might not be as enjoyable, it could be tedious even, but at least you'll feel like you've got your money's worth. And that's what's important, right?

Use our guide and you'll be amazed at how easy it is to drag out that 10 hour diversion into a 30 hour epic. Happy prolonged gaming!

Step 1: Give the manual a thorough reading

Excitement dictates that the opening of a freshly purchased game is committed as a frenzied attack on the packaging. This is followed by the swift removal of the disc and its subsequent rapid insertion into the disc hole. SLOW DOWN. The 'life' of a game begins when the disc is first exposed to the atmosphere. There are precious superfluous minutes that can be gained here.

Above: Pissing away time digesting the manual is vital if you want to get the most out of your game

Instead of reaching for the disc, a subtle hand deviation to the opposing side of the case interior will lead you to a compact booklet. This is the instruction manual. Take it out and read it very carefully. Start at the warning page, read all the middle bit and finish at the customer service numbers. If a dedicated 'Notes' section has been provided, be sure to write some notes.

Normally you would've levelled up a couple of times already by now, but you haven't even started playing yet!

Step 2: Select the hardest available difficulty setting before starting

That a game should always be played on the hardest difficulty is one of the basic tenets of our sport, but it's worth reminding any girl gamers that may be reading about the value of this setting. Nothing is more effective for extending the life of a game than making it so difficult that even the basic how-to-move-about tutorial is transformed into a challenge that is insurmountably impossible and impassable.

Above: Hardness = improved longevity

The beneficious combination of low skills and high difficulty will turn your game into an everlasting gobstopper. That is, you keep on sucking and never get anywhere. Let's move on to the next step, which is Step 3.

Step 3: Spend hours creating your character

Never settle for the default character where a customisation option is available. And don't just take the easy option of making a girl in shades with enormo-breasts and a pink afro. Explore every facial, body, hair and clothing variable first.

Above: Why not invest a few pointless hours trying to make American President Barack Obama?

Once you have exhausted every possible permutation of manipulation, then you can make yourself a character that is a chick in shades with enormo-breasts and a pink afro. This pointless process should comfortably add an additional 60 minutes to the overall game time.

Step 4: Don't skip anything

Now you're ready to begin your adventure. Traditionally the start of the game will be filled with a lot of conversational waffle and bloated guffage. As tedious and pointless as this may seem, it's important that you resist the urge to button mash your way through cut-scenes and NPC conversations in the vain hope of getting to some action before you die of oldness. After all, the aim here is make your game last as long as possible.

Through the - hopefully protracted - duration of whatever noble quest you happen to be embarking upon, you will invariably be presented with many story-progressing breaks. It's important that you endure them all. Even if you have already observed them multiple times as a result of the impossible difficulty level causing frequent deaths and forcing repeated replayings of the same sections. Hey, we never said this would be easy Mr Quitter!

I don't have the energy to really hate anything properly. Most things I think are OK or inoffensively average. I do love quite a lot of stuff as well, though.