A popular subculture of gaming's mega-culture is smoking. It's a huge part of everything everywhere, to be honest. Cigarettes, hookah, beedies, weed, even electronic cigs are found everywhere, inhaled by all walks of life. As an occasional smoker myself, I thought I should share with my fellow gamers a simple and elegant solution to avoid burning out your lungs, which has been starting to really come into its own and gain more attention of late: vaporizing.
First, a little background on the function of vaporizing. Your chosen material is placed on a plate or a tray which is heated, and in turn heats the material just below the point of combustion. At that point the material releases its active ingredient as a vapor instead of catching fire and burning, creating smoke. Vapor is less harsh on your internal organs, less offensive to the non-smoking public, tastes cleaner and crisper, and grants a very clear effect from your chosen herbs.
Why is this good for us? Well, I've been doing research on a vaporizer the gaming community can get behind and took note of Discreet Vape's PUFFiT portable vaporizer. What this will do is get you your fix quickly and effectively without being a pain in the ass. Imagine this: you're locked in a Deathmatch on your favorite first-person shooter or PvPing in the latest MMO or MOBA. The downtime between death and respawn is 5 maybe 10 seconds, and if you're anything like me you're dying every 45 to 60 seconds - while maintaining a cool 2:1 ratio, mind you. You could light a cigarette in this window, but you'll have just enough time to light up before the next respawn, and you'll find yourself taking a few hurried drags in between spawns. Of course e-cigs would be a solution, as they require no lighting and are ready to puff, but do we honestly trust these devices? You could be inhaling anti-freeze, and with no control over what you're smoking, well that alienates a good part of the crowd. Then there's the old reliable pipe, which you'll pack and clear in a matter of a few puffs and clumsily fumble with to hold properly and set down without breaking. And pipework requires sustained activity and a cherry to be at its best; try notching a triple kill while puffing a Gandalf, bet that won't work out too well.
The PUFFiT is a sturdy little handheld unit that you can use on the couch, in front of your computer, or on the go. It was probably designed for the latter, being as inconspicuous as it is, but it serves other purposes as well. The unit is nicely put together by an industrial design veteran who's done his homework, and wanted to make an impact by creating something different. The devices is dead simple to use and is ready to inhale after a short 30 second warmup. The signal denoting "ready to puff" comes quicker with use after the initial 20 second warmup for a heat level of 6: charging at 8 seconds, then 4 second intervals thereafter. After each charge, you have a 90 second grace period before the unit powers off in the name of battery conservation.
The unit's status is monitored via a single LED, seen when uncovering the mouthpiece, which incidentally also turns the unit on. Try your best not to lose this cap, lest woe to you. The LED starts as solid red, indicating standby. As mentioned, 90 seconds in standby and the PuFFiT turns off, whether the mouthpiece is replaced or not. After filling the device with your material of choice, press the top down for 2 seconds to begin warmup, when the LED pulses red. This transitions to green when ready to pull, then orange when depleted, and back to solid red to await the next press. The vapor received from each pull is not comparable to smoke, or even vapor generated by some tabletop units, however it is enough to savor the flavor and leave a creeping impression on you afterwards.
Heat controls under the mouthpiece allow for adjustment on a scale of 1 to 8, with different materials suited for different temperatures. The Puffit includes a temperature chart along with the instructions, which tells you what temperature each number on the dial reaches, but not the best settings to use for different fillers. Clueless? This is a nice place to start. Discreet Vape has plans to release a vaporizing cookbook for iOS and Android, so you'll have lists of blends and temperatures on hand for quick and easy processing. Quick and easy should be PUFFiT's mantra. In addition to the cookbook, owners can expect add-ons, as well as brand new units, maybe even one of tabletop size - but we'll cross that bridge when we get there. While we look forward to an expanding catalogue of items, head dude in charge at Discreet Vape is looking forward to Bioshock Infinite, just thought you should know that.
Overall, the Puffit is a highly functional device with sexy, discreet presentation. The unit will get around 10-20 pulls before needing to be recharged, but the requirement of USB power means gamers should have little excuse to run out of juice. This isn't the best portable to use in sessions with your buddies, but for a quick, casual boost at home or out on the world map, the PUFFiT portable vaporizer is worth the $140 in coin.
+ discreet inhaler presentation
+ quick, easy, unassuming
+ fast charge time
- light, low density vapor
- fast battery depletion
The Score: 7 outta 10 Blasters!
Buy the PUFFiT Portable Vaporizer (non-referral link)