Engines Are Down

Shove a shiny image of Master Chief on it and most gamers will queue up around the block for it... except treadmills, that's just too far!

Stereotypes are very common in society. Most are negative, hurtful and wholly incorrect such as the belief some dickheads have that anyone wearing a turban must be a terrorist or that all gay men are sequin wearing queens. Others, while still being fairly derogatory are, for the most part, true and act as a lazy way to characterise a large group of people. While these stereotypes aren’t perfect, they do encapsulate the main characteristics of a group, for example the popular belief that gamers are anti-social geeks who love gadgets, Mountain Dew, toys and Maoam. While this stereotype isn’t so true today there are still some who fit this stereotype, so this article is for those brave souls still clinging on to the sinking ship of unsociable, basement dwelling gaming. Welcome to yet another survival guide, this time for the much more serious eventuality of a power outage. Included in this article are a few handy hints to stop you going insane without your precious console.

I was elected to lead, not to read
Stock up on game guides, comics and books. If you can’t play games, satiate your needs by losing yourself in the lore behind your favourites. Games like Mass Effect, Gears of War, Halo and many others all have rich back stories and tales told through various forms of literature so grab a candle, keep it at a safe distance from the bundle of paper you’re about to read and settle down for the night with a good book. For those gamers who don’t bother to read the manuals and then frantically run around in the middle of a game asking any one they can find to show them the button combination for a triple somersault death kick, maybe you could use this time to learn the controls for your beloved games and save us the trouble of throttling you with an HDMI cable.

Sometimes you have to grab a kip wherever you can

Sleep Kills
Staying up until 5:00am every night because that damned boss at the end of level twelve’s proton energy blast keeps destroying your shields or because your Keflings think it’s ok to dump wool all over the land (damn you Kingdom for Keflings, you’ve stolen way too much of my time) can take its toll and energy drinks only get you so far before your brain says “farewell” and leaves you a drooling mess, answering only in grunts. Sure a zombie apocalypse would be fun – what gamer doesn’t dream of it, hoping to get the real life achievement of ‘lone survivor’ – but that doesn’t mean you need to prematurely turn into the undead. Maybe you could use this inconvenient power cut to catch forty (or four hundred) winks and restore your HP.

If you ask a gamer to hang shelves for you, don't complain if they end up being a little... different!

A bad workman blames his tools
You’ve always dreamed of it, that perfect home entertainment storage unit that houses every console you’ve owned for the past thirty years, displays all your games, supports your massive telly and has storage space for all those pointless peripherals you bought with the expectation of maybe using it more than once before shoving it out of sight. We all know that even speciality units aren’t designed to do all this and you know that you could build one yourself – or at least tell yourself that – so why don’t you use this temporary down time to put your carpentry skills to the test. If you can line up that perfect head shot in Call of Duty, I’m sure you can measure some shelves. Or was that shot a fluke? You’ll need a load of wood, some glue, screws, patience and a tape measure, although that’s mainly to reel in and listen to that satisfying “prffffffft” noise.

If all else fails, grab a few of your mates and re-enact Pac-Man in the local shopping centre

Healthier than an apple
For those fit and healthy gamers out there – there’s got to be at least one, surely – you could always use this time to re-enact your favourite game. It’s simple. I’ll even a couple of examples to start you off:

  • Pacman – First of all, rearrange all your furniture into a maze then ask your friends to strategically place fruit within said maze. Next up, throw different coloured sheets over each of your friends and make them walk aimlessly around your house sized labyrinth. Finally, put on a yellow t-shirt and try to eat all the fruit that your friends hidden around your house. If your friend walks into you it’s game over. Lots of fun and you might even get your five a day.
  • Duck Hunt – This one’s simple. Buy a handgun, head down to your local pond and start shooting ducks. Avoiding getting arrested is all part of the fun but penalties will be given for human casualties, unless you decided to play Grand Theft Auto instead.*

So next time someone accidentally snips through the wrong wire or a well placed lightning strike KO’s your power, remember these handy hints and you might even have fun surviving without games.

*Disclaimer: This is clearly a joke. If you’re foolish enough to even consider this, please turn off your computer, call the nearest asylum and book a padded room with a view.

Last five articles by Iain



  1. Rook says:

    Best of the survival guides yet. :D

    If I were to be without power, I’d hope my DS still have some life left in it to see me through until I get electricity back. Or maybe I would go and find someone else that still has power just so I can be close to the internet. As for reading and sleeping, well there really are the last resorts. Perhaps I could use the downtime to sketch out a new Trials track.

    Look forward to the next in the series to Pix.

    (I like the Tetris entertainment centre but would it support a TV)

  2. Michael Author says:

    I booked a room… I’m waiting for a call back!
    I love the Pacman idea though. I’d try it with different types of steak though. The main challenge would be to chew the steak while running from the ghosts, without choking.

  3. Mark Mark s says:

    Great read Iain.

    I would kill for a power cut. Really need some sleep.

  4. Iain says:

    I would just like to let everyone know that since writing this article, I have in fact tried Mountain Dew. It wasn’t that great.

    Anyway, back to the article….

    @Rook, thanks for the kind words and the inspiration for the article ;) I was going to make mention to handhelds but in the end just left it out because it might’ve made it more convoluted, trying to explain about the batteries dying.

    @Author, Steak PacMan sounds like a damn fine idea!

    @Mark S, *readies wire cutters* one power cut coming right up!

  5. Mark R MarkuzR says:

    Gotta hand it to the Mountain Dew people though… those cans kick the arse of any other on the market, so damn sexy and shiny!! Never tasted it though, I live in Scotland… if I wanted to taste mountain dew I’d just drop to my knees and slurp my tongue along the ground. Again.

    Tell you what though… the other night when the interwebz went down at GLHQ I was livid. I was in the middle of getting an article ready and couldn’t believe the timing. Within half an hour though, I was glad of the break and really enjoyed just kicking back watching TV. Had we been subjected to a power cut, on the other hand, I reckon I’d just have ended up running around the street lighting fires and overturning cars. I need power like an Elf needs food.

  6. Richie says:

    Right don’t get me wrong here I love Maoam too… but as for grouping it in with a gamer stereotype, I don’t get it.

    Mountain Dew/Energy Drinks – yes
    Gadgets/Toys – yes
    Maoam – Wtf, does it have high caffeine content? does the chewing motion stop the drool from getting on your “2 princess’s, 1-up” Tshirt? or is it just the giggles from the pornographic wrappers?


    Love and Hugs,


  7. Iain says:

    @Markuz I can quite easlily see you going Hulk in the middle of a power cut and smashing everything in sight

    @Richie Replace Maoam with the confectionary of your choice :p Pretty much every gamer I know has one particular sweet that they would eat ungodly amounts of if they had the chance. Mine just happens to be Maom. And Jellybeans. God I love jelly beans…

  8. Victor Victor says:

    Sleep kills. Ain’t that the truth. Just this very week I have been plugging away at Final Fantasy XIII, trying to get a certain item from a certain enemy. He is too tough to beat normally, so I have been using a special ability from one of my party. The ‘death’ ability. Apparently, it has a 1% chance of success. Tried it once for 3 minutes, got lucky, but then got killed by the minions of the major boss. Tried it a second time, took 2 hours to get the 1% chance of success ‘death’ move to connect. But then didn’t have any offensive paradigms set, so I couldn’t actually fight the minions. Tried it a third time, which took me up until 3 in the morning. On a school night.

    I clearly needed Mountain Dew. Great article, Iain.

  9. Lorna Lorna says:

    Fucking hilarious – love the idea of actually building an entertainment centre. As for playing Pacman, that should be an article in itself, real life game games….human tetris (whaeyyy even nekkid human Tetris ftw), your ‘people Pac Man’, Space Invaders – where your mates run up and down the landing and drop stuff over the bannisters while you crawl back and forth between three chairs and return fire….

    Anyway, loved this article and think that in the case of a power cut, I’d be reading books and mooching over the manuals for the games that I couldn’t play…

  10. Richie says:

    @Victor, vanille should have 2000+ magic and the Malboro wand equipped before you even think about using Death.

  11. Kat says:

    Maoam > Mikado


    Loved this Pix, so funny!

  12. Edward Edward says:

    I agree with Rook, the best survival guide yet :D

  13. Samuel Samuel says:

    I had a power cut three or four weeks back. It was in the early evening, so unfortunately it was starting to get too dark to just read a book (I am a gamer who reads. A whole lot. I know, what a freak.) And candles would be a bad idea considering I almost set fire to my living room the last time I lit one. But I had the solution! My Nintendo DS just happened to be fully charged! Business as usual until the faulty substation came back online and restored my power later that night.

    As always a hilarious read, Pix. But getting caught without a handheld console? For shame!

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