Best of 2010 – Engines Are Down

First Published: August 17 2010
Voted By: Lorna
Reasons for Vote:
As is ususally the case with Iain, this article made me laugh and I thought that it would offer a nice balance against some of the more serious or thought provoking articles. Anyway, powercuts are all too often associated with this time of year, so it seemed quite apt… let’s just hope that we don’t have to put any of it into practice this winter, we used up all our spare sheets playing Boos Vs Plumbers last week. How he comes up with some of this stuff I don’t know, but it was classic Pix.


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.

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