[NSFW] Cheat Codes for Life

Zack Huffman offers advice about friends with stupid ideas, friends with greasy hands, and more.

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N64 ControllerOn the date of August 24th, 2005, I was caught with my pants down in front of a cop car that had been set on fire, while holding a book of matches in one hand and a tank of gasoline in the other. As part of my community service, I’ve been ordered to bestow my vast knowledge upon the gaming masses.

Dear Zack,

I’m working on this new computer game (I was actually inspired to do this by Lizo’s TestGame), and I’m running into a few difficulties. Not because of any trouble with programming or anything like that—I’m a great programmer, and I haven’t had any trouble getting my ideas to work exactly as I want them to.

My problem is in the ideas themselves, you could say.

You see, my friends keep suggesting these awful ideas, and then they get mad at me for not implementing them. I don’t want to ruin the awesomeness of my game by using their ideas, but my friends are really getting on my nerves about it. How can I get them to leave me be and make the game on my own?

Creative Genius

Dear Creative Genius,

For every halfway decent idea, there’s always about a hundred painfully bad ideas. The same goes for creative people. So there’s no way to completely avoid dealing with your friends’ incessant drivel, but there are a few ways to lower the amount of bad ideas you get exposed to.

If you’re willing to risk petty arguments, explain in a non-assholish way why their idea about a boob monster is plain retarded, or that it won’t quite work for what you’re trying to do. Sometimes, doing this enough times can shut someone up.

If that doesn’t work, you could always show your friends how you’re making the game in terms of programming. See if you can get them into doing it themselves, and you may get them out of your ear and onto their own computer to make digitized shit.

Failing that, you could take a more extreme approach. You could attempt to keep the game’s existence to yourself until it’s finished, but this could be tough if your unimaginative friend is a roommate. I suggest getting rid of all of your friends. Stop talking to them unless you’re using the words “fucked” and “your mother.” Or you could set some of their stuff on fire—hell, try to set them on fire. Lighting the back of their shirt at the bottom is a good way.

My approach is to go into the Appalachians, where I know of this small abandoned cabin. I stay for approximately 22 days while I spend each day living in my own filth, howling, chasing scurrying rodents, and if I find time, writing. I cut off all communication with the outside world, and survive on nothing but what I can catch, potatoes and Pabst Blue Ribbon.


Dear Zack,


My best friend’s hands are really, really greasy. I don’t know why, and I’m not sure I want to know why. But they’re greasy. And they get grease all over my controllers. I’ve told him time and time again to stop greasing up my controllers, but he only laughs and then greases them up.


It’s the Word

Dear It’s the Word,

For a long time, grease has been the scourge of the gaming world. And sadly, your controller is not the first nor will it be the last to fall victim to greasy hands. You could either accept this and allow your second controller to become yet another sacrifice to the greasy gods of gaming, or you could take a somewhat more expensive route.

Try to find an excuse to buy your friend one of those fancy controllers as a gift. It has to be a better controller than you have, so that you can convince him to bring it over every time you play videogames. Buying an extra controller for yourself to be the designated “greasy” one, which you’ll only take out when this particular friend comes over, is another option.

I figure the only other way out of this predicament would be to eliminate him from your roster of friends. My response to the letter above outlines a few ways to do just that.

These are a just a few ways that may or may not work, but let’s face it: being a gamer, you probably manage to spread your own brand of filth unknowingly. It’s almost impossible to be a gamer and not have some tendency that makes others vomit behind your back. This includes you, It’s the Word. Just for the sake of argument, we’ll say you suffer from persistently bad breath. I’m just saying that you may just have to learn to deal with Mr. Greasy Hands. Chances are, he makes the effort to hide his cringing from the dead-anus stench that slowly yet surely permeates the room when you talk.


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From 2002 to 2013

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