Cheat Codes for Life

Zack Huffman offers advice about making time for games, lending games to friends, and more.

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textbooksOn 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 try to be a good gamer, but my schedule just doesn’t allow for it. It’s not so big of a deal during the summer now that classes are over, but during the school year I have trouble making time for gaming. Too many tests to study for, too many essays to write, too many mornings where I’ve got to wake up early so I can catch the bus.

Besides the obvious “quit gaming” response that you always give, what should I do? How can I fit more gaming into my daily life without sacrificing my grades?


Dear Schoolgirl,

When you’re stuck in the grind of classes, you can’t always find the time for gaming. This can be an ever tougher problem if you are also working while in school.

If you are really serious about finding more time to play videogames, then you need to seriously examine how you manage your time. Surely you can’t be studying or writing essays at all waking hours. And even if you are overdoing the studying, you’re going to need breaks, which provide the opportunity for at least a little bit of catch-up gaming.

Since you are a gamer, I’m going to assume that you have no friends. If I’m wrong, I’m sure you find ways to spend time with them. Try using this time for some multiplayer gaming.

Failing all of that, you can always fall back on the tried and true gaming methods for improved time-management: Consume all of your meals while gaming, and forgo showers and sleep. They just take up time.


Dear Zack,

I am currently missing three of my favorite videogames, and it’s all thanks to friends who won’t return them. I lent them the games—my games—because they asked me to, and I haven’t seen them since. I’ve asked for them back a few times, and they have said they would bring them back, but they never do.

I want my games back! How can I get my games back?!

I Used to Have Game

Dear I Used to Have Game,

I am quite familiar with the specific breed of rat bastard who borrows your shit without any intention of returning it to you. You could go with the boring route of finding an excuse to go over to their house, and making it a point to get your stuff back before you leave. But that isn’t nearly as fun as breaking the law to get it back.

First, learn how to picklocks. If you look around on the internet long enough, you’ll find a copy of the “MIT Guide to Lock Picking,” which is an invaluable tool for breaking and entering. Get yourself a good set of lockpicks and practice at home on your own doors. Once you’re confident enough in your ability, go over to their house either when you know no one is home, or in the middle of the night.

If you go in the middle of the night, you’ll have to dress all in black with a ski mask. Make sure to have an inconspicuous change of clothes underneath, in case you need to perform a “quick change” because someone has seen you. You’ll have to be pretty good at sneaking around in the dark. This can be tricky if you are like most other gamers in that you are grossly overweight and very clumsy.

While you’re in there, feel free to help yourself to any of your “friend’s” valuables. Consider it a service fee for the trouble you have to go through to get your stuff back. If you do manage to steal back your games, make it a point to continue to harass your “friend” about the game. You don’t want them to suspect that it was you who broke into their house.

If none of that works, just firebomb his or her place. It won’t get you your games back, but it will send a message to those other free-loading parasites who still have games that you own.


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About the Contributor

From 2005 to 2007

Zack Huffman is a former staff member from GameCola's early days as a monthly email newsletter.

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