Scenario: The news is full of reporters warning you to prepare for the worst winter storm since the 70’s…that you could be stuck in your house all week! There’s pandemonium at the local grocery stores as bread, eggs, and milk fly off the shelves.
Maybe you’re out there, too, or maybe, like us, you stayed home, ordered enough pizza to last a week, and prepared to ride out the storm. Then it hits you: what if the power goes out? Your XBOX and stack of games won’t do much if you can’t power them. Your WoW account will be sitting forlornly untouched if the internet is down. Your Veronica Mars marathon will have to wait. So what now? Well… Never fear, fellow snowed-in brethren! We used the time that we saved by not driving to the grocery store in a panic (possibly because our car broke down) to come up with some fun things to do that don’t require electricity!
This is the obvious one, so we’ll get it out of the way first. Let’s face it, most of us either have a tub full of random LEGO bricks or various LEGO sets that we just never got around to building. Take this opportunity to make what’s on the box, or become a Master Builder and be creative! This could take half an hour for a smaller set or all day for a large one–or your creative masterpiece! Then, when the power’s back, you’ll get to see it in a new light (pun intended), and you’ll truly appreciate your wonderful work of art!
2. Board Games, Card Games, and Party Games! Oh My!
Play a game! No, not a video game; as we already mentioned (above), they don’t work without power. We mean board games, card games, and party games! This one, of course, still has its limits. If you actually lose power, you’ll have to stop once it gets dark. Unless, of course, you managed to get lanterns or candles , or perhaps by the light of your cozy fireplace (we envy you). Still though, even if it’s overcast outside, you’ll have a good 10+ hours of daylight, and, to be honest, board games might get a little boring after ten hours. Unless you have a board game that doesn’t need daylight to be playable! Then there’s also good old fashioned charades.
3. Live-Action Horror Games
We know that sounds a lot like LARPing, and we also know that is its own little subsection of nerd culture. But beggars can’t be choosers. Especially when the power’s out! Now regardless of what you might think, your house will probably qualify as “creepy” as night sets in and there’s that eerie silence that comes with the complete lack of anything electrical. Since you can’t play your favorite video games, why not reenact them? Wait until your house is almost pitch black then light a single candle and make your way through your house-turned-zombie-infested-mansion a la Resident Evil. Do you have a friend, relative, or significant other staying with you? Or maybe you’re trapped at work with someone you hate? Send one of them off into the darkness and start clicking your tongue (or making that scary throat-noise from The Grudge). The object of this game–live action Last of Us–is for your friend/family member/lover/enemy (Joel) to find you (the clicker) and shiv you–or okay, just tap you on the back of your head–before you realize where they are and insta-kill them when you catch them. Really, any game that mostly takes place in darkness will work.
4. Pen and Paper RPGs
Maybe you’ve been itching to try out your Serenity campaign, or maybe the snow makes you think you have a chance to outwit Cthulhu. Or maybe you have a new idea that you want to try out. Whatever the plot, pen and paper RPGs are fun and require no electricity at all! You can find a generic character sheet here, then start creating your story. You might send a collection of otherwise unaffiliated video game characters (Link, Lara Croft, Chell, etc.) into the depths of Rapture (as we’ve done), or you might have Han Solo and Malcolm Reynolds team up against the Borg. Whatever the story, a simple set of homemade rules can make it a fun reality!
5. Get Creative!
Get creative…and we mean that literally! You can write a story, draw a comic, or even paint a mural! Heck, write a script and make a movie if your video camera has charge! Fan films and web series have really taken off recently, so why not use now to make your offering to the entertainment gods (and send it to us–maybe we’ll feature it!)? There is so much already-made content out there (comics, movies, video games) that it almost seems like our contributions aren’t necessary. We believe they always are…but here and now at least (when we can’t watch or play someone else’s work), they definitely are!
6. Ghost Stories
Remember the good ol’ days of sitting around the campfire or a single flashlight and seeing who can tell the scariest tale? Your fireplace will make a good campfire, or you can really enjoy peeing your pants from fear all the same (probably more so) without any light source at all. Plus, now you don’t even have to get creative to tell a ghost story. Just tell the plot of your favorite horror games or movies–old-school Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark?, anybody? You may want to make sure no one cares about spoilers first. Or even end the story on a cliffhanger so they can still experience the digital version in all its glory once the electricity comes back on!
We’re going to go ahead and say it… Sex is a great way to spend your time without video games! I mean, it’s why families “in the old days” were much larger than families nowadays: they didn’t have TV and video games, so they spent their time making babies! Luckily we’ve come a long way since then and now can do the deed without planting the seed (did I seriously just say that?)! If you’re lucky enough to get snowed in with someone you love, sex is a good option. Plus, it’s a great way to keep warm!
Disclaimer: Once all the snow is melted, you will still have slept with that person…so enter into this one with caution! If you’re with your life partner though, have fun bringing down the house together.
8. Take Care of Things.
Remember that ever-growing to-do list you’ve been ignoring? Now you really don’t have much of an excuse not to clean the house. But we’ll let you pretend we didn’t put this on here so you can say you didn’t think of it. We’ll be forgetting we mentioned it right…after…writing…this… Wait, what were we saying?
8. Read a Comic Book or Novel.
Got a stack of books or comics you’ve been meaning to read when you have time? Well, there’s no time like the present! …plus your computer won’t power on. Curl up by the fire (or flashlight) and enjoy some time with your favorite characters. Of course, once you’ve finished, you’ll have to replenish your collection…but who’s complaining about that? If you’ve read them all enough times already that you could draw or recite them in your sleep, then do it (see “5. Get Creative!” above)! Make some story-inspired art or have some fun with it and treat it like a script! Assign roles and act it out. Hey, even film it!
9. Go Outside!
Yes, we know it’s scary out there, and right now it’s cold too. Still, there’s snow! And ice! And frolicking! Journey (carefully!) through your yard. Singing “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” is optional, but why would you not? Let’s face it, many of the places that are feeling the hurt from the ice are places that don’t usually get it. Enjoy it while it lasts! Also, the white outside makes for a great photo op!
10. Buy a Generator.
If none of the above electricity-less options appeal to you, you can always spend your future video game/Blu-ray (etc.) money on buying a generator (you may have to walk to the store if the roads are iced over) so you can play your video games and watch your TV shows now. But we at least encourage you to try “roughing it” for a day.
What will you be doing these fine snow days? Let us know & of course spread the word by sharing these ideas so your friends don’t go mad with boredom! Don’t forget to follow Nerdy Minds on Twitter and like Nerdy Minds on Facebook for more goodies to feed your nerdy mind! You can also subscribe to have each new post delivered straight to your inbox!