[PAX East 2017] Survival Tip: Do That Thing You Hate – featuring Colina: Leagacy

Hate is a strong word. It’s also accurate enough when describing standing in line sober for something you’re not even sure you’re interested in. I’m cringing just thinking about it.
On the other hand, had Kae and I not thrown our hands up in the air and stood in the first line we saw we would never have tried the first person horror game Colina: Legacy.  First, I’ve never heard of this game or this developer but they went big. They had a replica of the scary house from the game inside and out!
Kae and I reluctantly get in this line and, surprise, it moves fairly quickly. We get to the front of the line and a guy explains to up that we can’t demo the game but we can check out their sweet set up…  Ummm, okay.
We’re both feeling that our suspicions about lines sucking and what not are in the process of being confirmed (the theory can’t be confirmed until the process is complete and we walk away on to another task). Inside, we have to admit, that setup was amazing.  It looked just like the game! The cups on the counter, the kitchen table, the fridge!
About the fridge… One of the developers on site offered us some water. So sweet! But then he says, “It’s in the fridge; help yourself.” …Fear and anticipation. I’m IN a jump scare game right now and being asked to open a door?! Oh dead god. Hand on handle I brace myself and look for Kae to reassure me (she’s sitting at the counter with a headset on- I’ll remember that when SHTF). The Corlina (Chance 6) developer is looking on with an evil-tinged glee. He’s being helpful and generous (water at the convention was $3.50 a bottle)… or was he!? I pull the handle and nothing happens. It’s just a well lit cool fridge filled with bottled water.
“Thank  you,” I say sheepishly then scuttle off to Kae’s side (Weird how she can find me by her side when she’s about to get terrorized).

Wait! I said the guy told us that we couldn’t play the game, we could only look around. That’s the kicker, literally as soon as we walk through the door the next developer greets us and asks if we want to try Colina: Legacy. Uh, yeah?
He explains that they have a fully booked schedule but if people leave early or show up late that leaves demo stations open for us walk-ins. So we waited in line only to jump the queue and get  to try the game.

Was waiting in line for Colina: Legacy it worth this dreaded waiting in line nonsense?

Yes, because:

  • Colina Legacy is a third person horror-puzzle game set at your grandma’s house. Your gran has the scariest house I’ve ever seen complete with writing on the walls in blood AND weird mystical secret messages.
  • We got to play around one level and within minutes I was deeply engrossed in the story and the unique-but-familiar gameplay.
  • The developers! They’re stoked on the  game and they put some serious thought and effort into this introduction. Also, good people make you feel good about investing in their work.

I’m watching and waiting in anticipation. Though I plan to wait for delivery rather than go to a store to find another line…

Quick Survival Tip: Stand up for Yourself

Survival, in a pre- or post-apocalyptic world, requires compromise and self-reliance. We often see apocalyptic fiction where there is one leader and it’s his way or no way and everyone just gets dragged along with wide eyes and gaping jaws.
That didn’t work out for Rick Grimes or any of Alice‘s (Resident Evil) friends. Why? Because everyone else had thoughts and ideas and didn’t stand up for them or the value of their lives.
Sometimes people try to speak loudly and use tactics to assert dominance and get you to go with their flow.
Often, we think, this isn’t right. But rarely do we vocalize that thought and even less often do we stand up and fight for it.
Standing up for yourself can be seen as more hassle than it’s worth. However, at the end of the world, with a leader making decisions you’re not 100% for, standing up for yourself could be the only thing between survival and death.
When Rick Grimes is telling you you’re storming Woodbury or Alice is shoving a gun in your hand and leaving you with a child to protect, you’ll wish you had more practice standing up for yourself.
I’m terrible at speaking up for myself, but recently I had the opportunity, and I took it!
I had an insurance claim for my phone recently and they tried to replace my phone with what they were calling an equivalent phone. It wasn’t and everyone knew it.
I called the service line and was asked at least four times in a three minute call if I wanted to complete the claim (read: shut the fuck up and take the offer).
I tried to explain to the woman on the phone that I’ve done my research and I— She just started spewing facts about this lesser phone (it has a calculator too!) at me like an eight-year-old with their fingers in their ears saying, “la la la, I can’t hear you.”
That was neither helpful nor respectful. I still refused to close the claim.
It was clear that they weren’t being fair and my expected role in this scenario was to be quiet, stupid, and compliant.
Instead I took to tweeting (not rudely, mind you) as it’s the loudest place on the internet, citing my research, and refusing to drop or close the claim. I pointed out that what they were doing was quite clear and very offensive.
So, after I stood up for myself, the called me and offered a much more reasonable solution with little to no pain or suffering involved.
Because I stood up for myself, I had a new, actually equivalent phone three days after the incident.
I won’t get into the mechanics of customer service but shit that was frustrating. I wish it had been that easy from Jump Street.
Unfortunately, making things fair and easy isn’t in everyone’s best interest. Most people will feel that frustration and give in to the stat-spewing call rep or finger-pointing ex-sheriff.
If you realize you’re getting a raw deal, don’t stand for it. Channel my mom (who I use to call to deal with things like this), or your demanding aunt, or your picky friend and speak up.
When it comes to the division of food for survival and someone tries to tell you that you don’t deserve an equal share, you’ll be better prepared from practice and you’ll develop the confidence to know you deserve better.

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Quick Survival Tip: Clean Out The Trash to Make Room For Treasure

As often as I can, I wash dishes and vacuum and rub things down with disinfectant until they’re clean. But I recently realized how important it is to clean my spaces of clutter that can hinder me both mentally and physically.
I carry way too many things with me no matter the time, day, or occasion. I’ll pack 12 days’ worth of clothing and supplies for a 7-day trip. Then I win inevitable realize I’m missing some actually vital thing that didn’t even cross my mind.
My luggage will have socks suitable for the three pairs of shoes but no toothbrush. Luckily, I can usually buy whatever the thing is I left behind. However, when it comes to survival and prepping the last thing you want is to realize you have a package of markers and no food.
I’m the type of person who wrestles with sentimental and speculative value. “I could use that for something,” I tell my husband as he dangles random items with no place or purpose in our house over the trash. He shakes his head and places it back on the dining room table.
Honestly? I almost never do anything with those things that I could use for something. They take up space and confuse me when I have to organize mentally. Mentally, I need to establish where things are and why, what to do if I can’t see where I’m going, and how to make efficient use of space and time in an emergency.
When my batteries are mixed in with bottle caps and my shovel is buried behind decorating supplies, I’m in a dangerous spot when it comes time to reach blindly into that box or closet in a hurry. Great, I’ve cut my hand, dropped a box on my head, and am now in need of medical attention. This is a sign it’s time for me to clean out my trash and make room for some treasure (read: breathing room and safe passage in my home).

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Quick Survival Tip: Keep a Hair Elastic Handy

Hair elastics are not just lady utilities. These little buggers are true multitaskers if you give them the opportunity. They are, after all, essentially upgraded rubber bands.
These things are fairly cheap and you can almost always find a use for them yourself or someone in need of using them. One of the major points of survival preparation people often over look is being able to convince other people they not only shouldn’t kill you but should also find your continued existence necessary.
First of all, a hair elastic can do all the jobs of a rubber band and more. Women are not keen on tying their  hair with the ladder but always seem to be in need of the former. Be a reliable, practical, mini-hero.

Other uses include but are not limited to:

  • A way to add grip to a handle (wrap securely around the handle a few times)
  • A tool for securing pants that are too big or too small (Too small: slip the elastic into the button hole, loop both sides over the button. Too big: slip the elastic through a belt loop then loop both sides of the elastic over the button [this is a messy look and should be avoided if possible])
  • A way to secure things (figure it out as needed)
  • A way to get someone’s attention (either quietly get the attention of a friend or divert a foe’s attention elsewhere. Also, if you’re on watch and worried about falling asleep, wear the elastic around your wrist and snap it every time you notice yourself drifting off.)

The list goes on.

Quick Survival Tip: Untie Your Shoes When You Take Them Off

Rarely are we in a sincere hurry to remove our shoes, but often shoes can be a very necessary hurdle when trying to get somewhere quickly.
I’ve spend way too many minutes psyching myself up for a workout only to deflated by sitting down and untying the double knots still in my laces. Once I’m on the couch working on those knots I’ll often see something or take a deep breath and all that hard work of getting myself into the mindset of getting up and going is seeping away; all because of a bow.
If your home is on fire of you’re finding yourself running for your life for any reason, you’ll want to  have quick access to your footwear. It’s easy to remove shoes while stile tied and probably looks nicer if they’re stored in the open, but you will waste precious time where it’s most important if you do not untie your shoes when you take them off.
And remember: if you’re concerned about tripping or the shoes staying on, just remember you haven’t tied them and make an effort to not fall out of them or over your laces. Just like you remember to chew your food and tap your breaks when the situation calls for it.