A Gamer’s Guide to Surviving the Debtpocalypse
On Friday, August 5th the Standard & Poors credit rating agency downgraded United States Treasuries from AAA to AA+, creating chaos in financial markets and causing global stock indexes to fluctuate wildly.
If that last sentence meant absolutely nothing to you then congratulations, you’ve somehow managed to remain completely unaware of the greatest economic threat to our great nation since… the last one three years ago. We’re still really early on in this new crisis and with all the uncertainty it’s hard to tell just how serious it’s going to get, so the good news is that you may not be affected at all. The bad news is that you could potentially be very, very affected.
That’s where I come in. Chances are if this is the first you’re hearing that the United States government has too much debt then you probably spend more time playing video games than you do keeping up on current events. Unbeknownst to you though, you’ve actually been developing the skills you’ll need to survive in the exciting new debt-ridden hellscape of America the whole time (if it comes to that)!
To boost your chances of survival in the times potentially to come, here is my Gamer’s Guide to Surviving the Debtpocalyspe:
1) Stick with Your Profession
Let’s face it. Whenever you play a video game with a class system you always pick the same type of character like it’s your job. You’re the soldier. You’re the rogue. You’re the magician wizard guy. You know the ins and outs of your profession and you play your game well. Even though there are certain elements of your chosen field that you really wish you could change, you keep sticking with what you know despite swearing you’ll try something new on your next play through.
Now look at your actual job. You know the ins and outs of what you do and you’re really good at it, but you can’t stand your boss or the people you work with, or maybe you’d just like to change careers. In this economy the best thing to do is follow your gaming instinct and stay put. Unemployment is high and isn’t coming down anytime soon, so if you change your field you may not be able to land in a new position. You’ll have plenty of time to change your game up later when companies actually want to hire again.
This, of course, doesn’t apply to people who have already been moving into new fields or are getting laid off.
2) Hoard Your Money
I can’t play a game with a currency system without accumulating way more money than I will ever need. There are item shops and upgrade screens prompting me to get the best armor or the newest weapon at every turn, but I never spend as much as I could. That’s because I keep thinking to myself that there’s something coming up in the game that I could potentially need a boatload of money for.
The same applies to real life. You never know when some event will require your undivided financial attention, so it’s a good idea to have as much cash on hand as you possibly can. I’m not saying don’t spend money. I’m saying don’t spend money frivolously. Spend on food and clothes, by all means. Go to the movies. Go to a bar. Go on a date. Entertain yourself reasonably. Do you need to have some fun in your life? Absolutely. Do you need a 3DS? Don’t even get me started.
3) Don’t Gamble
This elaborates on item #2. With stocks plummeting in value you may or may not have heard financial analysts declaring that “there has never been a better time to buy stocks!” What they’re actually saying is, “We hope we can convince enough stupid people to invest so we can artificially drive up stock prices and recoup our own losses!”
Now is a terrible time to take an interest in investing. Think about all the gold/credits/gil you’ve dropped playing things like Pazaak in Knights of the Old Republic or betting on Chocobo Races at the Golden Saucer. Sure, you totally won money at those games a few times but take a long, honest look at how much in-game cash you blew in order to win. Putting your money in the stock market right now is like jumping into the slot machine in Casino Night Zone. You’re either going to take a bath in rings or you’re going to feel 100 spikes of regret.
4) Head Shots
Let’s face it. We had a good run, America. They don’t call the 1900′s “The American Century” for no reason. We were pretty awesome at just about everything, but those days are long behind us. Now we owe China $3 trillion (plus interest!), and we can’t seem to fix our own economy.
Luckily, the one skill that almost every gamer has honed will be the most valuable. Whether you’re defending your country from an invading Chinese army hell bent on reclaiming what we owe them or just holed up in a Wal-Mart with your friends fending off hordes of undead stock brokers, the head shot is the one surefire way to solve all of your problems. After all, if and when you default on your mortgage, how can the bankers reclaim your house if they can’t get within 100 feet of it?
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge contained within this guide you can be confident that you’re already taking all the necessary precautions to ensure your own survival. The next time your mom tells you to put the controller down and make something of your life just sigh, wipe the pizza sauce off your face, and tell her how much you’re going to miss her when the debt zombies rise up. I can practically guarantee she’ll leave you alone after that.