Published on March 28th, 2013 | by Scot Mackay


Blog: Fortress of solitude

As a family man I find it difficult creating a balance between family life and my own solitary endeavours. I thought long and hard about what I could possibly do to maximise my gaming time. My solution was simple, I would create my own gaming room. My very own Fortress of Solitude.

I mean, why not? It worked for Superman, what could go wrong?

Now to begin construction of my ultimate gaming room I had to overcome a few obstacles, namely my long suffering partner Heather. Below is an excerpt of how the conversation went.

Me: “I have decided in my infinite wisdom that I want to build a games room, the small spare room would be perfect”

Heather: “That’s not really fair, why cant I get a room of my own then?”

Me: “You do have your own room honey, its called the kitchen”

After regaining consciousness about a half hour later I realised that I may have hit a slight snag or should I say that a slight snag had hit me… with a very hard right hook. My dream was shattered and I would have to devise a new way of ensuring my gaming time would be uninterrupted.

My first investment was a decent pair of headphones. A nice pair of Turtle Beach Ear force X12’s. I happen to purchase these along side a little known game called Dead Space which turned out to have all the fear elements the original Alien movie had when it was first released.

I waited until the family were in their beds and I set about preparing for my Dead Space adventure. The lights were off, I had my headset on with bass boosted surround sounds ringing in my ears and a can of Pringles, I was all set.  Now I knew Dead space was a scary game, I had read the reviews and articles and they had all stated it was a new genre of horror and I had stupidly associated it with the Resident Evil games due to it having a very similar layout…or so I thought.

An hour into this now horribly evil, nerve shredding game I was completely hooked. I was enthralled by every corridor, passage way and darkened corner all the while straining my ears and listening for the slightest of movements. It was at one of these insanely tense moments that my fiancé who unbeknownst to me decided to come downstairs and proceed to stand directly behind me like the Predator in full stealth mode.

Necromorph attack

With one swift movement both her hands had grabbed my shoulders hard and I freaked. I am not a jumpy person, I pride myself with the ability to handle most situations with confidence and decisive action…this was not one of those times. I hit the roof, the fear that had been building through the past hour vented and I pretty much screamed like a 13 year old girl (effectively losing all my man points). My fiancé did what anyone in her situation would do and laughed, she laughed so hard tears began to flow.

Note to self: Always ensure that the door is locked!

I would be really interested to hear what lengths other people go to just to be able to have a few moments of peace to enjoy some game time. Do you have you very own Fortress of Solitude or do you have more cunning ways to achieve gaming nirvana? The truth is that no matter what you do, your family are the ultimate NPC’s.

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About the Author

A 33 year old father of three from Inverness who has a deep rooted passion for the noble profession of gaming. As a child he explored dungeons, defeated Dr. Robotnik, explored space and even managed to help Mickey and Donald escape the World of Illusion. He is currently the Charlie Sheen of Titanfall and Is looking forward to The Division. He is known to obey Wheaton's Law 60% of the time. GT: RayzingKane

7 Responses to Blog: Fortress of solitude

  1. David Guild says:

    My fortress of solitude is called nightshift lol. Myself and the missus both worth from home and moved to a smaller village to be near the primary school and with moving house we aimed to have an office. We share the office but she has the days and I have the nights. The office is split and down my end I have the laptop, the PCs plus a 32″ TV hanging on the wall which is connected to both the PC and to the 360. So when every I have time between shifts I’ll get as much time on it as possible.

    The other half of the gaming side is the living room which isn’t used much as the missus many hobby is to work and the lil boy got his own room and his own junk. So the living room is where we keep the bigger stuff, 46″ TV, 360, PS3, WiiU and what ever else we could squeese in there. Mainly the dog is kept in there as we can’t keep the pups together at night due to them playing all night and destorying the house. But lucky the missus is quite happily let me place gaming stuff dotted around the house.

    Plus I used the 360 as an excuse to spread the house full of them as we stopped our expensive SKY package and now just use Netflix, Hulu and LoveFilm which covers every we watch mostly if we ever get the chance to sit down and watch anything together.

    • Scot says:

      I did nightshift work for a year, man that was hard. I can see the benefits in it now though if it meant getting a little peace and quiet, ha ha. Sounds like a pretty good set up you got there.
      Have to ask though, Do you use the Kinect? I bet the dogs must find that fun. 🙂

  2. Robbie Dixon says:

    I think I died laughing at this! (sorry)
    I loved Dead Space, it was scary as shit, and I played it in my living room, at midnight, smoking loads of cigarettes and drinking loads of beer. Didn’t go well…

    • Scot says:

      I remember coming home from a particularly insane night out and I was in….well lets just say in a bit of a state. After more than a few drinks and a dodgy fish supper I had the great idea to stick the Xbox on for a little bit of stupid’o’clock gaming. I had Hawx in the disc tray and figured why not? lets be having it.

      After five minutes of barrel rolls, loop the loops and vertigo inducing moments, My stomach really couldn’t take it anymore and decided to announce this.
      I am telling you now in all honesty that Usain Bolt could not have moved quicker than I did getting from my bedroom to the bathroom.

      So in short I fully agree that some games, you just shouldn’t play drunk.

  3. Tony Winkett says:

    To stop such a thing happening to me I go with the headset off one ear tactic, but when going the loo at 3am with the blinds open you better bet that was the fastest wee known to man.

    • Scot says:

      I have used such a tactic, I call myself DJ X-BOX.

      The only problem I have found with it is the fact that soon as someone spots that one uncovered ear, they think its an invitation and an opportunity to have a life changing discussion with you even though your attention is firmly set on something else.

      Seriously….They wait for the one moment in a cut scene where your about to learn some world shattering information and its interrupted by someone wanting to discuss if David Cameron wears Y-fronts or Boxers.
      WHO CARES!!! I don’t give a **** if he wears boxers made from freshly ironed cats!! Why have this talk with me now!!! In what universe did I piss off the evil dwellers that live there so much that they wanted to ruin my life in the most infuriating and maddening ways possible?

      As for trying to walk through a darkened house after playing Dead Space, HELL NAW!!
      There have not been very many games that create not just a scary atmosphere but an unnerving tension which reaches you on so many different levels, possibly Silent Hill 2 but Dead Space really is in a league of its own.
      It crept into your head and really seeded the fear. A beautifully constructed game with many unique style flourishes which really made it stand out from many survival/horror titles.

      I bet when you went to bed, you didn’t let your leg hang over the edge.

  4. David Guild says:

    I got kinect but I don’t use the bloody thing lol I been meaning to start using it to get some excise in my system and everytime I’ve started the puppy thought i was playing with her. I’ve got stair gets to keep rooms seperated from them so i may have to do that lol.

    The worse thing about nightshift is sleeping in the day. Last year was really hard as we had that big heat wave this time last year but this year its been snow, snow and more snow its been fine weather wise now I just generally can’t sleep to well. So sometimes when I just feel the need I can nap when I get an hour off. I love my job being able to work from home but sometimes the rota is daft because I can be working for a few hours then a couple hours off till my next shift. Damn freelancer crap lol

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