Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Things We Do In Games That Are Weird IRL

I don't know where this idea came from, but I'm pretty sure it started while playing Borderlands 2 on Sunday with the boyfriend. We are in the last stretches of our new game and me, being the inquisitive little treasure hunter that I am (must get all of the shinies!), I will open up any box that I can. That includes the porti-poties and toilets that litter the landscape. Which is obviously, not normal except on Pandora. Where poop physics are involved. Yep...we have the minds of 5 year old kids who are fascinated by fecal matter. Anyway, this behavior is not normal for the real world. It's not normal behavior for most video games. Except Conker's Bad Fur Day. That is one giant, long-winded, poop joke.

But it made me wonder about our actions in video games that are anything but normal in the real world. I'm not talking about picking up a machine gun and going haywire in Grand Theft Auto trying to be Rambo or Tony, ala Scarface. But things we typically do in a game that we don't realize how strange it would be to try and replicate them in the real world. Here are a few favorites I came up with:

~ Jumping to go faster! This is in just about every game and sometimes, it's true. Sometimes it's a falacy that our brain tricks us into thinking that we're actually moving faster while we jump (when we're really not). Super Mario started this trend (which formed into the Jump Slide move) and now, it has a Facebook page.  We all do it, don't deny it. But imagine trying to jump around in the real world just to go a little faster. Yep. Silly.

~ Eating random things found on the ground. Unless you're homeless, this seems like a really bad idea to just pick up food lying around and munching on it. Who knows what kind of germs and bacteria have been crawling all over it. But we're all guilty of doing this in video games. In Teenage Muntant Ninja Turtles we pounded down thousands of pounds of pizza just lying around. You could even beat up trash bins for a slice of health. Nasty. Or in Final Fight, you can find whole roasted turkeys on the floor. It's awesome for a pick-me-up, but kind of gross that it's been sitting on those dingy roads, maybe for minutes, or hours, possibly days, waiting for you to pick it up and grab a bite. Ew. I'm pretty sure the CDC would classify you as a health risk if you ate it.

~ Hiding in "dark" corners. Like Flo pushing car insurance on you, instead of drugs, we hide in corners in order to avoid detection or escape the bad guys. Metal Gear Solid is notorious for this, as well as walking around in seemingly unassuming cardboard boxes that would carry oranges. Or an oil can. Or a crocodile head. But the notion that just a little bit of shadow to protect yourself from being caught is pretty silly. Absolute darkness is one thing, but a hint of the shade and we completely disappear? Not possible. I don't think any of us would get far in a game of hide and seek if we all took to the shade and shadows in order to hide from the person dubbed as 'it.' "Hey Mark. I can see you." "No you can't." "Um...yes I can. You're standing right there in the shadow." "Nope. I'm invisible." Though that would make for some great dumb criminal stories. "Tonight at 10, a man thought he could get away with robbing a bank by hiding in the shadows of the building itself!"

~ Teabagging. I think this is fairly self explanatory, but just in case, here's an image to reiterate. Don't do it.

~ Jumping through portals and doors. Much like jumping to speed up, we also jump through doors, walls, windows, anything with an open space that causes our character to freeze for a split second and then the screen changes to the new environment. Why? Because it's fun! You can't tell me that you didn't do this in MegaMan. Everyone did it. Everyone. I was more apt to doing this in Metroid, but any game that has a door I make it a habit to jump through it. Again, it's something we all do because it's silly to watch your character freeze for that second. Imagine that in the real world...we'd be jumping through lots of doors for no reason and it would be exhausting after a while. I don't want to deal with my co-workers taking up so much space in the doorway to jump through them. And the only "pausing" that would happen is when a person falls down and blocks the path, because you know that's going to happen. Jumping portals: fun in games. Not in real life.

~ Smash all the pots!!! Very much a Legend of Zelda/Dragon Quest thing, but when you see a pot in a game, you break it. It's common sense because said pot holds goodies, anything from money to cow poop. In the real world, the most you're going to get is dirt, worms, and a very angry neighbor. There is no way this is feasible in the real world without massive consequences and a few tags of vandalism to your criminal record. But we can't help it. Must smash all the pots! All of them!!


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