When you’ve been gaming for years upon years, you become accustomed to many different things in the act of playing games. You sometimes take for granted the small things that have become second nature to you. When I give a controller to someone who isn’t a gamer, they barely know how to properly look around and that’s something I haven’t worried about since I started this whole journey. We can sometimes start a game and instantly know all the controls because games in a particular genre have this archetype of control schemes and you can just fall into it without problems.
However, there are still a few habits that we picked up throughout the years of playing different games that we just can’t seem to shake. Most of them are silly, some of them can cost you dearly during gameplay. Let’s look at some of those I can’t seem to shake and still do to this day.
Being unable to resist that sweet jump
Doing insane stunts in open-world games is the sweet temptress that is constantly looming over our shoulders, beckoning us to her soft embrace of doing something totally sick. When you’re forced to drive all over the place in a world, you start to grow a little bored and you take to the scenery to keep you entertained. You know how it goes. You start driving over lampposts, you try and drive over as many innocent bystanders you can and you sometimes try (emphasis on try) to follow the rules of the road.
But that gigantic ramp out in the middle of nowhere is just too much for our tiny minds to resist. It needs to be jumped. Even if it will be massively inconvenient and set you back on your normal commute, we live for that rush that comes when your two-ton death machine is floating gracefully in the air. I despise this sometimes since these jumps and silly stunts often end in tears for all parties involved. If you nail it, it’s the best feeling in the world though.
Rolling around all over the place
Speedrunners often use this strat to get further in a few games, but most of the time your dodging and fancy roll manoeuvres are not that much faster than your normal sprinting or walking speed. But it still feels like it’s faster, which is the most important thing. So there you are, the badass hero that is going to save this world from certain destruction looking like you’ve developed a grudge against your back.
It has to do with how boring traversal can sometimes be in games. It’s especially prevalent in games where they force you to backtrack or go through the same locations multiple times. You’ve seen this all before and you just want to get to your destination as fast as possible, so the only logical step is to do what Limp Bizkit once said, just keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’.
Picking up every piece of loot you can find
Shiny things are the one true weakness of the entirety of mankind. Wars have been fought because one place had more shiny things than the other. We kill each other in the streets for shiny things. We work mind-numbing day jobs and live in a perpetual machine of monotony just to be able to get more shiny things. We tell the person we love that we want to spend the rest of our lives with them with a small shiny thing that costs as much as some people in impoverished nations make for an entire year.
So yes, when I’m in an RPG or loot-based shooter, I take absolutely everything that isn’t nailed to the ground. To hell with “carry limits”, “inventory optimisation” or “living an uncluttered virtual life”, those silver candelabras might be worth selling. Also, who doesn’t need around fifteen varieties of swords and axes? It’s simply logical.
Keeping that powerful thing and then never using it
Too Good To Use Syndrome is the official name for this silly habit. You get this massive gun that obliterates all the enemies that stand in your way, but there isn’t enough ammo to properly use it all the time. So you keep that gun tucked away in your inventory just in case you need to use it on a particularly spicy boss fight. When you get to the Big Bad, you still save that precious ammunition because hey, there might be a next phase to this thing and you might use it then.
After that didn’t happen, your gun is still full and never touched, but you keep holding it for the true final boss that you will definitely obliterate with this thing. Getting to the final boss, you get so involved in the fight that you forget you have the gun and then it remains unfired forever. Eternally stuck in perpetual redundancy.
Stop hoarding your things and live in the moment, why don’t you?
Reloading when your magazine has two bullets missing
Of course, I saved the most annoying habit for last. I don’t know about you, but seeing my ammo counter not be at full is a massive point of anxiety for me. What if the next combat accounter starts and I have 28 bullets instead of 30? Those two bullets can be the difference between victory and certain defeat, you don’t know. But that line of reasoning fades away when you, in your infinite wisdom, reload your massive LMG in the middle of the battlefield and get a big red target painted on your back.
During multiplayer games, I had to physically prevent myself from reloading after every kill I do. The shame I feel after getting horribly murdered and losing the round for my team by standing there and fiddling with my full mag just got too much and I had to stage an intervention. Sometimes I wish that games would do the realistic thing where you waste the ammo in a clip if you reload prematurely, just to teach me a lesson in restraint and not being wasteful. It’s damaging the environment for goodness sake.
That was more of a confession than a feature, to be honest. Here are my gaming insecurities laid out before you, but I take solace in the fact that I’m probably not alone? Am I alone? Please tell me I’m not alone and that you have your own silly habits that you can’t shake.