It occurred to me recently that a lot of things we do as second nature in games can come across as odd if you translated them to real life. After so many years of gaming, you’re bound to just fall into a pattern of acceptance towards certain tropes, whether they be good or bad. But surely, everything we do in a role playing game, we’d make as a conscious decision when we play the role. So if it’s perfectly acceptable in the game, it should be perfectly acceptable in real life… right?
1. Loot Everything… Even The Corpses.
Yep, that’s right. Every RPG has it, and every RPG player has done it. You just happened across a recently deceased villager, so the logical thing to do is take everything of value, right down to the wedding ring on their cold, dead finger. It’s so second nature, players won’t even think about it. Just take the loot and go on to the next fight to find more loot! No questions asked! The only game that I can recall that actually holds you up for looting corpses is Assassins Creed, and even that doesn’t stop you. The worst you get is a few horrified stares from the NPC crowds and a quick chase by the local cops.
2. Loot EVERYTHING!
It doesn’t stop at corpses. How many times have you come across an abandoned tomb and thought, “Y’know, those coins on his eyes are really just going to waste.” This is actually the point that started my thought process for this article. I’ve recently been powering through the side quests of Dragon Age: Inquisition and during one of these side quests, you must clear an ancient elven burial ground of demons so you can earn approval with the Elves. However, during this quest, there are several caskets scattered around as loot crates. I opened one, and found a piece of an ancient key and a new quest, which required me to open them all. I thought, “Sweet, a new quest, I’ll probably get some good weapons from this!” So like a foolish little RPG player, I opened every casket, got the key, raided the ancient tomb and returned to the elves thinking to myself that it was a job well done.
The first thing the elven leader said to me was “Great, the demons are gone, but my scouts told me you raided every single coffin and then broke into the tombs of our ancestors! How dare you! You’re a horrible person!” It was only at that point that I realized, “Wow, I really shouldn’t have done that, I just grave robbed an entire tribe.” And so I felt guilty every time I saw the elves. Fairly sure I owe them more than a few cookies for that.
3. Punch Everything
This one is more specific to a couple games. But have you ever played as Renegade Commander Shepard and just counted how many times he/she over reacts to situations?
“Commander, can I get an interview?” *Punch*
“Commander, we can’t do that without risking our lives!” *punch*
“Commander, there is no cereal in the mess hall!” *Punch, punch, punch*
Renegade characters in general tend to follow this rule. If anything in any way upsets them, they must punch, shoot, blow up or otherwise destroy the nearest target – be that an alien, a dragon or a civilian. To be honest, I think we could fix a lot of their problems with a hug, which I’d give to them if only they’d stop punching me.
4. This Is Useful, Lets NEVER Use It
This is a habit I’ve only recently started trying to break. It goes right back to those old Final Fantasy days. You’d find an Elixir somewhere, and say to yourself “You know, this is a great item. I should save it for a really big boss fight.” But then the boss fight comes, you’re just about to die, but by God, you will not touch that elixir ’cause in your mind, the next boss fight is even harder, and you’ll definitely need the elixir then. By the end of the game you have 20 elixirs and only 1 boss fight left. You will end that game with 20 elixirs.
This is a habit that spreads too. As I said, I’ve been playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, and I’ll be damned if I sell those absolutely terrible fabrics that no one in their right mind would use for crafting. I might need to craft something, after all.
5. Search Every Corner
Imagine this – you walk into your best friend’s house to see how your old buddy is faring. You come across him seemingly looking for something he’s lost. He’s searching frantically, squinting over every little inch of the room. When you ask him what it is, he says he doesn’t know yet, but he really needs a bottle of alcohol to craft a Molotov cocktail.
It’s a problem that’s rising a lot as the current market embraces open worlds more and more. And worse, the developers encourage it, I’ve found so many chests in, in so many games, that are in the middle of nowhere on top of a random cliff that can only be seen if you squint and tilt your head ever so slightly. Pray to God the developers never make a quest out of “Find your keys”.
What things do you find yourself doing over and over in video games that you wouldn’t want to catch yourself doing in real life? Let us know in the comments!
[Words By: Laura Kelly]