Whether you are new to virtual adventuring or a seasoned veteran, you have no doubt noticed a few oddities (pun intended) that ring true no matter what the game is. These are the universal game facts– and they make absolutely no sense to someone that isn’t a gamer. If you are like me, you probably don’t even notice that you are following them anymore. You may pick up a new game like Battlefield 4, and you will instinctively follow 3 of the 4 rules without a second thought. However, while we all accept these as video game scripture, all 4 of these facts hold absolutely no water in the real world– as much as we’d like them to. You can probably guess a few of these already, so without further ado, the list:
Number 1: If you see a red barrel, it WILL blow up and kill enemies/you if either are close to it.
I am sure some smart-ass designer has put a red barrel in a game that doesn’t violently explode, but I haven’t played it. These little beauties will be your best friend or your worst enemy no matter what type of game you are playing. While they are most prevalent in shooters, they can also be found in MMOs, fighters, action games, and even puzzlers like Scribblenauts. They are always there to save the day. Heavily outnumbered? Barrel. Big hulking monster? Barrel. Now, I have never been in a war zone, but I doubt there are conveniently placed barrels at key choke points during actual battles. And if for some reason there were, they probably wouldn’t blow a 25 foot hole in the ground after being shot once. But that would be pretty sweet. Can you imagine?
George Washington: Sound the retreat. The British have taken the field.
Random Soldier: But sir! What if we shot that strange red thing at the base of the only bridge in all of America?
Washington: My God– it is just crazy enough to work!
Number 2: Jumping will solve at least 50% of your problems.
I understand that this one may be lost on our younger readers, but it does still ring true today. If you are a fan of indie games, family games centered around some kind of talking rodent or small mammal, or any game made before 1995, you know that jumping solves almost all of your problems. Can you imagine any Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat where players couldn’t jump?! The mere thought is offensive and I won’t be a part of it. Or think about people that still hop around in multiplayer FPS games like Call of Duty. I have to admit that any time I am shot in one of those games, my first instinct is still to start jumping. I can say with a high degree of certainty that no actual person that has been getting shot at has ever decided to hop his way to cover rather than run.
Number 3: Herbs, soda and candy bars can heal any amount of damage.
This is something that I have just never been on board with. I attribute the herb problem almost entirely to the Resident Evil franchise. I have hated them since day one. I mean, even if I am willing to accept that a plant can heal any wound, how am I supposed to believe that they are just lying untouched throughout a completely trashed city/laboratory/town? I mean look at that! Entire buildings are level around it, but the pot is still intact. So if I fall and break my leg mountain biking, I should just start eating plants and I will get better?
The snacks are another thing. If we see candy bars and/or soda in video games, we just accept that they will heal us. Do you know how insane that sounds?! A perfect example: If I am hiding behind a barrel in GTA V, a BLUE barrel as I don’t have a death wish (see number 1), and I am hurt, I just eat like 14 Meteorite Bars. And what happens? Does Michael lose a foot to diabetes? No, he emerges from his barrel feeling refreshed and ready to continue the slaughter.
Number 4: A rag-tag group of 4 or less misfits is capable of defeating an infinite number of foes.
Quick! Every terrible thing in the world is coming to kill you! Grab 3 other people of different age, ethnicity, background, or gender! Why? You want to live don’t you?
This is a video game fact that isn’t going away anytime soon. One of the central themes in almost every video game is one of conquering the odds– the few defeating the many. This law applies to all genres. Think about how many creatures your 3 person team has cut through in the Final Fantasy series, or what your 4-person group accomplishes in modern zombie thrillers. What about Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, or Ghost Recon? I can’t be certain, but I am pretty sure a team comprised of 4 or less people has won every war in each of those games. If you start out with more than 4, you know someone is going to die. Mario has Luigi. Sonic has Tails. The list goes on. It seems to me that the foreign policies of the world’s nations have got it all wrong. The only thing America needs to do is round up 4 random people and parachute them into conflict zones, but nobody from the Pentagon is answering any of my letters.
I am sure there are more of these pesky rules, but these are all I could think of at the moment. Do you have one that I missed? Do you think one of mine is stupid? Maybe you are on the internet and want everyone else on the internet to feel bad or pay attention to you? That’s what the comment box is for.