Bad habits we developed in video games

Virtual life lessons

You know what happens when you assume: You get a lot more game overs and wasted inventory space. We dont think were being unreasonable, but games continue to punish us for trying to apply the lessons learned in one game to an entire series or genre. No matter how many times a particular habit results in negative feedback, we time and again find ourselves following these (perhaps illogical) trains of thought.

Join us as we regale you with the sorrowful tales of our bad gaming habits, so that you may succeed where we have failed. Maybe you can learn from our tragic mistakes–or maybe you, too, suffer from these most dangerous and time-consuming behaviors.

Always picking up everything

Before you pick up your 20th rock off the ground, lets take a step back and really think about it. Do you need that rock? Will it ever come in handy at any point throughout the entire game? Its a wonder it can even fit in your inventory, given how cluttered it is with animal bones, glittering magic dust, carrots, one-time-use novelty potions, and two-handed maces thatd look great if only your feeble mage could wield them. Even if gamers are only taking up virtual space, their compulsive hoarding can still be an ugly sight.

Checking every wall, cave, well, and pit for secrets

Rad! We just found a secret item at the bottom of a lake, then missed a platform jump only to land safely in a hidden room. Theres got to be more of those around, right? Wrong. While some games are jam-packed with secrets to reward your exhaustive exploration, others offer diddly-squat for finally reaching that tricky-to-spot area. Sometimes, a pit is just a pit. Maybe youll have time to think about that when youre plummeting to your death.

Doing everything in our power to prepare for the final boss

This is it. It took dozens of additional hours to complete all the side quests, level up our best spells, seek out hidden monsters, and assemble the materials for our ultimate weapons. The final boss might be one tough cookie, but now that weve prepared, we just might have a chance. Here goes nothi–THATS IT?! We didnt even need to use our full mana pool, potions, or stockpile of 99 Phoenix Downs. Now the credits are rolling, and well never need those awesome items again. Hurray.

Looking up solutions online when were stuck in an adventure game

Gosh, this puzzle sure is hard. We want to know what happens next, so forget the logical thinking–well just look up the answer on the net. Man, that sure is convenient! So convenient, in fact, that any time an item combination puzzle requires the slightest amount of brain activity, we default to fishing up the answer online. Thats a real quick way to ruin the majority of an adventure games content, permanently.

Assuming our character can breathe underwater

Classic 16-bit wisdom teaches us that, given how easily Mario and Diddy Kong can wade through deep water sans scuba gear, no video game hero should have to traverse water levels tormented by a fear of drowning. So lets just dip Sonic in this pool of impassable water and think about oxygen later. Hold up–whats with this anxiety-inducing music all of a sudden? Why do we feel a pain in our chest, and tightness in our throats? Sonic? SONIC?! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Assuming our character can even touch water

John Marston is a grizzled cowboy, able to six-shoot a man while riding a horse at full gallop. But because he never learned to swim, waist-deep water is apparently a fatal predicament. The kid in Limbo has the upper-body strength to pull himself up from a ledge, but he gives up on life once his shoulders get wet. Tommy Vercettis pitiable inability to avoid drowning in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was 10 years ago, people–cant we just assume that all video game protagonists can doggy paddle and call it a day?

Relying on one good combo in a fighting game

Dozens of characters and a cornucopia of combos to master? Thanks, but well pass–wed rather stick to what we know: the repetition of a simple, reliable attack string. Haha! See, it worked! Dang, were good. Lets put our skills to the test in the local arcade and–huh. This guy just double perfected us. Everyones pointing and laughing. Now we remember why we dont leave the house.

Giving ourselves just one more turn

Its 1a.m. in the morning on a Monday. Youve got to head into the office early tomorrow, but all that really matters is the here and now. The Mayan civilization you fostered from humble beginnings has blossomed into a prosperous society, and your advancements in military research are staggering. On your next turn, youll have finally attained that most precious piece of nuclear technology. Whats the harm, its only one m–and now its 7a.m. Time for work!

Worrying about the first two-thirds of a kart race

Phew! Those were some intense twists and turns in the first two laps; we were certain Wario would edge us out on that narrow wooden bridge. But now, our drift-perfect racing has us starting the third and final lap in first. Were king of the world, baby! The only thing that could get in the way of assured victory would be a fffffffffffffFFFFFFFFFFFFFSHHHHH-THOOOOM welp, came in fifth place again time to go sob profusely in the corner.

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