Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Top Ten Video Game "Realities" (part one)

Naturally, the game world exists entirely separate from the real world, but if you’re anything like me, you’ve come out of a job interview and wanted to hit ‘quick load’ and try it again, or wondered why the massive bruise on your leg from that night you got pissed and fell into a bush hasn’t healed instantly.

Yes, it’s our Top Ten: Videogaming traits that would never work in real life.

10) Double jumping (Devil May Cry, Super Mario)
Dante, the half-demon, wisecracking hero of Devil May Cry, is a great example of how this videogaming staple would never work in real life. I can jump, certainly, despite being a white guy – but Dante can literally jump, land – on thin air – and power himself up again like a flying bloody squirrel. That’s just not feasible!

9) Fast travel (Skyrim, Fallout)
Anyone whose ever had to commute into central London, or endured one of the USA’s interminable train journeys (I once sat on a train going from New York to Vermont – it took eight hours!) has wanted to be able to fast-travel to their destination. Whether it be teleportation, or simply fast-forwarding time, fast-travel is one of gaming’s staples that would be very valuable – and time-saving - in real life.

8) Inventories (Half Life, RPGs/JRPGs)
I have pockets, game characters have inventories  - and most of them can hold the contents of a small cargo ship without leaving a bulge in the cut of their black trench-coats/hazard suits/backpacks/horses/robotic dogs. While Zone of the Enders tried to explain Jehuty’s massive storage capabilities through the use of a ‘vector trap’ - a literal pocket dimension – most games just overlook this impossibility. That said, it would certainly make doing the shopping easier...

7) Cheat codes (GTA)
Up, up, down, down, left, left, right, right, start. Oh look, I’ve given myself a million pounds, time to go buy that small Mediterranean island I’ve always wanted. And that nuclear bomb to blow it up with. Down, down, down, up, start. And an Aston Martin to drive myself to Heathrow in... If only.

6) Skill trees (Final Fantasy, Deus Ex)
This one does sort of exist in the real world – as the ‘skills matrix’ managers create when they’re looking at who to make redundant. That’s me speaking from experience... That said, gaming’s obsession with XP, upgrades, praxis kits and skill trees et al is something that simply doesn’t equate in reality. You either have a skill, or you don’t – and learning them is hard bloody work, nothing so simple as killing 30 undead zombie mutant vampire mushroom men and getting some XP for it. Cloud Strife had it so easy! Other than the amnesiac, murderous, clone, daddy-issues thing.