Chances are if you’ve played video games or tabletop games, there are some features of those games that you take for granted. When you play other games, it stands out if those features aren’t there. Yet these features that are commonplace in gaming do not exist in our real lives. So today I thought we’d take some time to examine these game givens that are taken for granted.
You know how in video games or tabletop games every character has stats like strength or magic or health? And how those characters are totally aware of those stats and can tell how good they are, when they’re going down, and when they should be careful because the stats are getting into a dangerous state? Yeah, we definitely can’t do that in real life.
Think of how useful that would be. You look at an object and see “oh, it has 4 weight. Since I only have 3 strength, I probably shouldn’t lift this.” Or you notice your health going down and even though you feel fine, you know to go to the doctor because something bad is definitely happening to you.
Knowing your stats and knowing exactly what you are capable of – and when to stop pushing yourself – would be an incredibly useful feature. Particularly because these informational layouts also tell you when you’ve got diseases or some kind of status condition. In real life, you wake up with an ugly rash and you’re like “um, what the heck is that thing?” In video games, you know exactly what disease you woke up with, and generally you get some kind of ping or icon the moment you contract it.
This information usually appears in the form of a helpful heads-up display, so I’m thinking that Google Glass could get to work on that and have us analyzing our stats within the next five years.
Some people have a really good sense of direction. But no sense of direction can compare to the sixth sense that game characters have when it comes to maps and navigation. In video games, your character can have the precise layout of every town and patch of wilderness memorized, and is constantly aware of his or her position in the town.
Now while the idea of having an entire community memorized is ridiculous no matter what, it makes slight sense for the character’s hometown. Yet this ability is not limited to hometowns. These people can walk into dungeons and have the layout memorized. And if they pull a switch that unlocks something in a different room, they just magically sense exactly what door is unlocked, what statue is moved, or what bridge lowered.
As someone who hates driving to places, I would love this ability. “Oh, never been to this town before? You know exactly how to get there anyway.” It’d be so useful to have a picture-perfect map in your head with glowing icons and lines indicating exactly where to go. Some games even have icons that indicate the position of specific people! “Where’s Greg? Let me think for a second…oh, he’s upstairs at his house!”
Hmm…I’m starting to see how it might be a good thing that people don’t have this ability…
You’ve been in the dungeon for quite some time now. You’ve taken some knocks fighting monsters, but it takes more than a swordfighting lizard to stop you. There’s a lot of great treasure in this place. A nice bow and arrow, some pieces of heart, a couple chests full of money – and you’ve just finished climbing a massive tower using your nifty clawshot. A massive treasure chest stands before you. You effortlessly kick the lid open, your eyes glistening as rupees in a rainbow of colors are revealed. Rubbing your hands together gleefully, you go to grab some of the precious gems when suddenly, you come to a startling and disturbing realization.
Your wallet has so much money that you can’t carry more money.
What the heck?! Talk about first world problems! In video games, we tend to get a little frustrated when the limitations on the inventory stand in our way or keep us from picking up goodies. But realistically, game inventories are already way bigger than anything we could carry in real life.
When’s the last time you hauled 99 potions? How easy is it for you to carry a one ton hammer, 40 bombs the size of your head, 4 glass bottles, and a pair of boots so heavy that you can’t even pick your feet up off the ground when you wear them? The abilities of these characters to carry ridiculous amounts of stuff defy all forms of physics.
As someone who insists on taking all the groceries in from the car in one trip, I definitely could use a bigger inventory. It’d be so convenient to effortlessly carry around lots of heavy stuff. More than the actual size of game inventories, though, I really envy the ease with which characters pack this stuff around. You never see the heroes of light carrying heavy backpacks full of tents and antidotes. Link always looks sleek and handsome, instead of being a puffed-up, weighted-down, awkwardly-waddling goofball. If I could carry around all the stuff I wanted to carry but still look like there wasn’t even anything in my pocket, I would be ecstatic.
Those are just a few game features that I tend to take for granted. But what about you, adventurers? What features do you often wish you could take advantage of in your real life? Feel free to comment here on this post, and if you enjoyed reading it I encourage you to observe Multiplayer Week and share the post on social media or in person. And speaking of social media, remember that Adventure Rules is now on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, each of which has exclusive content you can’t find here on the blog!