A lifetime playing video games hasn’t just taught me that I’m a fat, slovenly dork who prefers his own company and staying indoors. Far from it: games have allowed me to come to all sort of bizarre, self-therapy conclusions. See for yourself.
Animal Crossing taught me how to make my own fun.
If you’ve never played one of the Animal Crossing games, than I strongly suggest that you keep it that way. These all-consuming, soul-destroying and life-ruining titles will disconnect you from reality in a way you never thought possible. That may even sound like an enticing prospect to some of you, but I urge you to take heed of my warning. There is nothing good about spending a whole day fishing only to catch shitty carp whilst you contribute to the town-wide monopoly of one Tom Nook. This wolf in sheep’s clothing not only sold you the fishing rod, but also holds a spiraling mortgage debt over your head for months of gameplay. Truly frightening. He controls the fish prices, too.
It’s not all misery in Animal Crossing, though. There are fleeting moments when I managed to ignore the crushing reality and find time to make amusing distractions for myself. Townsfolk will often write you nonsensical yet sometimes eerily relevant letters. I abused this system wholeheartedly when I started regularly inviting my neighbours to meetings for ‘The Cult of The Gyroid’. It took a while, but eventually they started to crack and before you knew it, without anybody really noticing, I had become a virtual Jim Jones. Soon, my plan would come to fruition. OK, so I had to settle for bullying people until they moved out as opposed to mass-murder, but it was still fun.
The point of all this is no matter what is getting you down in life, you should always take time out for fun. It’s important and often, free.
Street Fighter taught me to play to my strengths.
Street Fighter, in most of its iterations, provides one very important life lesson. Through its focus on a balanced character roster it showed me that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Discovering these and adapting to them is an important skill, both in life and in street fighting. So what if you can’t keep a dude at bay with fireballs, or you’re not that great at subtraction – perhaps you’re better up-close and personal, or long division is your thing. Point is, we can’t all be great at everything and you know when someone picks Ryu, nine times out of ten you yawn because you know he’s the safe bet. Who wants to be an all-rounder anyway? Not me, I’m happy being deeply flawed with hidden talents and as soon as I figure out what they are, this paragraph will make even more sense.
Bonus lesson: Chun-Li largely contributed to my penchant for thick-legged broads. My tracked Tumblr tags speak volumes about me.
Metal Gear Solid taught me that I probably enjoy hiding too much and I am weird, but not that weird.
I remember playing Hide & Seek as a kid. I remember how excited I’d get when someone would walk right past your hiding spot with no clue that I was under their nose. Full disclosure: sometimes I’d get so excited that I’d really need to shit, often resulting in me blowing my cover to run home and lay some fresh kiddy log. I can’t quite explain this bizarre biological response, but it’s a feeling that came back years later when I first played Metal Gear Solid.
I can’t believe that guard didn’t see me in this box! Now I have to go shit. It wasn’t so debilitating that I needed to shit frequently, but at least once per play session. Admittedly, this is probably the weirdest thing about me, so I guess the real lesson is that I’m clearly a freak. What is reassuring though is that at least hiding didn’t result in either me actually shitting myself or, worse, getting a boner. I know there are people who get boner’d over such things and I thank God that my bizarre biological response is connected to the rear rather than the front. Amen.
Borderlands 2 taught me that I am a compulsive hoarder.
One look around my current abode is enough of a giveaway that I’m some sort of compulsive hoarder. Toys, pin badges, t-shirts and video games that I don’t even have the correct systems for all fill my shelves to capacity. Even so, my collecting habits have never really forced me to confront the truth, as I’ve never been put in a position where I have to get rid of any of it. Borderlands 2 and its crippling inventory system brought me to my knees – forcing me to decide what to keep and what to sell on a regular basis. My worst nightmare. The anxiety sets in and I start to run through all the potential horrors that will emerge if I don’t keep hold of the correct item.
How the fuck is a man meant to decide between the rare acid rifle and the not-so rare but still incredibly destructive electrocuting SMG? Those occasions, when I found myself out in the middle of nowhere, having to decide which weapons to keep and which to throw in order to keep my inventory manageable were some of the toughest I’ve ever experienced. I can’t (won’t) imagine what would happen to me if I found myself faced with a similar situation in the real world. I can already feel my palms getting sweatier and my heart-rate increasing as I imagine having to let go of the Monsters In My Pocket Volcano Pack to make room for something grown-up: say, a filing cabinet or something. Yeah, grown-ups have those, right?
It’s fair to say that not many games are designed with introspection in mind, but if you’re anything as narcissistic and analytical as I am, you’ll probably find that some of your most cherished virtual experiences have taught you things about your very real, fleshy self, too.
Option two: writing ideas are thin on the ground at the moment..
- The Faux Bot