7 Gaming Habits We’re All Guilty Of
Gaming is a pastime loved by all. No matter who you are, we have all enjoyed a game (or ten thousand) at some point in our lives, whether it’s a daily online MMO session or a one-off evening spent on the dance mat in 2004. But gaming is a hobby that causes many habits to develop in frequent as well as casual gamers. Some gaming habits are universally felt, while some can just be plain annoying. Today, we’re listing the top 7 habits we know every type of gamer has, at some point, been guilty of.
If you’re a real-life clutter bunny, chances are that the title of our first gaming habit just made you blush a little with shame. But even minimalists can empathise with how intoxicating it feels to have a virtual collection of essential items like ammunition, weapons, traps and extra health, as well as some other non-essential items like gravy pots, dragon bones and bacon.
We know where you’re coming from, dear hoarders, nobody wants to be in the middle of a critical fight only to discover that they’re fresh out of crucial life-saving items. We’ve all held onto some treasured loot for longer than is probably needed, justifying the habit by telling ourselves we were just staying prepared. But hoarding syndrome still plagues most RPGs and open-world survival games.
Every gamer has a little hoarder in them. For most people, this is because they place more value in particular items that have limited use, saving them for when they will really need them. But then you have those hoarders who cling onto their loot just in case. Well, at least they’re prepared for every scenario, right?
Continuing to grow your hoard when you already have everything you could possibly need has become an almost obsessive tendency. Game developers have tried to balance it, psychologists have tried to study it, but this is just one of our guilty gaming habits that isn’t going anywhere.
Destruction and Deformation
When game developers introduced interactive set pieces to video games, little did they realise that they weren’t just creating a more realistic and immersive gameplay. They were also opening the floodgates to a new gaming habit that follows the path of destruction.
Why would you just move a chair when you could launch it at a wall and turn it into kindling? If the possibility is there, why wouldn’t you overturn a table? Why would you only break a chair and overturn a table when you could destroy everything around you?
Destroying environments in games is probably one of the most satisfying gaming habits on this list. It’s a great way to release any pent-up frustrations without taking it out on your actual gaming setup and, let’s not beat around the bush, it’s just pure, unadulterated fun.
Thankfully, we’re talking about the virtual world, ‘cause in the real world, that kind of habit doesn’t fly and if that disappoints you, you should seek help immediately. But desecrating your enemy’s corpse in a game is something nearly all of us can raise our hands to in agreement – because again, if you can do it, why the hell wouldn’t you?
The ragdoll physics commonly used in FPS allows players to really celebrate their victory by kicking their opponent’s dead body all over the place, and some games even give you the option to dance on them. It may sound harsh but gamers are here to make sure this long-loved habit lives on. This is why the rapid teabagging of dead bodies in Mortal Kombat is less of an immature display of pseudo-dominance and more of a fascinating social commentary.
Yes, desecrating your enemy’s cold, virtual corpse does sound macabre, morbid, pointless, worrisome, unempathetic and symptomatic of developing psychopathy… but it’s also hella fun. You should give it a go some time. If you haven’t already. Which you have, let’s face it.
The Lean and Tilt
The next 3 gaming habits on this list are all precursors to the lucky number 7. But before we reveal where these habits culminate, let’s talk about the lean and tilt. Everyone has their own unique version of doing this, but they all pull it out for the same reason: things are getting serious.
You’re playing a game. Things just got intense. Your palms are sweaty, thumbs weak, controller’s heavy. Ornstein and Smough are here already, you can’t breathe steady. You tighten your clutch on the controller, psych yourself up, and get into your optimal sitting position: the lean.
Sitting forwards, leaning over your knees, elbows tucked tightly against your side to ensure a steady hold of the controller. No matter how you do it, every gamer has their version of the lean that they pull out during moments that require absolute concentration. But if it’s really serious, that’s when you tilt the controller, steering it like a wheel in the direction your character is running, jumping, firing or attacking, as if tilting the controller is going to magically let you make that jump, or dodge that incoming rocket.
Maybe the tilting habit originated from playing the Wii and maybe when we lean forward, we feel like we’ve transitioned into the game itself. Maybe it’s a sign that we’re beginning to blur the boundaries between the real world and the gaming universe. But wherever the lean and tilt is from, it sure does feel like it helps, which is probably why it’s one of the most universal gaming habits out there.
Mash, Mash, Mash
If the lean and tilt isn’t doing anything for you, that’s when your old-school gamer emerges and starts mashing the hell out of that X button. We say that this resonates with old-school gaming because the button-bashing habit was bred by 90s fighting games that required you to frantically hit every button for ten minutes straight and just hope that it pulls some cool combo moves from the bag.
Now, the instinct to mash your controller comes out in moments of sheer panic. Whether you’re playing a fighting game, FPS, an RPG or a single-player platform game, the belief that pressing X as hard as you can will somehow translate into a more successful gameplay is deeply embedded into our subconscious.
Blaming the Game
Despite the fool-proof lean and tilt and the fact that your thumbs are now dislocated from mashing X too hard, you have somehow still not managed to achieve your goal. So what do you do now? It can’t possibly be a reflection of your skill as a gamer because you did the lean and tilt, so…
You blame the game. Every gamer has at some point said one of the following: “God, why does it keep lagging?” or “there was a glitch that messed up my attack” or “did you see the glare on the monitor?” or “this controller’s a piece of sh–” or “the mechanics of this game suck” or… you get the picture.
The reality is that games can be so immersive that we invest all of our time, energy and emotions into them. So, when we fail, we can’t accept that it was our own fault because that would, in the moment when the wound is fresh, literally destroy us. So we blame it on the game, our teammates and the developers as we start again with our heads buried firmly in the sand.
Every gamer on the planet is guilty of this one, whether they like to admit it or not. Sometimes it’s necessary to rage quit in order to save ourselves from any further anguish, as well as to save our monitors from any “accidental” damage.
Whether it’s a big bad boss, a battle royale or an impossibly difficult level of Crash Bandicoot, we have all, at some point, become so overwhelmed by our rage that we had to quit immediately… but that doesn’t stop us from crawling back to our console 2 hours later, more determined than ever. So, maybe rage quitting is one of those gaming habits that actually makes us stronger… what do you think?
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