5/20/2013

How did games distort your reality?

Hey guys! During my last vacation I visited some old castles. After one little event, I suddenly did the House M.D. thing - you know, when he shuts up and walks out of the room, because he just had this brilliant idea that has a high chance of killing the patient. I took a little look back at my previous vacation and some other actions I took, and came to a conclusion that... games majorly distorted my reality. 

Exhibit A: The Triforce
The picture below was taken on Gran Canaria, near to some cathedral or botanical garden, in a pretty little town that would make everyone wanna take a slow, quiet stroll, taking in everything around. This noob just looked down and instinctively started to looking for his ocarina to play the Song of Time. Needless to say, it's the only picture I took in that town. 


Exhibit B: GPS walking
The picture below is not mine, but it's pretty damn accurate. I sometimes get directions from my phone, but even if the target is just a few meters away, I keep the navigation on. Why? Because it is fun to see your progress tracked by an electronic device. Because it is just like a minimap in a game, showing you your position, your way, your quest's destination, points of interest - it only lacks NPC's and mob locations.


Exhibit C: My staircase.
Back to the real pictures - it's my actual staircase. As you can see, I live on the top floor of a block without a lift. It's a nice exercise most of the time, but getting home from the saturday's grocery shopping (30-40 kilograms in total) can be a bitch. At some point I counted that there are 8 stair segments and one final section between the top of the stairs and my door. Nine in total. Fifteen seconds later, it ceased to be nine elements. A progress bar appeared, and clearing every segment was getting the progress bar up by 11% - arriving at the door became 99%, turning the key a rewarding 100%. This might sound really fucked up, but it actually made the shopping bags lighter - I knew the progress, the remaining distance. For the last years, I do this progress bar thingy every time I climb the stairs with something heavy.


Exhibit D: The grassland
This was a more one-time thing. After playing Skyrim for a few hours, I got out on a walk and first thing I wanted to do is clicking on the purple flowers in the grass to collect them. Picture from google maps, but showing the spot.


Exhibit E: The stepping stone
Finally, the thing that I mentioned in the beginning. When walking around one of the castle ruins, me and my girl came across a square block sticking out of the floor. Took less than a second to think "if we step on it, a door will open". So we did and even though the block didn't move, there was actually a sound of something happening somewhere. We knew it was a coincidence - some kid probably dropped his wooden sword on the floor. We still looked at each other, smiled and started searching. Didn't find anything, so we came back to the block, continuing the fun. We knew that in games with 2 characters sometimes one has to stand on the block while the other goes through the hidden door and pulls a lever. She stepped on the block, no sound this time. "It must be broken" we stated and went to search for another adventure.


Should we start taking meds?
A game nerd probably loled at most of these examples. A person who doesn't play games probably thinks I'm mentally sick. Hell - even if I am, at least I'm having fun. I am also aware how heavily this post approaches the topic of gamification. Maybe I'll write a separate article on it at some point, but for now, dear reader, I just want to ask you a question: how did games distort your reality and how do you like it?


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