I try to remember not to sleep in full armor
July 10, 2017 10:09 AM   Subscribe

After a few self-observations on gameplay, writer and presenter Jordan/Erica Webber started a twitter thread on real-life behaviours people replicate in games even though they serve no gameplay function (such as the post title by molly carroll)...

...responses so far include:

- Amy Jones: "Every time I get off a horse in Zelda BotW I give it an apple, even if our bond is at max. I just want to say thank you to it."
- Chris Reeves: "I hold my breath whenever a character is swimming or plunged underwater, I have no idea why. I think it's a touch of acute aquaphobia."
- Fahad: "I always give the cat water in stardew valley"
- Luke, Chum of Bears: "I remember playing Simpsons Hit & Run in front of my nan and she chastised me for making Homer run after he said he was too tired"
- Paul C: "When I was playing Alpha Protocol, I changed my character's haircut/beard in every new location so he'd be harder to recognise."

- Natalie'Zorah: "If possible, change for bed before sleeping."
- moth dad: "Sleeping in beds. I will always let my character nap when its an option. In elder scrolls I hate just waiting anywhere, gotta find a bed."
- Fudge Judge Maz‏: "I like having an in game bath after being in a dirty or sandy area, I downloaded a soap mod in skyrim for this"
- Jack Ninivaggi‏: "When games let me store inventory, I always try to keep clothes and food in appropriate containers like drawers and refrigerators."
- Critical Lit Games: "Whenever I beat a divine beast in BOTW, I would take Link down to the beach for a relaxing vacation"

- imogen donovan - "parking safely so that i can drive out again after the mission's done, dropping items but keeping tidy - pushing them into a corner/basket"
- Glen: "I always closed doors behind me when playing the Myst games."
- Helen June: "My sister can't play Tomb Raider without physically trying to look around the in-game corners."
- jasmine henry: "sometimes when a character's doing a big jump I'll lift the controller a bit (like that increases the chances of landing?!)"
- Daz Watford: "If a game has custom outfits I'll put a coat (GTAV) or furs (Skyrim) on when it's raining/snowing :D"
posted by Wordshore (98 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't be rude to NPCs, even if that is an option given. It ain't right.

I also remember that, as a lonely kid, I always found it a little comforting that NPCs would never be rude to me. I could pester a shopkeeper or a friendly-looking townsperson over and over and I would never be doing anything wrong.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:16 AM on July 10 [29 favorites]


Whenever I log out of an MMORPG, I need to find someplace comfortable for my character to sit down or relax. A nice bar or just a simple chair by a fire.

Doing this often increases a rest benefit for my character, but it's also just polite and good manners. I mean they're doing a lot of in game work, they need to rest too.
posted by Fizz at 10:16 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


While I was playing WoW, I almost always took my character back to an inn and put him/her to sleep before logging out.

And the one mechanical change I wish Bethesda would make to Skyrim & Fallout would be to make food and water actually relevant to gameplay. The food stuff is cute and all but when potions or meds make it irrelevant then it's just wasted content. New Vegas had an optional mode where food and water (and sleep!) was a thing, and oddly enough it improved the experience for me.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:23 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


I appreciate how the player community for Skyrim have created mods like Frostfall as well as Realistic Needs and Diseases, to actually make it meaningful to wear furs or sleep at a regular time or, you know, eat.
posted by bl1nk at 10:25 AM on July 10 [9 favorites]


In Euro Truck Simulator, I always signal turns and lane changes. If I hit a traffic jam, I will flash my hazard lights for the cars behind me. I will not carry heavy loads before I have attached a warning beacon to my truck. I also try my hardest to not quit the game except if my truck is parked in an actual parking spot.
posted by frimble at 10:26 AM on July 10 [17 favorites]


when i played Don't Starve, i couldn't bring myself to kill friendly Pigs even though they drop essential resources (pigskin and meat) because they're cute. the game does have a built-in punishment for killing friendlies (Krampus) but he's not a real threat if you're the slightest bit prepared and he drops good stuff too…
posted by murphy slaw at 10:29 AM on July 10 [6 favorites]


I only play Simpsons: Tapped Out, but I sometimes get into phases where I will obsessively redecorate based on whatever holiday is coming up.

I have been playing for something like eight years, so I have a massive amount of holiday decorations from previous years. Very little of it has anything to do with the game anymore. I just like to decorate for holidays.
posted by maxsparber at 10:31 AM on July 10 [7 favorites]


I'm suddenly reminded of the nightmare of trying to get safely logged out of Ultima Online.
posted by humboldt32 at 10:40 AM on July 10 [5 favorites]


DEUS EX: Repeatedly taking out and putting back the expandable baton.

No matter if JC is just wandering around or actually trying to focus on a problem, I would just start doing it over and over again, like clicking a pen.

X-COM: UFO Defense: "Ceremonial" plasma pistols on commanding officers.

Plasma pistols end up being rare, both because aliens stop carrying them mid-game and also because there's no reason for X-Com to manufacture or use them since there are more powerful weapons available by that time. So, I usually end up with half a dozen or so remaining in my inventory. Instead of selling them, I just equip them on commanding officers, which for the previous reasons usually don't even use them for the whole game. So, basically these are just the equivalent of ceremonial swords that my officers carry into battle and sometimes even get passed from one CO to another when the previous one dies.
posted by FJT at 10:44 AM on July 10 [14 favorites]


I always make sure my horses and dogs in Minecraft have water troughs and shelter from rain.
posted by The otter lady at 10:46 AM on July 10 [11 favorites]


I try really, really hard to avoid nuclear war in Civilization, even when it would benefit me.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:48 AM on July 10 [19 favorites]


My partner is playing The Trail and is collecting bird's eggs and cicada husks for absolutely no reason (eggs can be used to make omelettes but they refuse to use them for this purpose, and cicada husks have no purpose) other than it's exactly the sort of thing they would do in real life.

I'm an unrepentant pacer in any video game where I have to wait for something. Dialogue to finish, NPCs to complete an action, a door to open, whatever. If it gives me the option to move while I wait, I will go in circles the entire time. As I do in real life.

Whenever I open a door to go in somewhere, if it gives me the option to close it behind me, I usually will (sometimes I forget, but this is also true to real life).
posted by brook horse at 10:50 AM on July 10 [5 favorites]


I type *shake fist* in real life, and in every game with a chat window. Just because of Asheron's Call.

I always want to play just one more turn, because of Civilization.
posted by DigDoug at 10:55 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Whenever I open a door to go in somewhere, if it gives me the option to close it behind me, I usually will (sometimes I forget, but this is also true to real life).

Hmm, sometimes I do with doors and sometimes I don't. But I am reminded that I usually end up turning radios, TVs, lights, and other electrical/electronic things off in games when I leave the room or stop using them. That is, if I haven't accidentally shot them or knocked them over.
posted by FJT at 10:56 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


Sort of the reverse-- after playing Sims 4 a lot, I found I was actually making my IRL bed (well, at least pulling the covers back into place, Sim-style) and washing my plates immediately after eating, instead of letting them pile up.
posted by The otter lady at 10:59 AM on July 10 [18 favorites]


X-COM: UFO Defense: "Ceremonial" plasma pistols on commanding officers.

I just finished a game of X-COM, and I did the same thing. And I would also equip laser pistols on the belts of all my psykers, even though they would usually never even leave the assault craft. I couldn't have any of my assault force unarmed, even though they could mind-control any alien who stepped near.

(I also made sure all my soldiers had the same loadout -- grenades on the shoulder packs, magazines on the belt -- even though it meant moving the default setup for each trooper.)

In Fallout 3, I can't bring myself to discard or destroy all those artifacts of the destroyed civilization, which technically would be irreplaceable but in reality spawn all the time and everywhere, so I wind up hauling junk like Abraxo Cleaner and cans of pork and beans back home to store in various lockers. And yes, each type of object gets its own container (guns in one, ammo in another, and clothes in the nearest cabinet to my bed).
posted by Gelatin at 11:01 AM on July 10 [6 favorites]


the otter lady, I do that too! I basically play vegetarian pacifist Minecraft. I won't kill any animals and I don't even kill monsters unless they're actively trying to kill me. I've managed to get quite friendly with most Endermen. I also got really upset one time when I discovered that once you equip a donkey with a chest, there's no way of getting it off them - I killed my donkey trying and I think I cried. And then what I do in Minecraft - for ridiculous amounts of time, all these years - is go around fixing up villages. I make sure all the houses have nice floors and bigger windows and good lighting; I put in stairs, smooth out all the roads, close up and fence off any deadly caves or crevasses or lava pits - you know, just decent urban planning to make their lives better.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:05 AM on July 10 [30 favorites]


Fizz: Whenever I log out of an MMORPG, I need to find someplace comfortable for my character to sit down or relax. A nice bar or just a simple chair by a fire.

Doing this often increases a rest benefit for my character, but it's also just polite and good manners. I mean they're doing a lot of in game work, they need to rest too.


Back in high school, I was the opposite in Tail of the Sun. Your character would indicate how tired they were, but you you could keep going until they literally fell over asleep. The best was to get them to run until they passed out, because they would actually slide forward for a while.

To this day, the image of someone running then falling asleep and sliding forward is stamped in my mind, even though the detail of the characters were hazy until I looked up screenshots just now. It's part physical comedy, part how I sometimes feel when I'm exhausted.

RUN! RUN! RUN! RUN! RU-sleeeeeeeeeeep.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:12 AM on July 10 [4 favorites]


mygothlaundry: I basically play vegetarian pacifist Minecraft. I won't kill any animals and I don't even kill monsters unless they're actively trying to kill me.

My wife and I started to re-play Lego Batman on the Wii, and we're into villain mode, where we're in a garden that can be destroyed to get coins. While there, there are characters who look like gardeners, who stand around until you get close to them, and then they attack you. We discussed how bad we felt for destroying their beautiful garden, and how we totally understood that they wanted to attack us, so when we re-played that level, we tried to not attack them. But when they came at us, we had to defend ourselves (or endlessly die), which still made us feel a bit bad.

The worst is when you enter the level, there are 5 gardeners standing on a staircase that you have to walk down (or maybe jump over a railing to bypass them), and they're cowering, with their hands above their heads, as if to say "oh shit, here come the villains, we're gonna die!" (or "... they're going to tear this place apart!"). Again, we tried to avoid them, but once we got on the ground level, they came for us, so we had to dispatch them.

This is my public apology to all the worker-folk who didn't ask to get caught up in this Heroes vs Villains battle, but are pulled in because we've come into their workplace and fuck shit up. When we re-play the levels on freeplay, we'll try to leave your spaces as undisturbed as possible. Even though you hide coins in everything, which seems like a bad practice (Penny Arcade comic).

And if you really want to feel bad about killing creatures in games, wonder why do they have jewelry on them? (another Penny Arcade comic). Possible answer, for self justification: they killed someone with the ring and looted their corpse, so you're killing a dangerous creature.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:23 AM on July 10 [6 favorites]


I type *shake fist* in real life, and in every game with a chat window. Just because of Asheron's Call.


*whistles innocently*
posted by humboldt32 at 11:23 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]


I always sleep in full armor. Never know when there can be a random encounter.

Why, I AM single, why do you ask?
posted by Samizdata at 11:27 AM on July 10 [6 favorites]


When I found that corner of the Aperture Science facility where one of the radios, is playing The National's "Exile Vilify", I crouched down to sit by the radio, listening to it all the way through before going back to finish the test. Apart from the tinny marimba music on the radios, it's the only music we hear in Portal, and might actually be the only song Chell has ever heard.
posted by mhoye at 11:30 AM on July 10 [14 favorites]


I can't be rude to NPCs, even if that is an option given. It ain't right.

Apparently I ruined the Event[0] experience for myself by doing this? There's supposed to be this huge scope of possible dialogue in it depending on how you talk to the AI, but if your normal conversations have please and thanks and basic manners in them, it turns into a kind of banal walkthrough.
posted by mhoye at 11:46 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


Last Skyrim playthrough, I refused to loot urns, coffins, etc., because grave-robbing is wrong.

Unless somebody got up out of their grave to attack me. At that point I totally rolled them for every bit of loose change in their pockets. Look dude, I'm only exploring your tomb, but you wanna come at me with a sword for that? Dick move.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 11:51 AM on July 10 [18 favorites]


It'd be nice if more games tracked your "conduct", in the sense that roguelikes often do (especially Nethack). If you're exploring tombs without looting, that should be reflected somehow. I mean, if it's already a game with magical/supernatural elements, why wouldn't the dungeons react to how you behave in them?

I think it could provide an interesting form of adaptive difficulty as well. If you're looting everything that isn't bolted down and getting more powerful that way, then the game makes your life harder by making all the tomb guardians more aggressive, like maybe they activate earlier or more of them wake up or whatever.

Anyway, my thing is that I already have a set of "city clothes" that I wear for walking around settled areas and chatting with NPCs. I also make a point of holstering or unequipping my weapons. I don't buy that open carry "an armed society is a polite society" crap. You know who open carries? Super Mutants open carry.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:00 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


Oh, nethack. Despite being pretty terrible at Monk, I always play it because I can't bring myself to eat corpses.
posted by lumpenprole at 12:07 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


I've noticed a pattern I get into with stealth/FPS games like Dishonored and Deus Ex, where I try my best to do a "pacifist" run through for the first act or so of the story, then some DRAMATIC TURN happens and I feel like the escalating plot just calls for ultra violence. I tend to lean into those story arcs regardless of what achievements are on offer.

Like, I wasn't going to murder cops, or street kids even if they're working for a villain, but when they tried to kill my pilot and shot up a pod hotel full of bystanders? Elbow sword tornado.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 12:21 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


I declare us Deus Ex buddies based on this comment of mine from a few years ago. (SPOILERS, by the way.)

I find those roaring rampages of revenge really cathartic.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:32 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


If I walk past a beggar I give the beggar a copper.

If a bartender answers questions I buy a drink. Some games give you a drink in your inventory when you do this despite not having bothered to make it drinkable, which is annoying because throwing away a perfectly good pint is also verboten so it clutters my inventory.
posted by mark k at 12:42 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


I, uh, I stop at stop lights in games like Mafia 3 and GTA.
posted by M Edward at 12:45 PM on July 10 [12 favorites]


I just started playing Final Fantasy XIV and its been a few years since I was active in an MMORPG and I'm noticing so many of these types of behaviours.

I was leveling up and on my way to a new area and I was going through an area that I was already over-leveled and over-powered up for, so all the little squirrels and smaller demon like things were low level and just sitting in the background.

I accidentally hit attack and killed this tiny squirrel thing that I didn't need to. I mean some low-level quests have you fetch pelts from these things and so early on you don't have a choice in choosing whether you want to attack these things or not, but I wasn't in that type of situation, there wasn't an active quest to kill this tiny squirrel thing.

And I felt bad for about 2 minutes just standing over this digital squirrel corpse.
posted by Fizz at 12:51 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


When my son was little, he got the game Pikmin for Christmas from an uncle. He was happily playing and then it was nighttime in the game and he didn't realize you were supposed to gather all your harvested Pikmen into the spacecraft or the big bugs would come eat them when it turned dark...and you'd SEE the bugs start eating the Pikmen before the screen went dark.

OMG.

He was TRAUMATIZED for WEEKS. He refused to play it again after that but days would go by and he'd be getting ready for bed or getting dressed or something and he'd get quiet and tears would start falling. We'd ask him what was wrong and he'd say, "I didn't save my Pikmen! They got eaten and it was MY FAULT!"

Poor guy. Also, when he was four he found a caterpillar (that was admittedly probably on death's door) that he watched for like an hour in the grass. When it finally stopped moving for good, he cried. He cried for MONTHS over that caterpillar.

I think he finally played Pikmin again when he was about 12. He says he always felt a little panicky if he waited too long to call all the Pikmen to the spacecraft at twilight.
posted by cooker girl at 12:53 PM on July 10 [48 favorites]


cooker girl, your boy is too precious for this world, I hope he always keeps that sense of feeling and empathy.
posted by Fizz at 1:03 PM on July 10 [25 favorites]


Also, in Diablo, one of the first things you do is talk to this dying man outside the dungeon; he tells you about the monsters then dies. After trying to save him, I just NEVER TALK to him on future play throughs, so he doesn't die. (Mind you, he lies there crying weakly for help forever instead, as I march briskly past, but at least he's alive!)
posted by The otter lady at 1:14 PM on July 10 [16 favorites]


(Mind you, he lies there crying weakly for help forever instead, as I march briskly past, but at least he's alive!)

Monster?!! Put him out of his misery. What kind of hell of a life is this?!?!
posted by Fizz at 1:23 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


- Glen: "I always closed doors behind me when playing the Myst games."

I found out the hard way that this is not a valid example of the phenomenon described in the first sentence of the FPP.
posted by straight at 1:25 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


"When games let me store inventory, I always try to keep clothes and food in appropriate containers like drawers and refrigerators."

I do this too because I LIVE IN A CIVILIZED COUNTRY, THANK YOU.
posted by littlesq at 1:42 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


I just NEVER TALK to him on future play throughs, so he doesn't die.

I cannot self terminate.
posted by FJT at 1:43 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Last Skyrim playthrough, I refused to loot urns, coffins, etc., because grave-robbing is wrong.

One of my favorite parts of Skyrim is a side-quest or miscellaneous quest where some Nord tasks you with helping him clear some draugr or whatever out of his family's tomb. So I do, and of course help myself to the stuff lying around and he actually says "Hey, that's my famil... *sigh* never mind, just take what you will."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:50 PM on July 10 [11 favorites]


"I always closed doors behind me when playing the Myst games." I find this helps me keep track of where I've been, as my sense of direction is horrible.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 1:58 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


Long ago, I worked in DC for two years, and rode the Metro every day.

Therefore: In Fallout 3, I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS walked down the escalators on the left.
posted by gnomeloaf at 2:43 PM on July 10 [20 favorites]


In Tomb Raider games, I used to try to avoid shooting at the animals. The jerky human characters were fair game, but shooting a bunch of wolves down in a hole?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:20 PM on July 10 [6 favorites]


Let's just say that my little piece of the Fallout world is well provided with teddy bears and toy cars.
posted by zompist at 3:23 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


X-COM: UFO Defense: "Ceremonial" plasma pistols on commanding officers.

Very much this!
Except that step one of every game is to sell all the useless stuff you start out with except for a single standard pistol.
That Pistol is the command pistol. The mission commander always has it, every mission, every game for the past 23 years.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 3:47 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


I deliberately installed a minecraft mod on the server I run that forces you to eat different foods, just because a diet of nothing but apples and pie and cake OFFENDED ME.
posted by FritoKAL at 4:23 PM on July 10 [3 favorites]


This is where we reveal our crouton-petting tendencies, isn't it.
posted by The otter lady at 4:24 PM on July 10 [16 favorites]


cooker girl, your boy is too precious for this world, I hope he always keeps that sense of feeling and empathy

Fizz, he turned 20 in February and he is a wonderfully kind, empathetic young man. My husband has always been a fantastic model of a guy who isn't afraid to show his feelings, so my boy learned from the best!
posted by cooker girl at 4:43 PM on July 10 [8 favorites]


I've noticed a pattern I get into with stealth/FPS games like Dishonored and Deus Ex

In Dishonored 2, I played a pacifist playthrough except for TRAITOROUS PALACE GUARDS!
posted by lumpenprole at 5:08 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


I like to roleplay my character movement a little, especially when you can tell a cutscene trigger is coming up. It doesn't seem cool to somersault diagonally in to a funeral.
posted by lucidium at 5:16 PM on July 10 [9 favorites]


This reminds me of a similar moral choice that you're required to make in Bioshock.

To survive, Jack needs ADAM, which he can only get by harvesting or rescuing the Little Sisters after you battle their 'Big Daddy' protectors. If Jack harvests a Little Sister, he receives significantly more ADAM than if he saves her, and this reward is instantaneous.
posted by Fizz at 5:19 PM on July 10 [1 favorite]


I obsessively change the camouflage on my my character's armor in Mass Effect games, according to the environment she will be in on any given planet.

On the other hand, in ME:A I've taken to parking my nomad in the most improbable and inconvenient places possible, because that's the only thing it does really well.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:47 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


It's not a real-life behavior--so far, anyway--but when I'm playing a stealth-type game that lets me knock people out (like Thief or Dishonored), I like to pile all of the unconscious people in the same place just so I can imagine all of the incredibly awkward conversations the next morning. Bonus points if it's a large comfortable bed I land them all on.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:22 PM on July 10 [13 favorites]


Okay so, in the 16-bit era of strategy games; Shining Force, Ogre Battle, etc, you would trade out your old units for the more powerful ones you found later in the game, and I really handicapped myself because I just refused to abandon my starting lineups. Those were my comrades! We'd been through stuff! Why would I trade them out for a +5 attack rating or whatever?

My worst case of this was Shadowrun for SNES. There was a fox Shaman named 'Kitsune' who saved your life in the prologue and taught you magic early on and was... not very good. But she'd hang out with you for free because she liked you. You were all but required to trade her out for a scary cloak man with fireballs for a personality. But I didn't want Scary Cloak Man on my team, I wanted my buddy! She was the only person in that world who was fully on my side.

Kitsune had minimal hitpoints and lacked the physical strength for body armor. The game had perma-death for companions. There was SO MUCH RELOADING it probably stretched the game to 3x its normal length. It was positively Sisyphean, but she slayed the dragon in the end. She's still one of my favorite game companions for hanging in there and winning as an underdog like that.

(And of course I kept Dogmeat through Fallout. I locked him in a closet during the Master fight.)
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 7:11 PM on July 10 [12 favorites]


In Ico, after some number of hours of play, having grown accustomed to feeling Yorda's pulse when we held hands, I tried to get her to follow me across a space she couldn't quite cross and she fell, but not very far.

I said, "Sorry!" out loud, and I meant it.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:32 PM on July 10 [4 favorites]


I said, "Sorry!" out loud, and I meant it.

I've said this when accidentally bumping into an NPC with my character. It's ridiculous that I mean it as much as I do. I am also Canadian though, so it is instinctual.
posted by Fizz at 7:50 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


This reminds me of a similar moral choice that you're required to make in Bioshock.

To survive, Jack needs ADAM, which he can only get by harvesting or rescuing the Little Sisters after you battle their 'Big Daddy' protectors. If Jack harvests a Little Sister, he receives significantly more ADAM than if he saves her, and this reward is instantaneous.


Sadly, if you do the math, it works out better Adam-wise if you rescue them. And it leads to the ending that makes a bunch of dust blow around in front of my face.

Also, if you know me IRL, I am just about as chill and non offensive as you wanna be. Then, every so often in games, I decide to push the evil button down as hard as I possibly can. All those poor beggars in Albion with faces filled with flatulence because I decided the black wings were cooler. And in some games like KOTOR2, you HAVE to make a concerted and well planned effort to be properly evil. I killed like 10 of that one crimelord's bodyguards in a row, just to stay even. Then on the 11th effort, I finally whacked the secretary. WHUT?? DARK SIDE POINTS NOW?
posted by Samizdata at 8:22 PM on July 10 [2 favorites]


In Breath of the Wild, if an NPC is singing a song or telling me a story I've already heard before, I listen anyway instead of skipping. You know, to be polite.
posted by Emily's Fist at 8:36 PM on July 10 [6 favorites]


Oh, I rescue those damned truffle-hunters every damn where, and they're all, "You don't have to tell me twice," and I wish I had an option to tell them how many times I've had to tell them.

I keep rescuing them, though.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 9:12 PM on July 10 [5 favorites]


I play a silly bullet hell MMO called Realm of the Mad God. The game has permadeath, but also pets which are permanent and don't die with your character.

Pets come with randomly selected powers (they hatch out of eggs, and you don't know what the powers are going to be beforehand), and because levelling your pets up costs resources and becomes more and more expensive, it is prudent to wait until you have found a pet with the two best powers (heal and mana heal) before you invest all that time and in-game (or real) currency. My partner was lucky and got one on his second try; I went through more than twenty before I got one.

So now I have over thirty pets in my pet yard, most of which are utterly useless to me mechanically. It's possible to "free" pets to get rid of them, but I would never do that, because it sounds like a euphemism for dumping them on the side of the road. They're domesticated! They can't survive on their own in the wild! So I keep them all, intending to level *all of them* up some day once I have maxed out my main pet and suddenly find myself swimming in spare currency.

(At several points in the levelling process you merge two pets together to make a better pet, so in theory I will someday be able to consolidate the pets into a smaller number of pets.)

Furthermore, I never ever discard any egg that I find in a loot bag -- I meticulously store them in my inventory until I can trade them to other players. If I find a higher-level egg, which it's impossible to trade, I hatch it, despite already having a bajillion unneeded pets.

They're my tiny pixelated babies.
posted by confluency at 2:44 AM on July 11 [9 favorites]


This is the other way round I know, but my youngest makes the most adorable "Hup!" sound every time he jumps onto a block in Minecraft.

I was unable to even start a life of crime in GTA IV. Does that count?
posted by pharm at 3:47 AM on July 11 [5 favorites]


I can't be rude to NPCs, even if that is an option given. It ain't right.

Same! Yet another reason why No NPC Greetings is one of my favorite Skyrim mods. It stops NPCs from running up to you and telling you their life story/predicament, or interrupting you when you're talking to the jarl. So many awkward situations are averted!

I take my helmet off when I enter the longhouse/castle, and walk instead of running.

And I give my followers money even though they never spend it. Feels totally wrong running around with thousands of gold when your follower/merc is dead broke.

I guess Frostfall and Realistic Needs & Diseases are little too extreme for me, but I loooove Scarcity.
posted by heatvision at 3:48 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


If I'm playing a game where the character has a "home" they can go back to, I always go there or to an inn before logging off. I'm kinda surprised how common that appears to be. I will literally leave a dungeon in progress to do it, because I can't bear to leave my character in a dangerous area all alone.
posted by domo at 7:22 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I move my whole body whichever direction I want my charachter to move. My ex used to laugh hysterically when I'd throw myself around a curve
posted by dustsquid at 7:47 AM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I move my whole body whichever direction I want my charachter to move. My ex used to laugh hysterically when I'd throw myself around a curve

That's just common sense video game physics. Everyone knows that if you lean into a curve when you're driving, you're helping your car or if you move the controller left, your character has a better chance of dodging that attack.
posted by Fizz at 8:20 AM on July 11 [6 favorites]


I take my helmet off when I enter the longhouse/castle, and walk instead of running.

Oh, yes! I actually hotkey my helmets and hats so I can always take them off inside a city or indoors, even when I don't feel like completely changing my outfit (or if my armour is clothing-like enough to wear inside city limits).
posted by tobascodagama at 8:40 AM on July 11 [4 favorites]


That's just common sense video game physics. Everyone knows that if you lean into a curve when you're driving, you're helping your car or if you move the controller left, your character has a better chance of dodging that attack.

Snake Pass is problematic when played this way. The squirming is headache-inducing. Or maybe it's just the sheer difficulty. (Fun game, interesting mechanics, short play sessions only so as not to break the controller.)
posted by asperity at 10:05 AM on July 11


Not recommended for Titanfall 2, either, especially if you're playing with the grapple.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:30 AM on July 11


Everyone knows that if you lean into a curve when you're driving, you're helping your car or if you move the controller left, your character has a better chance of dodging that attack.

I only play Destiny (so far) but I have had endless drama with jumping puzzles in the Vault of Glass and King's Fall raids, related to my real-world compulsion to "help" my character make those ledges / disappearing platforms and so on. So glad that D2 will incorporate "clambering" as a new character capability, because D1 physics can be incredibly frustrating in this regard. :P

other things I do:
- Always take my characters to orbit before logging off. I want them to be comfortably safe in their ships, and it's the Destiny equivalent of going home / to bed.
- Built custom loadouts in Destiny Item Manager just to "dress" for social spaces in e.g. their Trials flawless gear or fully ornamented raid sets, despite a few mediocre quality stats, because fuck it, I (and they) am/are proud of those achievements.
- I once died in a nightfall because a Vex goblin waved at me and I didn't have the heart to shoot it after that.
- I stand at a respectful speaking distance from vendor NPCs, etc., instead of "inside" them / clipping through them.
- I don't jump on the Vanguard table, ever, because come on, we're undead space magic soldiers, not barbarians.
- if I am AFK waiting on teammates to assemble, I put my character someplace out of the way and let him/her sit down; e.g. on top of the Eververse / postmaster roof, looking out over the city view. I feel like it's what I'd do if I were there, and the view is pretty.
posted by lonefrontranger at 12:19 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


Snake Pass is problematic when played this way. The squirming is headache-inducing. Or maybe it's just the sheer difficulty. (Fun game, interesting mechanics, short play sessions only so as not to break the controller.)

Yeah, that game just looks like a rage simulator. I'm intrigued by its physics but I know that I'd end up throwing my controller at the monitor or the wall if I attempted to play that. I am not patient in this way.
posted by Fizz at 1:29 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


I may have fallen off of my sofa going for an aerial goal in Rocket League. On more than one occasion. At this point I just assume the replay and kickoff timer are there to let people get back in their seats.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 1:29 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


I just thought of another thing I do. I am a visible minority and whenever possible, I will do my best to model myself in the role playing game I am playing.

When presented with a character creation screen, I'll make my character "brown" and "dark haired" because I'm role-playing and I want myself modeled as much as possible in the game world that I'll be inhabiting.
posted by Fizz at 1:44 PM on July 11 [9 favorites]


My one buddy has this hangup where he cannot play as a female character when he plays an RPG, he says its too jarring and it pulls him out of the game he's playing. I find that silly but we all have our own idiosyncrasies with games.
posted by Fizz at 1:47 PM on July 11 [1 favorite]


I'll make my character "brown" and "dark haired"

And lately I've made these characters older and with hair that is thinning. A sad realization that I'm aging when I'm choosing to make my characters older and more cantankerous like me.
posted by Fizz at 1:59 PM on July 11 [4 favorites]


In the Secret World, I change my character's outfits every time I log in. Because with all that running and zombie killing, my clothing really should be washed frequently. Also, because it's summer now, I'm not going to wear the overcoats. No matter how stylin' they may be.

I also pretty much played Morrowind to get new outfits. Ran though all kinds of hoops to get the glass armor, then stored it away and wore a really nice looking gown for the final boss fight. Because you should look good when meeting a god, right?
posted by happyroach at 2:55 PM on July 11 [3 favorites]


When presented with a character creation screen, I'll make my character "brown" and "dark haired" because I'm role-playing and I want myself modeled as much as possible in the game world that I'll be inhabiting.

I try to find ways to make my characters "look gay" for similar reasons. I often give them pink hair, put them in loud and/or skimpy outfits, for instance.
posted by treepour at 3:32 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


In the Secret World, I change my character's outfits every time I log in. Because with all that running and zombie killing, my clothing really should be washed frequently. Also, because it's summer now, I'm not going to wear the overcoats. No matter how stylin' they may be.

Oh, I definitely match outfits to the season/zone in TSW and LOTRO. Transylvania gets the heavy coats and scarves, for sure.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:40 PM on July 11 [2 favorites]


In FFXIV, no matter the armor set, I always glamour (change appearance of) my left hand ring to be the eternity ring (the game's equivalent of a wedding ring.) Of course, my toons are married to my wife's toons, so it's even more meaningful.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:33 PM on July 11 [5 favorites]


Oh, yeah, wedding rings.

In Fallout 4, I took my husband's wedding ring off his corpse and carried it around as memento all game (and I left my own on, obviously). Eventually, I wound up romancing Piper. After we'd been together for a while, I gave her my husband's old wedding ring.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:52 AM on July 12 [8 favorites]


While I was playing WoW, I almost always took my character back to an inn and put him/her to sleep before logging out.

Prior to buying my house (and I still do this with my alt), I always logged out at an inn by resting. It helps that FFXIV has a logout animation of your toon going to sleep. The Roegadyn male animation was especially adorable - he crawls on the bed half asleep, until he has his head over the pillow, and then - fwomp! - his limbs give out as he crash lands into the land of Nod.

Now, I log out at home. Because if you can't rest up in your own bed with your spouse, what's the point of being a homeowner?
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:47 AM on July 12 [2 favorites]


In Fallout 4, I took my husband's wedding ring off his corpse and carried it around as memento all game (and I left my own on, obviously). Eventually, I wound up romancing Piper. After we'd been together for a while, I gave her my husband's old wedding ring.

Yeah, I assumed this is what any decent human would do. What kind of monster immediately sells their partner's old wedding ring for a few credits.

Oh right, I forgot, only someone addicted to Pyscho and who desperately needs fix.
posted by Fizz at 9:51 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Sadly, if you do the math, it works out better Adam-wise if you rescue them. And it leads to the ending that makes a bunch of dust blow around in front of my face.

I remember doing the math, and while sacrificing the Sisters gives you more, it's not much more, and saving the Sisters gets you some special plasmids (like the ability to make Big Daddies see you as a Sister for a short bit.) This actually annoyed me, because it made choosing to save the clearly smart choice. I have to respect the choice of inFamous at the end, because a) it's blatantly evil (and to drive the point home, you get locked to Infamous if you do it, with no hope of redemption), and b) it clearly provides you with power you can't get any other way (the extra units you get are only accessible this way.) It's a clear choice of power or morality.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:59 AM on July 12


Real Life Behaviors in Video Games: a clear choice of power or morality.
posted by Fizz at 10:01 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


Oh right, I forgot, only someone addicted to Pyscho and who desperately needs fix.

I mean, if that's how you cope with being flung 200 years into the blasted, irradiated wasteland of the future, then who am I to judge?
posted by tobascodagama at 10:13 AM on July 12


Oh right, I forgot, only someone addicted to Pyscho and who desperately needs fix.

I mean, if that's how you cope with being flung 200 years into the blasted, irradiated wasteland of the future, then who am I to judge?


There is such a thing as basic human decency/civility, even in the blasted, irradiated wasteland of the future.
posted by Fizz at 10:15 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I've never been able to bring myself to play Shelter 2 past the initial tutorial. It's an open-world game where you play as a mother lynx and I can't steel myself to play any more because if I screw up, my kittens will die.
posted by gamera at 11:03 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


> I can't be rude to NPCs, even if that is an option given. It ain't right.

Same! Yet another reason why No NPC Greetings is one of my favorite Skyrim mods. It stops NPCs from running up to you and telling you their life story/predicament, or interrupting you when you're talking to the jarl. So many awkward situations are averted!


Thanks for mentioning that mod. I'm playing Skyrim SE and it drives me nuts when I miss dialogue because some NPC starts yabbering at me.

I'm always agonizing over which followers/housecarls to take with me on each quest because I feel bad about leaving them alone back at a house or the Jarl's hall for too long (and I don't want to make them look bad in front of the Jarl), and whenever I switch followers I always walk them home before we part ways. That's just good manners, and besides, it's dangerous out there.
posted by homunculus at 11:09 AM on July 12 [3 favorites]


I'm always agonizing over which followers/housecarls to take with me on each quest because I feel bad about leaving them alone

I'm like this with my companions in Diablo III. I like to cycle through them so it looks like I'm not choosing favourites. It's only fair, they all deserve their glory on the battlefield in helping me save humanity from fallen demon-angels.
posted by Fizz at 11:47 AM on July 12 [1 favorite]


In Minecraft, I always leave a one-block-high stump when I cut down trees -- makes the world feel more lived-in. (And of course re-plant any extra saplings that drop. Because deforestation.)

This actually has a use beyond the aesthetic! After getting lost, I've re-found more than one base thanks to stumbling across an old cluster of stumps.

A new habit that I'm going to adopt in my next Minecraft survival world is to create a cemetery with gravestones for my various dates and means of death.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:07 PM on July 12 [4 favorites]


I played Oblivion a few years ago and I was working my way through the fighter's guild missions. There is a mission where you bring along a NPC from the fighter's guild of some small town to help you out as you battle something or other in a dungeon. If memory serves, I decided to quickly explore another dungeon or go to a far off location before I went to the mission dungeon with this guy trailing along behind me. Well wouldn't you know it I lose him. I have no idea where I lost him but I lost him somewhere. The earlier saved game was so far back as to force me to spend hours and hours to get back to where I was. I didn't want to replay but I was so filled with remorse that I lost this guy and deprived his village of an upstanding Fighter's guild member to fight rats in basements that I just couldn't bring myself to finish the game. I tried to go back and play the rest of the game from that save with me just skipping that mission but I felt just too ridiculously guilty about this misadventure to do it.
posted by Ashwagandha at 1:26 PM on July 12 [5 favorites]


In Fallout 3, I can never bring myself to sell whatever Vault 101 clothing I leave with, because it has sentimental value. (I never wear it either. I just keep it wherever I'm living and wind up scrolling past it a thousand times.) Ditto for Crow's eyebot helmet, which is hideous and heavy and I have no interest in actually wearing it, but I've got a little bit of a crush on Crow, so I can't bring myself to get rid of it either.
posted by Spathe Cadet at 1:42 PM on July 12 [2 favorites]


For awhile when I played GTA V, I followed the rules of the road and stopped at stop lights. It makes the game way more boring.
posted by sockermom at 7:54 PM on July 12 [1 favorite]


I recall getting stressed out in Baldur's Gate because there's a point where you can rescue an NPC in a mine and take them into your party. Then you go down a level or two and finish the quest by flooding the mine to put the villains out of business.

The problem is if your party is maxed out you need to swap the NPC out, so whoever you left behind is waiting for you and presumably dies a horrible death. I tried retcon it in my head that we'd told ex party member to head back to the surface but we hadn't, and in the game world NPC party members stayed where you dropped them until you came back. It bugged me enough I actually went back to an early save, walked out of the mine, dropped off an NPC, and re-did a level or two and flooded the mine without leaving anyone behind.
posted by mark k at 9:37 PM on July 13 [12 favorites]


Castlevania. Picking up the end-of-level magic ball. Victory fanfare, then, as the screen freezes, jump up and:
Action pose!
posted by JHarris at 9:01 PM on July 15 [3 favorites]


I don't like quitting in Minecraft unless all my pets are indoors. Horses and donkeys in the pen or stable, dogs and cats and now parrots inside the base. Sometimes I spend several minutes shoving them in through the door but I feel better if they are inside.

I also don't like quitting in the open, when away from a base - usually build a quick survival shelter first. Which means now that my son and I have been playing for some time, in addition to our many "main bases", there are little huts and etc. scattered all over the place. Quite often we stumble upon them when exploring and suddenly realize exactly where we are. I started putting little towers by them - just a stack of blocks with some torches on them - to make the shelters easier to spot at night. And occasionally when we find a good resource nearby (a mine, a village, or a good sized ravine to explore, for example) the shelter gets expanded into a new main base.
posted by caution live frogs at 8:01 AM on July 16 [2 favorites]


I never use the slavery civic in Civilization.
posted by procrastination at 2:34 PM on July 16 [13 favorites]


I read all in game books/text/lore. Every book I ever acquired in Skyrim was read all the way through because story matters damnit!!
posted by Fizz at 8:45 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]


I've told this one, but whenever I would need to interact with Thrall, the leader of the Horde in World of Warcraft, I would make my character kneel before speaking to him. I was almost always the only PC in the room.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:45 PM on July 19


There's a Burnout 3 - type racing game for the AppleTV called Asphalt 8.

After you cross the finish line the game takes control of your car and pilots it in laps in the background while you navigate the results and summary screens.

At some point I discovered that the car's momentum is still exploitable after the game's taken control. So if the car's in a drift while it crosses the line, the computer has to pull it out of the drift, which due to physics isn't instantaneous.

tl;dr: I try to total the car against the wall at the finish of every race. It's tricky because hitting the wall too early means you lose the race, and finishing too slow or aiming at the wrong angle gives the computer time to recover the car.

By now it's become reflexive, I perform a suicide finish in most of the courses out of habit. This has even exposed a bug in the game, in which a suicide finish to a "flawless" race (a race where you're disqualified if you crash) gives me the victory but also locks the background animation into an endless loop of car explosions.
posted by ardgedee at 7:30 PM on July 20 [1 favorite]


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