“I can’t be the only one who does this, right? Anyone?”
July 29, 2017 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Am I The Only One Who Talks To Myself While I Play Video Games? [Kotaku] “Unless I’m playing a game out in public, I’m almost always talking to myself while I’m playing. I crack jokes, pretend to talk to the NPCs, and verbally plan out my strategy. I’ll read any non-voiced text out loud, the same way I read any book if I can’t find an audio book for it. There has been many a moment when I stop mid-sentence whenever someone comes downstairs in fear of being judged.”
posted by Fizz (38 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Not a gamer, but I do the same thing when writing fiction and doing electronics design and troubleshooting. Drives my wife nuts.
posted by Bringer Tom at 3:15 PM on July 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

I talk out loud to myself in every situation and I didn't really think about it until now. Hmmm
posted by gucci mane at 3:44 PM on July 29, 2017 [6 favorites]

Well, I don't play video games..but oh hell yeah, all the damn time.

Granted I live alone and telecommute, which doesn't help. But even before I did either of those things I talked to myself, especially when I've been on the computer but also when doing other things such as cooking dinner or fixing my car or figuring out how to play a new tune. I've even had imaginary arguments out loud on occasion, though only when I'm sure I'm alone. I suspect it's a fairly common human trait.
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:27 PM on July 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Just today I said out loud, "Cupcake Carl, you are a worthless son of a bitch." That's just on a Candy Crush. I sing the death song of my enemies during Diablo III Nephalim runs.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 4:41 PM on July 29, 2017 [6 favorites]

"In his Confessions, Saint Augustine remarks on Saint Ambrose's unusual habit of reading silently in the 4th century AD."

Reading silently by default is relatively new.
posted by adzm at 4:50 PM on July 29, 2017 [10 favorites]

I don't worry about talking out anymore. I just do it... playing a video game, writing code at home... well... i guess occasionally it is weird when I am at work and I am talking away at my computer and code and suddenly I do realize I'm talking at full volume to myself.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:55 PM on July 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

Gaming related: I'll often have a conversation with the NPCs or any bosses I might be battling. “Piper, will you marry me? Nope, well screw you then, I guess I'll marry Hancock instead.”
Non-gaming related: I'll talk in the car or speak in a sing-song voice about the things I'm doing as I'm doing them, narrating my actions: “I'm almost home....hoooooommmmmmmeeee!!!”
posted by Fizz at 5:30 PM on July 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Man, when this guy discovers YouTube it is going to BLOW his MIND.
posted by straight at 5:33 PM on July 29, 2017 [8 favorites]

You know that running thing in Bob's Burgers where Bob is constantly talking to inanimate objects around him? That's more or less me. I've mostly suppressed it, since it freaks out my partner, but it still goes on in my head sometimes.
posted by tobascodagama at 5:46 PM on July 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

Does it count as talking to yourself if there are cats in the room?
posted by Hal Mumkin at 5:56 PM on July 29, 2017 [8 favorites]

I mumble-yell to my computer at work constantly. "any day now!", "just load, you slow fuck", "any goddam time", etc. My supervisor told me to knock it off. I requested more RAM. Didn't get it, continued mumbling even though I really tried to stop. Got written up. Put a piece of tape across my mouth to remind myself to shut up. Got written up for being passive aggressive (the tape)!!! Supervisor finally retreated to hearing headphones and I'm still cussing.

I never talk to my much faster home computer.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 5:59 PM on July 29, 2017 [6 favorites]

I certainly let those Real Housewives know what's on my mind, and it's not very nice, let me tell you.

I often shame inanimate objects by telling them out loud how they could be improved by various new features.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:01 PM on July 29, 2017 [4 favorites]

I didn't used to do this but after three children I am so used to constantly narrating my inner monologue to keep toddlers entertained that I have a hard time NOT doing it, particularly at the grocery store. Fortunately I am not the only woman about my age I have noticed saying aloud, "Oh, shoot, we're going to have to go back and grab apples, mom forgot," when she's shopping all alone.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:06 PM on July 29, 2017 [11 favorites]

I compliment and praise my computer when it does things I politely ask it to do.

“Thank you computer.”
posted by Fizz at 6:06 PM on July 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

I do coo to and praise the printer, poor overworked abused machine that it it is. Seemingly, I am the only person in the open-plan 30 person office who can unjam it, poor thing. Petting and talking to the printer is part of my reputation that I can fix machines, with cajolery and magic.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 6:14 PM on July 29, 2017 [6 favorites]

I don't do it with video games, that seems like something just in my head I guess.

But man do I do it when I fix things. I'm working on my or my wife's car like someone is standing next to me (Whoever designed this has never worked on a car in their life). I'm fixing the sump pump, like someone is there witnessing this stupidity with me. And any goddam time I have to open a wall and fix electrical in my 70 year old house I tell the person who owned the house before me how goddam stupid they were with their "upgrades". Because Jesus, this is not stupid, this is egregious. This is just cutting corners to save whatever like a nickel in 1970 remodel dollars and your house just might burn down. Almost did by the looks of it.

It took ten years until my wife told me "You sound like your Dad fixing a water heater". That is 100% true lol, but to be fair that guy had run a hotel for a few years and had just taken out the last old 50 gallon water heater for that section and installed an 80 gallon all by himself.

That voice I have when fixing? That's the same voice my Dad had when changing oil filters, greasing zerks, and all that. Tearing down a deck and rebuilding it properly. Trenching the yard for french drains. That same voice. That's what I do.

Holy shit.
I get it now. I'm now old.
posted by sanka at 6:43 PM on July 29, 2017 [9 favorites]

I don't do this with easy tasks, but I use it proactively with difficult ones. (So it doesn't come up much in video games, but *does* if I'm exhausted and trying to focus - in particular, I narrate every step if I'm cooking with low blood sugar.)
posted by mordax at 7:00 PM on July 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

I only really do this when repeatedly murdered by the same sequence/level/enemy or whatever. Typically it's "you have GOT to be kidding me" despite the fact that the occurence is entirely predictable given that I don't start talking to the game until it has happened multiple times in the same place. I think it's probably incredulity at the number of times in a row I've found a way to fail.
posted by juv3nal at 7:27 PM on July 29, 2017 [3 favorites]

I talk to my character all the time in video games. Also, if the game has good music, I sometimes just let my character have dance breaks.
posted by triage_lazarus at 7:30 PM on July 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't talk to myself.
I talk to other people.
They just happen to often be not there, or inanimate objects, or fictional characters.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 7:36 PM on July 29, 2017 [1 favorite]

My wife has learned that if I swear frequently at a video game, it's normal.

If I swear in random bursts of stream-of- consciousness profanity... That's time to check on me. MOTHER SHITTING BASTARD ASS FUCKING TIT MONKEY ASS CLOWN COCK

It's kind of like an article I read years ago about Philadelphia restauranteur Georges Perrier. He reportedly swore like a sailor in his kitchens -- that dish is shit, this order is shit, the kitchen is in the shit. The staff learned to accept it as rudimentary tension relief on his part. But if he started swearing IN FRENCH... Hide all the knives. One never actually swears except in one's native tongue.
posted by delfin at 8:02 PM on July 29, 2017

I do coo to and praise the printer, poor overworked abused machine that it it is.

Does anyone else remember how, back in the 1900s, our primitive steam-powered computer printers which created images by physically pressing ink-covered parts against paper—it was practically like chiseling your spreadsheets onto stone tablets!—would sometimes make a sound like the sound of a machine gun, and so you could point your finger-guns at people and pretend that they were finger machine guns
posted by XMLicious at 9:17 PM on July 29, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'm a medical coder and I talk to the charts I'm coding all day long. I have to take another medical coding certification test in a month or so and I'm kind of worried that during the test in a room full of people I'll suddenly blurt out, "Jane Doe how did you manage to fall and get a concussion. You need to be careful." Or "John Doe omg too sick. You are too sick. Too many codes."
posted by ilovewinter at 9:48 PM on July 29, 2017 [14 favorites]

I don't normally talk to video games. Sometimes when programming, but rarely to games.

Except Silent Hill. My playing Silent hill one apparently was a constant string of nervous profanity: Fuck the radio, fuck this street, oh shit, what the fuck is is that a goddamned child or what will the fucking radio fucking shut up before I go batshit here what do you fucking mean the fucking radio doesn't fucking work fucking underground, you asshole of a shitstain game?

My flatmates thought it was hilarious. And then I managed to beat Silent Hill 2. And breathed a sigh of relief because the character had escaped. And I could stop playing.

I got back from work the next day, and Silent Hill 3 was sitting unopened and waiting for me.
posted by frimble at 10:23 PM on July 29, 2017 [18 favorites]

I have frequently muttered to what ever computer I am working on with 'just do what I say goddammit' when it refuses my powershell script.

Fixing a printer? I pet it bit and ask who has been mean to it.

It is entirely possible that I have gone crazy and no one noticed because I work in IT.
posted by right_then at 11:08 PM on July 29, 2017 [4 favorites]

I play Civilization. My life is a constant diatribe aimed at Ghandi.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:57 AM on July 30, 2017 [5 favorites]

Reading silently by default is relatively new.

That is a myth.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 2:12 AM on July 30, 2017 [8 favorites]

When I'm gaming I'm usually actively roleplaying with other players in the game, streaming my game and chatting with people watching, chatting with friends in a discord who are also gaming, or some combination of the above. So no, I don't really need to talk to myself. Gaming is social for me.
posted by walrus at 3:22 AM on July 30, 2017

Man, when this guy discovers YouTube it is going to BLOW his MIND.

When talking to yourself became a fashion. They even do it with people in the room.
posted by filtergik at 4:15 AM on July 30, 2017

I play games, work, etc. in sweet, blessed silence.

I can only conclude that all the rest of you are crazy.
posted by kyrademon at 4:26 AM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

This is timely. I've recently found myself talking more in single player games. The latest one I've been playing is The Forest and without realizing it at first was speaking the running character commentary out loud. I've always done that sort of thing in my head.
I know why I'm doing this. Six months ago I got back into playing Dungeons and Dragons. I have been playing 3-4 games a week online instead of other types of gaming. That game is all talking and creating narrative so now I guess it's what I do now.
posted by Jalliah at 5:09 AM on July 30, 2017

I don't actually *say* a whole lot when I'm playing but I do tend to subvocalize a lot at NPCs. Except that in F4 when a particular bit of combat music comes I do my fightin' and then when the music ends I improve it by adding a "Cha cha cha!" to it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:02 AM on July 30, 2017

I sometimes talk back to my bestest friends ... er I mean the computer-generated characters - in Animal Crossing in the same hyper-fast talking sound thingie they use in world I mean in game.
posted by Wordshore at 9:09 AM on July 30, 2017 [5 favorites]

Pyrogenesis, that is a really great article you linked to regarding the subject of reading out loud. That deserves its own front page post. Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2017

I talk to myself fairly constantly during all activities, principally variants of "fucksake" or "piece of shit".
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:27 PM on July 30, 2017 [1 favorite]

I can lose the power of speech altogether when I'm concentrating on some mechanical thing.

Once following the lecture in my huge freshman physics class, when students were crowding around the professor to ask about the upcoming first exam, and he was ignoring them in favor of muttering over an angular momentum demonstration that had gone wrong, I thought I saw the problem, yet the best explanation I could muster was loud "mmm! -- mmm!" sounds and upward-angled jabbing motions with my forefingers. "That's it!" he shouted, and after a few more interactions over the next month or so, he asked me to date his daughter, whose existence I hadn't been aware of until that moment. I turned him down and never really felt comfortable in his presence again after that.

And anyway, in my experience talking to yourself out loud in an unguarded way can be . . . kind of dangerous.

A few weeks after moving into a new house which seemed to develop some new semi-major problem every other day, from strange uncaused breaker flipping, to clogged sewers, to a flea infestation in the sun-room, to an oven that turned itself on and off at random, etc., I was banging around in the kitchen unpacking some glass storage jars and putting them on the lower shelves of a little kitchen cart, when it just hit me all at once and I stood up and growled out "why the hell don't I just burn the place down and start all over again?"

So a few minutes later I decided I needed to get out of there and go on a little bicycle ride, and about 25 minutes from my house I saw a thrift store I'd never visited, stopped in, and as soon as I laid eyes on some old pyrex glassware, I had a vision of the top half of an old pyrex double boiler 2/3 full of water sitting on a nichrome wire hot plate (a Cory 'Buffet Queen') on top of the kitchen cart, with red heat shining through the water and the glass, and six inches of wadded packing paper piled at the base of the cart directly below. I realized I had, for reasons I still can't recall, decided to boil some water before my ride, then turned around and left the house without giving it a second thought.

I wouldn't have been so panicked, but I'd boiled an exact duplicate of that pot dry on the same hot plate in my old kitchen, and it had cracked loudly into several big pieces, two of which fell down onto the floor and melted holes in the linoleum even though I was in the next room at the time and got them up almost instantly.

I made it home in under 13 minutes, and there was still 1/4 inch of water left in the pot.
posted by jamjam at 9:26 PM on July 30, 2017 [2 favorites]

I don't actually talk to my video games but I do seem to have an unshakeable innate belief that leaning my entire body in a particular direction will make my character run faster in that direction. It's completely subconscious, and it drives my husband nuts.
posted by telepanda at 10:45 AM on July 31, 2017 [2 favorites]

Frequently heard in the room when some piece of entertainment software does something stupid with which I disagree:

"Thanks, game!"
posted by JHarris at 10:51 AM on August 1, 2017

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