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LONG BLOG

You Are Not Alone: Gaming Habits/Idiosyncracies

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Following on the coattails of my "Gaming Pet Peeves" article, I have chosen to talk about something that is not a rant for once: things that I, and hopefully others, do in games or while playing games. Hopefully it'll be a "It's sad watching people eat alone" situation (Go watch the HAWPcast if you don't get this, it's a great show!), where everyone seems to agree that they do these things as well. Anyways, let's start off with a strong one!

1. Walking away for a while? Turn that controller off!

This is to all of my conservationists out there: yes, I am one of you. Being a person who lacks a proper rechargeable battery for my Xbox 360 controller as well as no long USB cable for my PS3 controller, I find that if I am to walk away from the game for even a couple minutes, I have to turn the controller off. Period. If I don't, then I'll crucify myself later thinking of all the battery life I wasted while away. Now granted, not only does the PS3 come with a rechargeable battery in the controller (Come on Microsoft, get with the times!), but I would also be using that battery life if I was there playing the game anyways, I don't think of any of this while in the process of turning off my controller/plugging it into a power source.

Now you might be asking yourself "Hey Canti, what about your Wii! Surely you feel bad about wasting 2 AA batteries' energy while away! Why not turn it off?" Well, with every scenario, there is an exception. You see, as completely flat broke as I am now, I did once actually have a job which afforded me the opportunity to purchase all types of neat stuff, including a Nyko Charge Station for my Wii, just one of many absolutely killer accessories produced by Nyko in lieu of the lack of Nintendo support (Nyko Light Gun Attachment > Nintendo's Wii Zapper). Well, this allows me to just smack that Wiimote onto the charge station without a second thought or shred of guilt. Freedom is a beautiful thing...

Although, this begs the question, why feel bad for the PS3's rechargable battery when you don't for your Wii's? Well, other than the fact that I have no actual answer because it's a completely illogical habit, think about this: the Nyko Charge Station is attached directly to a power source (My wall outlet), where as the PS3 must be on since the controller attaches to it directly to charge. This means I must have it attached to the PS3 itself via USB while playing, meaning I need a pretty long USB cable, which I don't have, meaning, I have to either kneel before the thing to play it while the controller is attached to the PS3 or I have to switch it out for the regular SIXAXIS, which I hate for certain reasons compared to the Dualshock 3 (lack of rumble = lack of sufficient weight in your hands...). It's a completely illogical habit, but I'm sure plenty of people besides me do this.

.2. I've fired one or many bullets! GOTTA RELOAD!

Yeah, I know tons of people do this. It doesn't matter if you fire an entire clip or just a single round, after you fire your weapon, you have to reload it. Why? Who knows? You just have to do it, or else you'll spend a few seconds between enemies incredibly uncomfortable for some reason. It's an urge that is beyond logic or reason, truly, it is even beyond good and evil (That's for my dawg Nietzsche!). No one really even has a reason to do it, in fact, I'd go as far as to say there is no reason. It's just our natural instinct for preparedness or against wastefulness.

When you think about it, in real life, to reload a gun after firing one bullet is pointless, hell, even dangerous! Think about it: to replace that one bullet you shot, you have to eject the clip, dig a single round from your pocket, thumb it into the clip, and re-insert the clip. It's not like in a videogame where you discard an entire clip, yet only lose however many bullets you used. This is called a change for convenience sake. (We wouldn't want some of the guns from Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to have even longer reload times, would we?)

Anyways, back to the original point, there is no real reason to do this, we just do it. In fact, I'd say that you're a weirdo if you don't do this!

3. There are default names? I've got to use them for continuity sake...

This is a little less widespread I believe, but I'm one of those people that have to use default names in RPG's, even if they sound like crap. (I'm looking at you DAGGER...) I feel odd if any of the characters have different names than their default ones. In fact, I'm so ingrained to do this, I will look up the default names on the internet if the game doesn't provide them, like in any Shin Megami Tensei game that isn't Digital Devil Saga.

Beyond that, for the sake of consistency, if there are no default names available anywhere, I'll use the same one for every single game, as long as it's a JRPG: Shinji Ikari. Some of you will recognize this as the main character if Neon Genesis Evangelion, in which case, good for you! Now you know what a vagina I am, naming myself after the girliest main character in anime history, and that includes female protagonists! Why do I do this? I don't know, I guess I like hearing "Ikari-kun" over "Johnson-kun"...

This has got me into some odd situations though (I'm talking Awkward Penguin worthy ones here...), such as in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. Before finding out about the default name over the internet, I named my character Shinji Ikari. Since some characters will sometimes call you by your first name, I'd get called Shinji every once in a while. This wouldn't usually be a problem, but later in the game, you get a character named Shinjiro, who goes by Shinji for short...This results in some awkward dialogue ("Shinji! Help out Shinji-san!" etc.) Why do I continue doing this anyways? I can't stop, that's why. I'll bet there are some others that share my pain as well...

4. Karma System? Damn...Well, I'll do Good first and then Evil...

Now this might just be my natural urge to please people (odd since all I seem to do is rant about things that piss me off...), but I always play the good guy. It doesn't matter if it's Mass Effect, Bioshock, Fallout 3, or inFAMOUS, I always play the good side first. There's something about getting a nice, appreciative "Thank You!" that gets past the six inch lair of cynicism I keep around my heart and affects me. I like it, even though I know it means almost nothing in the fact that it's a fictional character.

In fact, most of the time, like in the case of Mass Effect and inFAMOUS, I have yet to go back and play Renegade or Evil simply because it's hard for me to be an evil bastard. Something about just ruining a guy's day by murdering his family just kind of takes the fun out of it for me. I'm what the /v/ community would call a "Moralfag", but I can't help it; I like playing the hero. This doesn't mean I'm totally beyond doing evil things, like pickpocketing/stealing in Fallout 3 or getting the Evil ending in Bioshock, but most of the time, I can't take being an asshole.

Now I know lots of people are going to scratch their heads at this one, but I honestly have a hard time being an evil character; being chastised for my actions by the random strangers whose lives I ruin really gets to me, even though they're simply electronic constructs. Now, I can indulge sometimes, like rampaging in Grand Theft Auto IV or electric dropping off a building into a crowd in inFAMOUS, but for the most part, I have a better time playing the good guy, and I'm betting I'm not alone.

5. Visual Progression turns you into a Completionist

Now this relates to the Obsessive Compulsive "reload" habit, but if there is visual progression for a game's side missions, like the map screens of Prototype or inFAMOUS, then I have to beat every single one. There's something about seeing every event as a gold medal in Prototype or seeing a completely letter-free radar in Grand Theft Auto IV that really gives me a sense of accomplishment I need. Now when it comes to side quests that don't get acknowledged in some way, like in Mass Effect or Fallout 3, I usually don't care; there's something about seeing that map, with everything on it done that really makes me feel satisfied.

I think the game that really does it for me is inFAMOUS, a game I really like simply because it shows the progression of your, well, progress! You see every piece of each island completely free of gang control, and you feel like you've really done something. Add in finding most of the blast shards and Dead Drops, and you've got me hooked for hours. I need to see that 100% in my save file. It kind of reminds me of my long-time love affair with Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland, in which I beat all three save files available with 100%, and then re-beat them in the alternate hard mode where you have half the normal health bar to add another 100%. Why? So I can see 6 "100%" on the screen!

It's a crazy what people like me will do to get everything there is, as long as it is acknowledged at some point. Take Super Metroid for instance; at the end, you get a time and a percentage of item pick-ups. If I see a perfect "5:00:00" or "4:00:00" with a "100%", then I'm in heaven. I hardly speed run that game simply because it almost feels like a punishment to be told I didn't get everything, even if I did it faster. I really hope I'm not alone on this or else this is going to awkward...
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About Canti-samaone of us since 9:47 PM on 08.03.2009

Hello, I'm Trevor Johnson, also known as Canti-sama. I like to write about things including videogames (that should be paramountly obvious at this point...) music, film, and anime, so what you see in this blog is just one part of my pretentiousness! I'm a nit-picky bitch when it comes to basically everything, so excuse me if I seem like kind of an elitist, even though I try not to be. If I had to sum up who I am, I would do it through top 5 lists, so how about we a do a few right now! But before that, since DTOID tends to remove frontpage posts from my c-blog, here's the list of my frontpages, which I thank everyone very much for!

Frontpage Posts:
1. Monthly Musing - I suck At Videogames: Nostalgia's Curse, 8/12/09
2. Promoted Story - Suda 51 and the "Art" of Videogames, 9/6/09
3. Monthly Musing - Nothing is Sacred: Videogames, 10/7/09

-----FAVORITES-----

Top 5 Favorite Videogames:
5. Fallout 3, PC
4. Mega Man X, SNES
3. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4, PS2
2. Braid, PC
1. Shadow of the Colossus, PS2

Top 5 Favorite Albums:
5. Death From Above 1979 - You're A Woman, I'm a Machine, 2004
4. Radiohead - O.K. Computer, 1997
3. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92, 1992
2. Animal Collective - Strawberry Jam, 2007
1. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation, 1988

Top 5 Films:
5. Brazil, Directed by Terry Gilliam
4. Fargo, Directed by Joel Coen
3. Fight Club, Directed by David Fincher
2. Shaun of the Dead, Directed by Edgar Wright
1. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Directed by Sergio Leone

Top 5 Anime Productions:
5. Spirited Away, Directed by Hayao Miyazaki
4. The Big O, Directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama
3. Cowboy Bebop, Directed by Shinichirō Watanabe
2. Neon Genesis Evangelion, Directed by Hideko Anno
1. Fooly Cooly, Directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki

----OTHER STUFF----
Avery Island: Musical Opinions From Music Geeks
PSN Name: MetalLink1979
Wii Friend Code - 8089-7286-5497-4717
XBL - Metal Link 904 (Note: My Xbox 360 is in possession of my brother, so this is no longer technically my XBL Tag)
Xbox LIVE:Metal Link 904
Steam ID:MetalLink1979
Mii code:8089-7286-5497-4717


 

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