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Alternate Reality: The Curse of Medium Sized Walls


It is Wednesday. The time is 10 PM. Little Jimmy has an exam at 9 AM the next morning and will be taking no chances when it comes to sleeping through his alarm due to exhaustion. He sets his alarm, hits the pillow and when he finally comes around it's-OH GOD HE SLEPT THROUGH HIS ALARM IT'S 8:50 AM.

Rushing out of bed, Little Jimmy throws something on that he thinks is his uniform and hurries out the door with a pen in hand. Jimmy is now presented with two options:

Option #1: Little Jimmy can follow his regular route to school that involves him going all the way down to the bottom of his street just to come back down the otherside. This will take him 11 precious minutes.

Option #2: He could just slip down the alleyway behind his house that leads straight in to the school.

Needless to say, our trepid adventurer doesn't feel like taking any chances and dashes down the alleyway. Sprinting as fast as he can, Jimmy thinks he can see the opening on to the school grounds but there appears to be something blocking the way and suddenly, our protagonist realises his folly. How could I have been so stupid!, he cries to himself. Of all the things Jimmy had considered happening, this was not one of them. Jimmy had encountered,

The Medium Sized Wall

What just happened to Little Jimmy is a device seen in almost every videogame I can think of. The medium sized wall (whilst on occasion is a very literal wall) often presents itself as other inanimate objects such as doors and rocks too. Any time some completely inane object is blocking the path of the main character for no realistic and (in most cases) physical reason, the player has encountered one of these unpassable barriers.

For example, let us look at Pokemon. The protagonist is an eventual Pokemon Master who in his/her adventures catches Legendary Pokemon never before seen. Despite being a child, s/he takes on giant evil corporations singlehandedly with ease. Why is it then, that such a prodigal child can be stopped by a tiny little tree growing in his path? When it comes to trees, I'm no expert but one thing I do know is that I can walk around them.

And how is it that after battling a myriad of foes in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, when I finally arrive at a new town and attempt to enter a building somewhere, I find that the door I am trying to go through won't move. Despite my physical prowess and previous ability to shoot giant balls of fire, apparently wood is far sturdier a substance than I once thought and the only man with the key is hiding away in a haunted forest no doubt.

Imagine living in a world where these restrictions were real. My theory is that over time, humanity would fall in to a state of reclusiveness as the ability to move becomes impossible. People caught inside when these new laws of physics arose would find themselves shut off from the outside world. No one would be able to get to work or school and those poor souls already there would likely never be able to get out. The whole of society would collapse. Those outside would have a better chance at survival but for how long? The laws of the "medium sized wall" have no boundaries and materialise in all kinds of different ways. A pile of rubble here, a fallen tree there. God forbid that you live here:

To put it in to a personal context, assuming that I could leave my house, who would I go visit and how? I guess I could go knock for Dave but due to a fence somewhere, I'd have to add hours to my journey. Oh, nevermind, I bumped in to a gate anyway. According to the man on the other side (equally stuck, I imagine) only 'The Lock Master' obtains the one key to get through here and he's somewhere inconvenient like Iceland and crossing water is just another problem. Suddenly I remember that I never really valued Dave much as a friend anyway and saunter home to live the rest of my life as a hermit.

In conclusion, the only way that humanity would survive such a dreadful time is if one person took it upon themselves to find a way for us to surpass these barriers. His quest would be tedious and likely drive him insane but his heroism would never be forgotten. Lets be real though, the biggest problem would be finding someone like that. Life isn't a videogame afterall.
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About Gilthalasone of us since 3:28 PM on 03.02.2010


I'm Tim but online I go by Gilthalas.

I'm currently at University studying English. I'm pretty good at it.

As far as videogames go, I'd say I'm pretty open minded and can enjoy any game. Except for Dead Space/Mirror's Edge but I don't even want to talk about them.

Frequently Asked Question:

Q: Why Gilthalas?
A: My favourite book series as a teenager was Dragonlance and I eventually hit the internet so wanted a 'cool' username. Picked a favourite character called Gilthanas. Name is fine but I wanted it to be my own so I just changed the n to an l and there you have it.

Q: Favourite Games?
A: Call of Duty (Series)
Golden Sun (Series)
Prince of Persia (Series)
Halo (Series)
Assassin's Creed (Series)
Dragon Age: Origins
Fire Emblem (Series)
Red Dead Redemption
Ninja Blade (no, I'm not kidding)
Pokemon (Series)
Team Fortress 2

Basically, I like games that come from a series because if the first one gets a sequel, it was probably a good series to start with (although there are exceptions, of course).

Q: Other hobbies/interests?
A: I play guitar. I enjoy writing. I draw too. I love films. I also love the theatre (as in Shakespeare and all that jazz).

Xbox LIVE:Gilthalas


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