What video game mechanic do you wish you could use in real life?

Video game mechanic in real life

Fast travel? Sign me up!

Have you ever done that thing where you’ve played a game too much, and then when you go out into the real world, you find yourself wishing you could use a game mechanic in real life? The example that always comes to mind for me is Breath of the Wild.

I first played it when I was in college in South Carolina, and because I lived near the Blue Ridge Parkway, I was also going on a lot of hikes at the time. Now when I got to the top of the mountain, I kept having this impulse to want to jump off, because of course my paraglider would take me safely to the ground below. Thankfully I never gave into that impulse, but I couldn’t stop thinking about how fun it would have been to actually get to just pull a glider out of my pocket and enjoy a nice ride with a beautiful view, especially when I felt too tired to walk back down the mountain again.

The glider is just one of many popular game mechanics that could prove to be really useful in real life. Over the years games have implemented all kinds of gameplay ideas to either make our experiences more convenient or fun, and now I’m kind of wishing some of these were a part of my day-to-day. Take fast travel for example.

Although there is some debate about which game was the first ever to implement fast travel, one thing we do know for sure is that it’s a mechanic that has become prevalent in a myriad of genres, and is pretty much always offered these days in games that require you to cover large maps. I feel like I don’t even need to tell anyone to imagine what it would be like to actually fast travel, because we’ve all daydreamed about teleportation at one point or another to mitigate the time and hassle that comes with real traveling.

Of course, the fun of this exercise is that we’re still sticking to the rules that games lay out — so you’d only be able to travel to locations you’re already been to.

Or maybe if you opted to go for being able to use an inventory system for a game in real life, you’d be able to carry way more stuff than you usually would without it getting in your way, but you’d still have to adhere to the weight limits.

As someone who struggles with insomnia pretty regularly, I’d also love to be able to set how long I want to sleep and just do it. Of course, I might not be able to wake up in the middle of the night if I need to. Maybe you could opt into having dialogue choices when you don’t know what else to say — but of course, you’d have to go with whatever choices the powers that be gave you, which can sometimes complicate things.

I’m sure there are tons of other examples I haven’t even thought of, so I want to know: which game mechanic would you choose to have in real life if you could?

Noelle Warner