Ten Things That Work In Video Games, But Not Real Life

Written by Jeremy M. Zoss

We all know that the rift between video games and reality is a large one, despite our best efforts to claim otherwise. But the differences are quite obvious once we look at how mechanically, video games are totally, foolishly outlandish. Like, maybe they were conceived by a kid with a severe case of the silly-brains.

So, we present to you a fairly in-depth study of big ways video games differ from reality. Some are physics-based, while others exemplify how we should avoid practical application of video game techniques at all costs. I present to you now our list of ten things that happen in video games, but don’t cut it in real life. Enjoy!

10. Gunshot Wounds Don’t Just Fade Away

Example: Call of Duty: Black Ops

Video games are separated from real life by a very wide margin, especially in war-themed video games (contrary to how they market themselves). 99% of us will never be shot in real life, yet 99% of us will be shot in a video game. Shot in real life: big time ouch — hospitals, morgues, rehab, yeesh. Shot in video game: 3 seconds behind cover and you’re good to go. So in case anyone gets inspired to participate in a massive-scale land war because of a video game, please do some more research.

9. Tilting Your Guitar Won’t Make You Rock Harder

Example: Guitar Hero

From this video, it is easy to see that tilting your guitar back toward you in short, caustic jerks does not, in fact, make you rock harder in real life. In the game, sure, maybe you’ll earn a few extra points and some lights will flash and you’ll be the talk of the fake underground venue — but in real life, you look like a total dweeb.

8. Rocket Jumping Will Literally Kill You Instantly

Example: Team Fortress

If you ever happen to be in a dicey situation, and in dire need of escape, please don’t take that rocket launcher resting on your shoulder, point it at the ground, bend you knees, and shoot. Pulling that trigger as you spring your self off the ground will literally be the last fucking thing you ever do. I guarantee it.

7. You Can’t Carry 15 Guns And Still Walk Like A Normal Human Being

Example: Most FPS

Video game characters can be encumbered by dozens of weapons without losing a single ounce of litheness. James Bond could still fly down a hallway in GoldenEye 64 with a bevy of weapons in hand, cycling through them at will. But in real life, you’d have to be a ‘roid guzzling gym rat to move with any sort of grace. And either way you’d look like an idiot.

6. Life Doesn’t Let You Skip Through Boring Conversations

Example: Mass Effect

But hot damn we wish it did. Have you ever sat in on a long, dry conference call or been roped conversation with one of those door-to-door magazine salesmen? It seems to happen to me all the time — and I wish nothing more for whatever force that is driving my life to smash the A button and get me the hell through it. But it never happens, damn it.

5. Going In Water Doesn’t Instantly Kill You

Example: Red Dead Redemption

While it is true that being in water can kill you, video games have it all wrong. Going waist-deep into a large body of water will not kill you instantly. Even if it is tremendously cold, or tremendously hot, you probably still have a good minute or so before you start to expire. In games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Assassin’s Creed, our near-invulnerable heroes just can’t handle a little h2o, but for some reason, all those bullets flying into them only make them stumble briefly.

4. Double Jumping Doesn’t Really Work

Example: Super Smash Bros.

The developers of games like Super Smash Bros, Crash Bandicoot, and Dragon Buster(old school) thought it would be a good idea to add an extra jump at the end of a regular jump to make a double jump. That concept is tantamount to “Oh, I have a beer in one hand, the remote in the other. How am I going to scratch my nether-regions? Oh that’s right, I’ll just use my other, third hand.” Doesn’t work that way — science will drag you quickly, and awkwardly, to the ground.

3. Hiding In Shadows Doesn’t Render You Invisible

Example: Splinter Cell Series

We’ve all played a stealth game, heard an enemy go “There he is!” and dove for the shadows to evade their wrath. In most games, that tactic works well, keeping us safe and allowing for normalcy to return after moments. But in real life, hiding in the shadows only makes you creepy.

2. Eating Food Off The Ground Doesn’t Make You Healthier(Thanks, The Onion!)

Example: Most 1980s and 1990s games

In many video games, it is customary to gather food supplies from the floor and put them in your mouth for restored health. In real life, that is how people get serious diarrhea, or worse. I suppose if you are hard-up for some grub, ground-food will suffice. But any regular shmoe should never eat food off the ground. Even if it is a giant, tasty-looking carrot.

1. If You Collect Coins, You’re Either A Nerd, Or You’re Homeless

Example: Super Mario Series

For some reason, game developers have had a long love affair with coin collection. Numerous games have rewarded players for capturing large quantities of coins, oftentimes with no explanation of the coinage whatsoever. But we all know that there are only two types of people in real life that collect coins: total nerds, and the homeless. The only real difference is whether you keep them in display cases or a paper cup.

Bonus: Shanghai 1990 vs 2010

3 thoughts on “Ten Things That Work In Video Games, But Not Real Life

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