Five real-life habits I blame on games

July 17, 2009, Author: Andy Corrigan

I like many other people in the world today, have my fair share of quirky habits that I don’t always realise I’m doing. Some of my odd behaviour can range from making sure things are lined up straight, performing tasks in a particular order (and finding deviating from that order stressful), which are clearly actions we can put down to some form of mild OCD, which I believe we all suffer from to some degree. However, there are a few habitual things that I’ve noticed myself doing more and more since my misspent youth, and I believe that I can safely place the blame of these traits solely onto gaming. Such as when I sleep with and then kill prostitu… sorry, I’ve said too much… Anyway, that’s right; I’m taking the ‘Daily Mail’ approach to article writing. Read on as I give you my top five annoying habits that I blame on the games industry.

1. Taking note of security cameras.
(Game to blame: Goldeneye 64)
When walking around at the office block at work (or any building that has them for that matter) I always seem to make a mental note of where every single security camera is and what their field of vision would be. I have no reason to enter any building I frequent undetected, so why the hell do I do this?! I even had one instance of waiting for a mate to make a transaction in a local bank, only to find a security guard had been sent out to follow me on account of the fact I had been blatantly clocking all the camera locations and security features…

Best FPS Evaaaar!

2. Looking around suspiciously before entering a vehicle.
(Game to blame: Grand Theft Auto)
I don’t drive so this is really a puzzler for me, but should I end up in a situation where I need to enter a vehicle, I find myself giving my immediate surroundings one last conscientious glance before I finally get in the car. What do I think I’m going to see? That I’m being watched or followed? Checking for attackers? Snipers?! Not a solitary clue, but I still catch myself doing it.

I was only wanting a lift!

3. Secretly wishing I could shoot at gas tanks.
(Game to blame:
Half-life 2)
As I sit here writing this on my lunch break at work, staring mindlessly out of the window wishing I was elsewhere, my not-at-all picturesque view overlooks an adjacent construction site littered with big propane tanks and diminutive gas barrels. It looks just like a plausible yet clichéd scene from a generic shooter. In a game and offered a view such as this you just know that you would be presented with a sniper rifle, and have the freedom to fire down upon your enemies using the various explosive and flammable tanks to your advantage. The explosive red barrel is a formula I’ve really come to dislike, yet given the right view it’s at the forefront of my mind, weirdness.

Exactly what I was thinking...

4. Tapping out a ‘Shoryuken’ on anything that resembles a joystick.
(Game to blame: Street Fighter 2)

Analogue sticks, d-pads, arcade machines in pubs that aren’t Street Fighter, Atari controllers, my phones trackball. You name it; if it moves like a Joystick I will give it the old ‘forward quarter circle forward’ without fail (well except on my penis… hmm…). This move is forever etched into my brain. I even find myself doing it whilst waiting for any game to load. Mind you it is a good way to get a feel for the robustness of any pad.


5. Dreaming about games.
(Game to blame: Braid)

This is the most annoying one. I buy a new game on release and chances are that if I get bang into it that very night, I’ll dream about it without fail. Maybe only certain elements appear subjectively, or I dream about the actual gameplay itself, or even applying real world rules to what I’ve played. I’ve had situations where I’ve been stuck in a game and have gone to bed frustrated, only to dream the solution and see it work the following morning. It’s scary what my brain does at the best of times, least not when I’m asleep!

A dream game...