We’ve all been warned that video games will warp our fragile little minds. While some might say otherwise, I feel that I’m a pretty well-balanced individual, despite my long history with such a wicked pastime. I maintain good relationships with my family and friends, I pay taxes, and I bathe regularly. However, just because I’m not a rocket-jumping maniac doesn’t mean I don’t have a few quirks, some of which seem at least partly inspired from my antics in the virtual world. Here are three examples I’ve noticed recently.
Efficient Build Orders
I don’t play RTS games very often, but I definitely take an interest in efficient tactics. Performing routines in the optimal order is crucial whether you’re trying fend off a hoard of Zerg or simply trying to get out the door in the morning. As a wise Redditor once said “socks act as pant lubricant,” so keep that in mind when you wake up at the crack of dawn, bleary-eyed and discombobulated. Just remember, while the exact reverse build order is an effective system for undressing, it should be modified in certain circumstances.
Long ago, I learned that the key to avoiding the business end a BFG is eliminating blind turns. Even a slight lateral pivot can give you a clue as to where your enemy is lurking. Today, my “enemies” mainly consist of oblivious people on their cell phones, runaway shopping carts, and folks with overfilled cups of coffee. Still, my virtual training has helped me avoid countless faux-fraggings.
I’m usually one of those players who enjoys seeing everything a game environment has to offer. When a game offers me a choice between a clearly defined “correct” path and a possible dead end, I like poking around the road less traveled, scrounging for loot, and looking for little secrets. As you may have guessed, it takes me a while to make it through a game like BioShock. This impulse has served me well in my daily life. When construction rendered my apartment without a bathroom, I had already scoped out the public showers in my building and noted their respective levels of cleanliness and water pressure. I’m currently enjoying the warmest, quietest carrel in the library because I gave each seat a trial run.
Is thinking about clothing efficiency nerdy? Yes. Is circling around corners in the grocery store a bit on the obsessive-compulsive side? Probably. Did my curiosity for exploration nearly get my wife and me trapped in an abandoned building at Yale on one occasion? It depends on your definition of trapped. What some see as quirks I see as a little digitally-informed wisdom.