Okay, so I’ll admit it. This post was largely inspired by a video from WhatCulture gaming. In that video, the team at WhatCulture discussed their own pointless things that they do in games and it made me think of the weird and strange things I do when gaming. Here’s the video itself, in case you are interested.
Have you finished watching the video? Good. Then it’s now time for me to talk about my 7 strangest gaming habits. Let’s take a look!
7. Remapping Circle and X In RPGs
We’ll start this off with a gaming habit that used to be a common practice for me but has since become a much rarer thing for me to do. Now, despite the fact that it isn’t my favourite in the series, Final Fantasy VII was the first game that I spent a considerable amount of hours playing. As such, it did have a significant effect on the way that I play games.
Specifically, Final Fantasy VII uses the Eastern symbolism for Circle and X as opposed to the Western understanding. In other words, Circle was “confirm” and X was “cancel”, the complete opposite from what we have come to expect.
However, because I spent so much time playing Final Fantasy VII, my brain got used to this… But only for RPGs. From that point on, or at least for many years, when I started a new RPG I had to switch the Circle and X buttons’ mapping around to suit what my brain was expecting.
I don’t do that so much anymore, but for many years, it was a regular occurrence.
6. Selling Healing Items As Soon As Possible
The second thing that I do regularly in games, especially RPGs, is actually a detriment to progression. You see, if I have a healer in my party (such as a White Mage), then I will instantly start looking for a place where I can sell my healing items.
Whilst the weaker healing items don’t give you a lot of cash, the strong ones (such as X-Potions in Final Fantasy games) tend to give you a big amount of money. I then instantly go and spend that on armour or weaponry.
More often than not, this actually ends up hurting me and I start wishing I had healing items. This is especially true when my healer runs out of MP. Yet I continue to do the same thing in many RPGs, putting myself in the same situation over and over again.
5. Tilting The Controller When Turning
This next strange gaming habit of mine seems to more quite common. When playing a racing game, or any driving game, turning can be very frustrating. In so many video games where you have a car, bike or any other vehicle, they just never seem to turn enough.
That led to a young 16-Bit Dad leaning over and tilting the controller in the direction that I wanted to turn. If it was a sharp turn, I would lean and tilt even further, actually having fallen over before.
Of course, in the good old days, this did absolutely nothing even if I could swear it worked. That changed when motion controls on the Wii, PS3 and other consoles came into effect, but for the most part, it still doesn’t work. Yet, to this day, I still do it without thinking!
4. Checking Whether You Can Swim
When the open-world style of game design was popularised by Grand Theft Auto 3, swimming was something that proved hard to program. Because of this, many games decided to make it so that if you jumped into the water, you died instantly. This is despite the fact that the human body largely floats…
This mechanic continued for a very long time, with even the early Assassin’s Creed games featuring it. It was almost a staple of game design, to the point where many gamers basically expected that water in a game meant certain death. A lot of us got an ingrained fear of digital water which would stick with us for years to come.
That’s precisely why now, as soon as I see a large body of water in a game, I just have to take a dive straight into it. Part of me just really wants to see whether you can swim or if the water is so toxic that it ends all life with a single touch.
3. Testing Fall Damage
Ever since I was a kid and started playing games, falling generally equalled death. From the likes of Mario to Sonic, if you fell off the screen, you lost a life. Since then, action games have made it so that when you fall a great height, you’ll either take a lot of damage or die.
However, that isn’t the case in all games. Some games don’t even let you step off the side of a cliff. They put invisible walls around every possible area that you could possibly fall off.
So now, whenever I get to an area with a significantly high drop, I always test it to see whether I can jump off. If I can, then I would test to see whether the developers included fall damage… I just can’t help it!
2. Aiming Whenever You Enter A New Room
This next gaming habit actually comes from playing so much Resident Evil, specifically Resident Evil 2. You see, in the Resident Evil games, when you aim your gun, the playable character will auto-aim towards a zombie or other enemy. This can be really useful when you have fixed camera angles, as it will let you know if there is an enemy in the vicinity.
So, I got into the habit of entering a new room, turning around so that I have my back facing the room, and then aiming. If my character spins around and aims at something, then I know there is an enemy nearby.
This habit then continued on through other games, especially third-person shooters and action-adventure games. Even if the game didn’t feature an auto-aim in the same manner as Resident Evil, I would still try this trick out, hoping to be able to conserve amount because I now know where the enemy is.
1. Manually Saving Multiple Times
By far, the biggest of my strangest gaming habits comes into play when saving a game. Whilst many people don’t seem to trust autosaves, choosing to manually save as well, I tend to go one step further… I have a compulsive need to save my game multiple times, just to be sure that it has actually saved.
It also doesn’t matter whether the game is a retro game or modern game. For example, at the end of every stream of Persona 5, I have to manually save the game at least 4 times. It’s similar to those people who have to keep checking that the front door is locked. If I don’t save the game multiple times, I have an irrational fear that when I come back to the game I won’t have my progress anymore.
However, as CynicaGaming explained the irony of to me; doing this on consoles or systems that use a Solid State Drive actually makes it more likely that the save data will become corrupt. This is because the Solid State Drive has a limited amount of writes that can be made, and each time you save your game, you are using up another one of those limited writes.
If you want to check out CynicaGaming, then why not head over to his Twitch channel?
And That’s All Folks
There we go! Those were 7 of my strangest gaming habits. I’m sure quite a few of you do some of these as well, and probably have you own weird and wonderful little quirks when it comes to gaming.
If you do have your own thing that you instinctively do when playing a game, let me know in the comments below!