Where The Real and Virtual Meet, In The Mind

Video games aren’t reality no matter how much we wish summoning fire from our hands and flying round on dragons was a real world possibility. And contrary to what some people in the news often claim, gamers can clearly tell the difference between our virtual worlds and our real one. However, there is some crossover between reality and fantasy in our brains. No it’s nothing as crazy as attempting to use the power of the Thu’um to get through a long queue in the supermarket but it can be amusing to think about.

The rarer cross over is from the virtual to the real however it does happen. There are times when I have attempted to use the force (especially with automatic doors), I have definitely seen other people do this too it’s usually an intentional action as opposed to a subconscious one but it’s still a bit strange that many people do it. Holding out our hands and waving them in the hopes that the motion will give you the powers of the Jedi, so far to no success. The other one would be holding your breath, when playing an under water level, hiding in a horror game or stealthing through the map as if we are really there under the water or trying to remain silent behind the enemy.

More commonly there is the cross over from reality into our gaming world. It’s almost as if q=we sometimes try to place our real world logic it into a video game world often with varying degrees of success.

One example would be going off-road, gamers never really stick to the path (that would be boring) we often travel into the wilds and explore. When doing this however it can go one of two ways. In games like Skyrim you can basically use a horse to go up a vertical cliff (not exactly realistic) but I’m thinking of the other occasions. In some games you apply real world logic thinking I could jump over that or I can climb that or go under those obstacles only to be met by invisible walls and the limits of the game’s engine or design and a brief pause of confusion as your brain thinks “why didn’t that work?”

Sleep and food, this one I have seen mentioned elsewhere, in games obviously food and water are not necessary for the survival of our characters. However, often we still fall in the habit of collecting and eating food and letting our characters have a well-deserved rest after months of being awake and on the road! In Skyrim for example I often hoard vast quantities of food with no real purpose and end up having to make my character eat it all in one go to reduce the amount of stuff I’m carrying.

Settlement, one of the more random ones in this list which I noticed when playing Minecraft. For some reason despite the fact I could have set up my home anywhere I choose in the world of Minecraft from the middle of the desert to the depths of the Nether I always prefer to settle on hills or by rivers. In reality humans did this for defence and access to water and despite the fact that in Minecraft hills give no defensive advantage and there is little need to settle by a water source it’s weird that I still gravitate towards those locations.

I love thinking about all the strange little habits we develop from gaming and how they vary depending on the genre we are playing. How we often apply our own modern logic on these crazy scenarios and post-apocalyptic realities as if they would fit such a drastic situation or how we often stick to the type of law-abiding behaviour you follow in the real world despite the lack of consequences (unless you are making the conscious choice to be evil). A great article which covers these strange habits gamers have would be Weird gaming habits: part one by Later Levels and it would be interesting to know, how does the virtual and real crossover in your mind?

3 thoughts

  1. When I’m playing a video game, regardless of how far-out the situation is I’ll always pick the options that most reflect what I’d do in real life. I’ve tried going down the totally evil route but it never feels right!

    Also – thank you for the mention! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m the same, no matter how insane the situation I always apply it to my own ideas/judgement if I go against that I have to really force myself into it! Also your welcome I really loved that post and the other parts 😊


      1. Ha ha ha I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one! Every time I’ve started a game and told myself I’m going to consciously make the ‘evil’ choices… I’ve found myself reloading and starting again within an hour. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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