When we’re immersed in the world of video games, we don’t often give a second thought to how that digital world operates. It seems normal that eating a single apple restores health, or that you can carry all your inventory in a Marry-Poppins-style backpack.
But in real life, things are much more complicated. We need to eat a balanced diet, we can’t haul an armory on our backs, and we don’t have endless stamina to traipse through jungles, deserts, or across enemy lines. What other unrealistic characteristics of video games have we bought into over the years?
Mario Brothers Lied to You
Perhaps the only realistic aspect of Mario Brothers is that there’s always one headstrong sibling and one who’s willing to fall in line. Other than that, it’s probably one of the first games you were exposed to that showed avatars with other-worldly capabilities that we came to accept as normal.
Video games would have you believe that a med pack, a nap, or just leaving a game on is enough to heal wounds sustained in battles. While this is true virtually, it’s certainly not true in real life! We can’t take a nap and wake up the next morning with a new life cycle.
We have to take health more seriously in our daily lives because there’s no magic package we can pick up from a mysterious healer in the woods. We have to make appointments with health care professionals, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly to have a chance of preventing illness and healing our bodies. Not to mention, all the stress avatars go through saving the world would be enough to put anyone on bedrest!
In the real world, the biggest enemy we face is probably heart disease, not reapers, darkspawn ogres, or super mutants.
Ready, Aim, Fire!
From the days of Duck Hunt to more modern games such as Call of Duty, it seems like everyone is a sharpshooter. With floating sights and lines that pinpoint the trajectory of your bullet, there’s a false sense of confidence in one’s skills to wield a firearm.
In reality, there are a lot of gadgets that can help increase the accuracy of your aim, but nothing can replace good ol’ fashioned target practice. Learn more about firing with accuracy from 45 Blast.
Speaking of weapons, why do video games make it look so easy to tote around armor, swords, machine guns, rocket launchers, and whatever else your avatar needs to survive? Those things are heavy, and no person is going to A B AA B (that’s jump, run, jump jump, run in Super Mario Brothers) with ease while hauling a pack full of inventory. Sure, some games might slow down your avatar when you’ve packed one too many shields in your magical, traveling chest, but it’s still not even close to reality.
If you want to increase your strength in real life, whether you’re hauling around your kids’ sporting equipment or participating in the annual Red Oktober Kalashnikov Championships, you’ll need to build your strength gradually in the gym.
When you choose your avatar, you’ll likely notice the masculine characters are dressed to the nines. They have body armor that’s impossible to penetrate, covering them from head to toe. On the flip side, the feminine characters somehow manage to survive battle although they have a mere square foot of tactical gear to cover their entire body. The inequality when it comes to attire is truly mind-boggling.
It should come as no surprise, however, that fashion doesn’t favor females in first-person shooter video games. Fashion hasn’t favored females in real life, either. All women want are pockets in their clothes, but for centuries they have been denied this functional feature. Historically, it was believed women had no need for pockets since they labored in the home and didn’t need to carry anything around. They didn’t need to stow a watch, money, or a weapon when venturing out of the house since it was believed their male counterpart would take care of all that. So, why should video games be any different?
It seems female video game avatars need to have their own suffrage movement in which they claim full body armor as their own, much as real women of the 1920s demanded pockets in their pants.
Tuck and Roll
Contrary to the physics of falling, it seems you can survive just about anything in a video game with a good tuck and roll. A jump from 100s of feet up? Sure, why not?! Being hurled out of the hands of a mighty beast toward a castle wall? No problem! Just remember to tuck your chin, go with the flow, and you’ll be fine. Additionally, the tuck and roll serves as an effective evasive maneuver in video games as well. Unless you’re fighting a blind adversary, it’s not recommended you rely on this tactic in real life.
Video games and singer Ciara make it sound so easy to level up, elevate your level, graduate your level. All you need to do is bop your head against a block to reveal a reward or perform tasks in a certain order. If it was that easy to earn a promotion in real life, we’d all be doing it! Remember that there’s no substitute for hard work in your personal and professional life. Video games tend to set unrealistic expectations in young players, training them to expect instant gratification and over-the-top rewards for menial accomplishments. While many things in life are worth celebrating, chances are no one is going to upgrade your wardrobe because you managed to defeat a pile of laundry over the weekend.
Do you ever watch a movie and marvel at the mass destruction done to cities in minutes? Who’s going to clean all that up? How are people going to continue to live and work in those places when streets are torn open and buildings are leveled? The same can be seen in video games; your avatar plows a car through a building with either minimal damage, or no regard for the catastrophic consequences.
There aren’t any lasting consequences for your avatar when your comrades are defeated; you can always recruit more troops or assistance as long as you’re patient. There’s no thought to the logistics of moving an army to the battlefield or calling for backup in your Grand Theft Auto heist.
There are lots of other inconsistencies to be found in video games, but you probably get the point by now. One last bit of advice, though: before you eat a magic mushroom hoping it will give you fireball powers or speed, think twice about where it came from.