RPS Asks: Which Games Meddle With Life?

By John Walker on September 21st, 2011 at 2:08 pm.

THEY MUST BE DESTROYED!

Something brought up by the article below – in which the way gaming causes us to change our behaviour in the real world is discussed – is quite how brilliant that stuff actually is. It’s the same thrill you can get from watching a superhero film, or being inspired by a character in a book. Those bizarre, often hilarious moments in life, when you’re taken back to a gaming experience. I think they deserve celebrating, so let’s all do that below.

I think the most distinctive example for me would be after playing Thief 2 at university. Spending long evenings in the pitch black, skulking around the medieval city streets, I became well-attuned to avoiding the light, and spotting potential routes across building tops. Such that as I walked through the equally life-threatening streets of Stoke On Trent I would do the same, automatically evading street lights, and scanning my eyes across the university buildings to work out the best imaginary route.

It’s essentially playing. As in, how kids play. Your imagination laid on top of the reality around you. It’s not an inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Were that the case we’d all be dead by now. It’s something fun.

My about-to-be-wife gets very annoyed with me each time I see a giant red container or radio tower with red and white stripes across it, and I loudly declare (usually while she’s talking about something sensible) that I have to destroy them. I don’t really plan to destroy them. But a part of my brain trained by Just Cause 2 starts looking for the rocket launchers. I don’t really start looking for the rocket launchers.

So what about you? Which games have augmented your real life in such ways?

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276 Comments »

  1. bglamb says:

    Once I was playing System Shock 2 for so long that I became very thirsty.

    I bought some orange juice from one of the in-game vending machines.

    • enobayram says:

      Technically, that’s the opposite of what John’s describing, but I know the feeling. I often find myself looking for an in-game bed, when it’s late at night and I need to sleep to keep my real life job :)

    • bglamb says:

      I did wonder once what the results would be if I could quicksave my life, then upload it to the internet as a save-file, and let everyone else play my life from here. To see where other people would get.

      I reckon you could take any life and, with enough effort, do something like get to space, or get elected prime-minister.

      Quite inspiring, in a way.

    • Askeladd says:

      Yes, this would be the greatest game ever, but humanity needs to become immortal in order to play all those different lifes, which would make any of us into a semi-god that is so full of wisdom and life expierience that this game would become boring, to a point where we will create Hero mode to spice things up!

      Sounds familiar.

    • Askeladd says:

      I like it how that guy said I was right.

    • Synesthesia says:

      press ctrl-z to fix the glass of water you just dropped to the floor

    • Trillby says:

      Along the same lines, the two or three times I have lost something very valuable to me (wallet, mobile, little baggy of fashionable narcotics) when out drinking of a weekend, I wake up not really rememering what the circumstances were when I lost it. The hangover, combined with the abject misery of having lost whatever it is, make me burn with this incredible desire to “Return to Previous Checkpoint”, where I again have whatever it is I lost, so I can replay the subsequent scenes without losing it.

    • Lugg says:

      “I did wonder once what the results would be if I could quicksave my life, then upload it to the internet as a save-file, and let everyone else play my life from here. To see where other people would get.”

      Did you see that Nicholas Cage movie “Next”? ;)

      But yeah, that would be nice. I bet most of those people who would download your life would sit in front of their browser to see where the other other people would get.

    • wu wei says:

      The in-progress comic Infinite Vacation is all about bidding for the parallel lives of your alternative selves. Great stuff.

    • simonh says:

      A couple of times when playing late at night, I’ve tried to reach the cup of tea on my desk with my mouse pointer. :S

    • TurquoiseTail says:

      Would it not be possible to have a huge simulator? where by you enter it and have the save data inserted and there you are, in his shoes. time goes on and so does everyone else but you are simulated real time in the same world and of course when you get out, you simply step out of the simulator and you are back to reality

  2. h4plo says:

    I found watching anyone make a mistake in real life, television, or movies hugely painful after playing Frozen Synapse for a week. “You should have tested that and scrapped it!” my mind would shout.

    • Fragman says:

      This made me want to play FS…..and there’s only 23 people online! Come on, people!

    • kanzy says:

      After playing FS for a few hours, I didn’t think carefully about my choices in real life, making the assumption that I could go back and change the choice if it doesn’t turn out well. Then something bad happened and I remembered that real life has no such feature. D:

  3. Theoban says:

    Bloody Minecraft. The atrium of our work building is made up of square blocks, I can’t help but have the urge to ‘tap tap tap, pop’ them out

  4. Zanchito says:

    Thief 1, still does, and proud of it. I’m a ninja!

    • Daiv says:

      Yes, Thief makes you skulk.

      I found myself noticing the sound I make walking across a floor and seeking quieter routes. Plus shying away from lights.

      Thankfully I never gave in to the urge to blackjack.

  5. zipdrive says:

    Playing lots of guitar hero made me:

    1) see ever-forward-sliding afterimages
    2) think I could understand what guitarists actually did. I was wrong

  6. jon_hill987 says:

    I once tried to open a wooden shipping crate with a crowbar.

    By hitting it.

    • bear912 says:

      I approve.

      Also, what do you suppose the start-to-crate time for real life is?

    • Groove says:

      I actually run a warehouse as half of my job and recently I had to dismantle a damaged crate (of roughly ammo box size) so that it could be disposed of more efficiently.

      As this was a properly made crate the actual wood would give way before the joins, meaning that ultraviolence with a crowbar was my only solution. It took me about 15 minutes to fully deconstruct it, and I needed a sit down afterwards.

      Gordon Freeman must be Superman in disguise.

    • Askeladd says:

      Use Thunderhammer for ultra-violence. There is no power-crowbar.

    • Caleb367 says:

      Never did that but now I have a raging urge to.

    • hexapodium says:

      The power-crowbar: coming as Space Marine DLC, “Fall 2011″.

  7. BrendanJB says:

    The one that springs to mind is assassins creed. After playing that game for a week I started to see buildings and houses as climbing walls. I saw air-conditioners, awnings and missing bricks as foot and hand-holds. Had I been a strong man I would have probably tried to scale them.

    Recently? Hmmm, I think it would be seeing any kind of “blocky” architecture and thinking about how I could reconstruct it in Minecraft.

    • Symitri says:

      Oh lord yes, Assassin’s Creed has changed how I see architecture. Anything fairly tall is seen as a vantage point, the only thing missing are the bundles of hay at the base.

    • Richard Beer says:

      Ditto. I went for a nice romantic weekend in Bruges last year having played Assassin’s Creed 2 for a couple of weeks and spent most of the time thinking “I could totally get up there and run across the city”.

    • iGark says:

      I had a friend who played Assassin’s Creed quite a bit. He started learning parkour recently too, and attempting to climb buildings.

    • Tatourmi says:

      This is the only game to ever give me that feeling. I too am part of the “Might be climbable” crowd.

    • Jarenth says:

      I have the same thing. Glad to see I’m not alone in my insanity.

    • Zanchito says:

      Actually, “runner vision” from Mirror’s Edge or Assassin’s Creed is an actual skill developed by Parkour precticioners (before these games were published, obviously): the ability to look for “ways through/up/down/in/out” in any environment. You develop it after a while, and are always looking at possible routes when walking through the city. So don’t feel bad about it, it’s actually used by non-gamers and it IS useful. :)

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      Same. Climbed some mausoleums. No churches or anything though. Started hanging out with rock climbers, and that stuff is Boring.

    • Armante says:

      Assassins’s Creed absolutely. Played the second one long enough, zipping over Italian cities, that when I went to Las Vegas and saw the Venetian hotel I kept looking at the facades thinking how well they’d replicated the place (I’ve been to Italy for 6 weeks IRL as well) and totally picturing running up walls and across rooftops

  8. Rinox says:

    When I was younger I’d sometimes think that I need to quicksave before doing something or making a decision. :-/

    • The Sombrero Kid says:

      Yeah I get this, the only reason you can’t is the universe doesn’t have as much ram as the pc.

    • Bishop says:

      Ah! This was what I was just about to post. When faced with a decision it feels a little alien to not be able to see both through and then choose by popping back to an earlier save. If there is a heaven, it’ll be a scene select feature for my life.

      EDIT: Oh yea, thinking I can jump more than foot off the ground. Only once have I seen gravity in a game stronger than earths. (that wasn’t my in the command console or a game about gravity).

    • ZeroMatter says:

      I only have that in my dreams, but in pretty much every single one. (But even then I kinda “know” that it’s not possible, so I have to convince myself and all people/monsters in the vicinity that I have just reloaded. It’s really very awkward.)
      In real life however I seem to be immune against this. Maybe because I’m in my fantasy half the time anyway.

    • Navagon says:

      Yeah, I got that a few times in the past actually. Either that or the need for a quick load.

    • Lord Byte says:

      I actually made a HUGE mistake, and I was like, for just a split-second, okay no worries, let me just quick-load… sigh…

  9. ScarthCaroth says:

    Feeling like a big jump wouldn’t kill me because of the Icarus system kicking in at the last time. Also feeling everything is a big conspiracy! *shakes fist at DXHR* Damn yooouuu

  10. Flibberdy says:

    After playing Portal 2 I started to see some great opportunities for getting around Leeds using portals. Good times. I also wished that all games included a Portal Gun, and would play these games always thinking “this would be so much simpler if I could just portal there and throw that there…”

  11. westyfield says:

    Yes to the Just Cause 2 one.
    Mirror’s Edge has me looking for the optimum path across obscured terrain.
    Years of playing Project Reality and ArmA have trained me to keep line-of-sight with friends, avoid open spaces with little cover, and make sure I always know an exit route.

    • pauleyc says:

      The image reminded me instantly of Just Cause 2, even before I read the title or article itself.

      About a month ago while driving back from vacation I mentioned to my better half that looking at the cell towers/wind turbines/petrol stations along the roads makes me want to reach for my grenades. Her look was priceless (and only a little bit concerned).

    • Richard Beer says:

      I couldn’t name the specific game (Op Flash, maybe), but to this day I can’t walk along the top of a hill or ridge without assessing how much I’m skylining myself to the enemy. Could be any number of movies that are as much to blame, tbh.

    • LozTaylor says:

      Just Cause 2 had the same effect on myself and my brother. Whilst in Morocco, we saw plenty of red and white pylons and just looked at each other, knowing. If only we had brought our fully upgraded Rowlinson…

    • Cpt Pillowcase says:

      I still open swinging door mirrors edge style with the full forearm smash, no point in wasting momentum.

    • Magnetude says:

      @PauleyC: I know that awkwardness. I spent countless, countless hours on GTA4 when sharing a very dingy flat with a mate at university, always trying to set up the best last stand possible (the top of the big skyscraper was good) and holding the police off for as long as we could until our eventual epic death by chopper.

      So then I go visit some friends in New York, and have to shake the urge to elbow smash the window of a parked Range Rover Sport, and then it’s gone and I’m back to reality (although my knowledge of the game was surprisingly helpful when navigating my way around). So we do the tourist stuff and go up the Empire State, and while we’re up there there’s a medal-giving ceremony for the police going on up top. A police helicopter comes over really close and we all take pictures.

      Then, after my New York friend (who is very patriotic, and makes much of how she was in New York on 9/11, though not actually anywhere near the towers) puts the pictures up on Facebook, and my GTA buddy sees the picture of the helicopter and comments “Get the grenades!”. That was a difficult one to explain…

    • Lugg says:

      That Just Cause 2 urge is probably why they keep blowing up the Tokyo Tower in every other anime!

  12. Leonard Hatred says:

    Fucking tony hawk tricked me into thinking i could skateboard.

    • doubledope says:

      haha, I laughed uncontrollably at that!

    • mpk says:

      +1 to this.

      Also, you can’t grind down railings in cat boots.

    • Jake says:

      Tony Hawk made it so that I couldn’t walk to college without thinking about how I could totally grind along that low wall, kickflip over that hedge and then manual across the road to get to the next grind on the other pavement. It drove me mad.

    • Joc says:

      You see, this is exactly what I thought of when I first saw the article, except it wasn’t Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater that made me analyse the world around me as though it were one big skate park. It was simply skateboarding, and my love of it, that had developed my brain to think of architecture in terms of whether it was skatable or not and, if so, in what way.

      The way I see it, this is essentially the same thing. Which I, at least, found quite interesting whilst glaringly obvious.

  13. kaibren says:

    Flatout 2: when some car is backing out into road and is still sideways with my car, then my first thought always is “I need to crash into it!”

    Trackmania2 – when going into curve, i really want to drift it..

    • westyfield says:

      I get the drifting around corners one as well. I’m always tempted to handbrake-turn into my driveway, because that’s always how I turn sharp corners in games.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Conversely, some proper simmy F1 driving with wheel and pedals made me better appreciate the nuances of breaking and accelleration’s effects on cornering control, because driving faster in that virtual world amplified the effects until they punched you in the face and screamed “HELLO I AM UNDERSTEER”.

    • halcyonforever says:

      I’ve actually caught myself handbrake turning lately, even ended up causing a fairly controlled drift around the corner from my house. Very bad habit.

  14. Jockie says:

    I have an expectation of being told how great I am for completing completely arbitrary tasks that I would expect to perform in my daily routine.

    Achievements have spoiled me.

  15. mentor07825 says:

    Playing Grand Theft Auto for a long time. Whenever I got behind the wheel to learn how to drive I would always see people and cars as potential points to make. Old people are five points :P

    That and when they’re walking on the side of the road my aunt would swear that the car was edging closer to the road….

    • Bozzley says:

      Grand Theft Auto 3. Played it in every spare minute I could find for a week. Friday night comes, and my flatmates and I are squeezed into a car heading to the pub. A police car is coming towards us, and I instictively flinch as it passes, thinking it’ll ram into us and force us off the road. Freaked me out a fair bit, that did.

    • Monkey says:

      After playing San Andreas alot i started to go to the wrong side of my REAL car thinking that was the drivers side.

      I still go to the wrong side in the games aswell

    • mejoff says:

      GTA3 has been known to cause feelings of unjustified elation upon seeing or hearing ice cream vans.

    • Cvnk says:

      I see unique jump opportunities everywhere for weeks after I finish playing a GTA game.

  16. liqourish says:

    Neptune’s Pride.

    Oh, the sleepless nights, the paranoia, the better exchanges with former friends.
    It’s a wonderful game.

  17. roethle says:

    After playing Grand Theft Auto 3 for many hours on end I went to pull out my non existent Uzi after being cut off on the way to work.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      Did you really try to “pull out” an Uzi then realise you didn’t have one? Honestly?

      Or did you just fantasise about shooting the guy who cut you up. Because most people do that – even the ones who have never played GTA3.

    • Berzee says:

      I think if some guy cut you up you wouldn’t be in a state to shoot *anyone*.

  18. Shinryoma says:

    I lived in Stoke on Trent. Pottery is serious business.

    Also, Burnout and Carmageddon.

    • Navagon says:

      You live in Stoke? So how realistic is Fallout then?

    • phuzz says:

      Actually burst out laughing, but I’m a bit old to just post lol
      Also, this does make me wish RPS did a “Comment of the day/week”, it would be a good way of highlighting the great bunch of commenters on here that make it a better site.

  19. Teddy Leach says:

    In the Sims 2, I meddle WITH life.

    • atticus says:

      I actually played alot of The Sims when it first came out. Started imagining bars for my needs and stuff IRL. “I have to get out of this poorly decorated room before my mood drops too much and make me underperform at work tomorrow, preventing me from being promoted to astronaut”.

    • Dom_01 says:

      Sometimes, after playing the Sims games, I would walk around trying to imitate the animation system.

      For example, I would walk up to a chair, stand still in front of it for half a second, then begin the sitting animation to actually sit on it.

      I did it mostly for my own amusement though, haven’t done it without noticing AFAIK.

    • sinister agent says:

      I used to have Sims conversations with my cousins after we discovered it. I don’t mean the gibberish speak – I mean we’d regularly have conversations that went like this:

      “Football?”

      “Football! Football football. Basketball?”

      “Basketball! Basketball. Chess?”

      (shakes head, speaks with disgust) “Chess.”

      “Oh.”

      (awkward silence)

      “Sandwich?”

      “Sandwich!”

  20. angramainyu says:

    After much too much Quake deathmatch, I would find myself strafing around corners in the hallways at work.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I have caught myself doing the slightly awkward Supreme Commander ACU walk before now after a long enough battle.

    • Koozer says:

      After incredibly long amounts of time playing Goldeneye, Perfect Dark or TImesplitters I used to circle strafe and analogue-stick-look when noone was looking.

    • Skabooga says:

      @angramainyu: I strafe around corners at work as well, and I’m pretty sure I picked it up from run’n'gun FPSes, but I continue to do it because I’m less likely to physically run into someone that way.

  21. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Reading books, for me, actually is the most powerful transferance affect for me, but also programming.

  22. Tom4J says:

    I’m a graphic designer and to my frustration, no matter how hard i try, I cannot ctrl+z my way out of awkward situations.

    Tom j

    • mike2R says:

      Know that feeling. Once, at a time when I was playing a lot of X3:Terran Conflict, I got put on hold by a customer when she was considering whether to place a large order. I tapped the ‘j’ key on my keyboard to advance time…

  23. GibletHead2000 says:

    I mentioned this in the other thread, but: Baldur’s Gate. Every time I had to think about anything even remotely complicated, such as ‘what shall I have for breakfast’ or if the phone were to ring, I would instinctively reach out and press space.

  24. LennyLeonardo says:

    I enjoyed discovering that the suppressing fire mechanic from Brothers in Arms also works in real life paintball, especially against teenage girls. I spent about a hundred quid on bloody paintballs that day. War is hell.

    • enderwiggum says:

      LennyLeonardo: I’m the opposite. I play so much paintball that I started using Paintball tactics in FPS games. For the most part it works, assuming the game designer put a little thought into human reaction time.

  25. enderwiggum says:

    I actively try to avoid making any noise when I walk. Thanks Sam Fisher.

    From Splinter Cell, you ingrates!

    Ohh, I know what I’m going to be for Halloween!

    • Sian says:

      Be warned, though: Walking around crouched for any length of time is hard work!

    • mrwonko says:

      Yep, crouching’s tiring. Found that out the hard way when I played laser tag the first (and so far only) time. That’s actually the only time I can remember a game influencing something I did in RL. Besides seeing the polygons/primitives making up buildings etc., but that’s due to modding, not games.

  26. metalangel says:

    I often wish I could load my last quicksave.

  27. Teronfel says:

    AssCreed– I try to sneak behind my friends and “stab” them with pens and other things.I do this at least 4 times a day.

    I once did it to a girl.She didn’t like it.

  28. AlwaysRight says:

    Pacman

    Thanks Marcus Brigstocke.

  29. Benkyo says:

    Bit different, but after playing Go endlessly I found myself thinking in terms of ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ formations for the relative positions of… oh, just about everything.

  30. Alexander Norris says:

    I still do the thing where whenever I’m in a vehicle looking at houses/trees/whatever outside, I imagine the dude from Shinobi running along and jumping (but I can’t let him touch the ground or he dies).

    Also, after playing Human Revolution, I kept getting the urge to punch people in the face in the street.

    • sPOONz says:

      “after playing Human Revolution, I kept getting the urge to punch people in the face in the street.”

      Well thats great, not. Mainstream media will have a field day with this article.

    • Jarenth says:

      I’ve done the same thing (though not with the Shinobi dude, per se, it was usually Sonic for me) since I was a little kid. It’s the best way to make a boring car trip more interesting.

    • KenTWOu says:

      @Alexander Norris
      I do exactly the same thing too, but I prefer to use Trinity from Matrix, nanosuit from Crysis or Faith from Mirror’s Edge, It depends on landscape type and vehicle speed. : )

  31. doubledope says:

    Not a specific game, but more gaming in general have changed me I think.

    My eyes are trained to look for anything suspicious thanks to playing FPS games. It’s more of a real life where’s wally thing. I instantly spot anything I might be looking for.
    If someone tips over something and I am in a radius of 2 meters from them, I catch them, before they hit the ground.
    I somehow am programmed to collect everything I come across, because I might need it some point later in my life. I pretty much blame every RPG/ Adventure game for that.
    Because I love playing puzzle games I am very good at problem solving. I work as a 3D artist and am always the one guy my colleagues go to if they have a problem and I am mostly 90% sure of the cause within a minute.
    My english is better than it would be, just because I talk to others while playing games.
    The only drawback I can think of is that I sometimes tent to steal vehicles and drive with insanely speeds over pedestrians, crashing over a hotdog stand into the front of a building. But hey, gaming is working out great for me :)

  32. John R says:

    For a while after getting the original Deus Ex on PS2, my first instinct when passing an ATM was to hack it for free cash. I even did a double-take first time it happened, confused by the machine’s lack of a triangle button.

    • Sinomatic says:

      After a long stint of Deus Ex, I was about to walk out into the hallway of the flat I was living in at the time and thought I would need to hack the alarm system panel on the wall first.

  33. c-Row says:

    After a pretty long gaming session, DX:HR made me see orangle outlines around my front door.

    • CMaster says:

      Really? Because that is at the level of “hallucinations” described in the paper John rubbished earlier. Did you actually perceive orange outlines, or did you just expect them to be there?

    • c-Row says:

      I don’t think they were really there (obviously they weren’t) but I kinda expected them to be. Might have been the medicine on that particular day, though, as I had a slight cold.

  34. MiniMatt says:

    I never really had any desire to perform handbrake turns before Gran Turisimo (I know, station’o'play) showed me how much fun it was.

    Now, every winter I’ll find an empty snow covered car park and giggle like a schoolboy until I throw the tracking out.

  35. Det says:

    I read cross channel and stopped finding rape victims/”used goods” awkward.
    Well, if you want a “real game”, I guess there’s midnight club 3 making me scared of driving since I crashed a lot in it when I was younger. Lasted for…5~6 years, it did.

  36. LennyLeonardo says:

    What about when it’s the other way round? When real life becomes more like a game? I remember reading about how attack drone operators in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer bad psychological problems due to the so-called “Playstation mentality” of using a game-like interface to kill.

    • lumenadducere says:

      Yeah, those guys actually have the highest rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder out of all branches of the military. Kind of nuts.

  37. juandemarco says:

    It’s not necessarily gaming-related, but after a week of very intensive computer use, I tried to click and drag the cup of coffee that was sitting next to my monitor.

  38. somini says:

    Repost from the other thread:
    Since the first Assassin’s Creed, when I’m late for school I run like Altair, bending over and keeping my arms extended. Apparently it’s a very efficient way of running, but I’m not sure because “SCIENCE” said that I don’t really grasp reality.

    Oh, and this article can be resumed in a few words:
    AND.IN.THE.GAME.

  39. Tei says:

    With oGame I learned to awake at 3:00 AM withouth a clock, to run some midnight attack, or some weird fleetsaving strategy. I don’t really need a clock now, I can tell my body to be up at 9:00 and this is enough. I think is a weird thing, but I am not the only one oGame player that have adquired this skill.

    With Declathon I learned welding to repair 80′s electronics. Million of joysticks have died because of this game. I use to repair the electronics that way.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Soldering isn’t the same thing as welding but ditto, repairing many a broken computer peripheral in the 80′s & 90′s taught me far too much about electronics.

    • Askeladd says:

      Sadly those days are over.

    • Starky says:

      Not really, you just need to learn some basics on microcontrollers (Arduino is a great start) and you can play with all kinds of toys and interface them with a PC as a generic device (or even as a 360 pad if you like) in all kinds of cool ways.

    • phuzz says:

      What set me on my path to being a sysadmin was having to work out how to get various computers to play games, most notably my Amiga. Many years of working out what commands I needed to make a game just load, or working out what files I needed to move to stick a game on my harddrive rather than playing off floppy.
      Eventually (although not until after doing a degree in physics) I realised that this skill I’d honed after hears of hacking about with stuff could actually earn me money.
      So thanks gaming, for keeping me in beer. And games :)

  40. CaLe says:

    Nothing comes to mind..

  41. MiniMatt says:

    And not a particular game as such, perhaps MMOs through the ages and general online culture, but the urge to actually say “lol” and “rofl” out loud is often strong.

  42. Ephaelon says:

    Playing faaaar too much Operation Flashpoint (CWC and Resistance), online and off, whenever I was outdoors in an open area with woods in the distance, I’d immediately have “flashbacks” and try to imagine myself or an enemy skulking around the woods, trying to survive.

    And a popular one is definitely after too-long sessions of Assassin’s Creed (any), and, living in any old-type city (e.g., Lisbon), it’s very easy to imagine handholds and ways up everywhere I look.

  43. ockhamsbeard says:

    Dunno about games, but I regularly pine for Alt-F when reading a book.

    Oh, and D&D has convinced me I have at least a 5% chance of success at anything.

  44. Patches the Hyena says:

    When going out after a few rounds of Team Fortress 2, I’m REALLY paranoid about who’s moving around behind my back.

  45. Kester says:

    On a particularly cold walk back from the station, I remember wishing that I’d upgraded zealot legs so I could get home quicker.

  46. CrowPath says:

    When about to cross the street, I found myself working out how many action points it would take and whether it would be better to crouch and fire on reaction during the alien’s turn. Bloody UFO.

  47. 3lbFlax says:

    When I was still at school, playing Rebelstar Raiders and Laser Squad every chance I got, I once woke up in the night needing the toilet and became very confused trying to work out if I had enough action points to get to it ‘this turn’. I knew something wasn’t right with the situation, but I couldn’t put my finger on it (which would have helped).

    I made it in the end, I hasten to add, but that weird mix of logic and confusion made a huge impression on me.

  48. Quine says:

    After playing way too much Team Fortress Classic back in the day I definitely heard a sentry gun activation noise float in through a window while in a bank queue and instantly made a lunge for a corner.

  49. constantino says:

    Too much X-Com would give me “End-Turn” anxiety in public places.

    Also, if exposed to a crowded area after any reasonably long time with Warcraft (or Starcraft) I would find myself trying to group select people and move them out my way.

  50. Sian says:

    I tend to imagine a UI overlay over the world, courtesy of whatever FPS I played last. If I concentrate, I can change the overlay and even go 3rd person, though I still can’t look around corners without sticking my head out.

    I’ve always had a very active imagination, though.

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