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50 skills that every gamer should master

Just being able to play games is only the beginning. If you're going to call yourself a proper gamer (as opposed to a casual pretender) there are a few requisite skills that you must master first. 50 skills, in fact. And they're all right here...

1. Give a game a review score without ever actually playing the game
A cursory glance from 20 paces of a grainy postage stamp-sized super lo-res scanned-in screenshot pinned to the ass-feathers of a headless chicken in a sandstorm should be all you need to confidently attribute an authoritative and infallible review score to any game. It's how professional reviewers have been doing it for years.

2. Be able to spot whether a game is running in 720p
Just by looking at it.

3. Survive with only four hours sleep (max) a night
We all abide by the 'one more go' mantra. It demands that we are strong in the face of severe sleep deprivation.

4. Play Wii without using the wrist strap
Or, master the art of gripping. Even newborn babies can do it.

5. Attack the weak point for massive damage
Look for the big red/yellow/orange thing. It's normally located on an enemy's back/ass/forehead. If a sustained assault yields unsatisfactory results, try attacking it with the last weapon you picked up. That normally works a treat.

6. Be an expert in the work of one particular developer besides Miyamoto
Support the people that make the games you love. Pick a team. Find a hero. Whether it's an entire studio or just a single creative. Get excited about the games they make. Know their history and what they're about. Hunt out their gameography. Get informed. We're sure Mr Shig stuff won't mind if some of the love gets spread around.

7. Beat a really bastard hard game on any tier of difficulty higher than Normal
Real men play on MASOCHIST!

8. Estimate remaining PSP battery life and calculate device's lastability on journey
If you've gone to all the trouble of uploading an extensive selection of softcore pornography to your PSP in advance of a business trip, it can be hugely upsetting to run out of juice before you've even had a chance to make yourself tired in the airplane convenience.

9. Play driving games without 'steering' the controller
Unless you're a girl. Then you can't help it.

10. Become unhealthily obsessed with one particular game and play only that game for six months solid
Winners don't quit. They become addicts.

11. Instantly recognise any game being played on a TV show or in a movie
Computer Space in Jaws, Asteroid Deluxe in The Thing, Galaga in Trains, Planes and Automobiles, Centipede in Never Say Never Again, the sound-fx of Pac-Man in Ferris Bueller's Day Off... plenty more here.

12. Easily spot at least 5 differences between any PS3 and 360 comparison shots, that are invisible to the normal human eye
You're looking for things like lighting, texture resolution, draw distance, anything pink or slightly gay, lumps or growths etc.

13. Expertly pick the right game for the right moment
You might think your sozzled post-pub friends are having an absolute party huddled around your monitor watching you level up in World of Warcraft. But they're not.

14. Be able to navigate to the 'Invert? Yes/No' option in under 5 seconds
Pause. Controller Options. Invert Yes/No. Unpause.

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16. Instinctively know the location of all controller buttons and their respective numerical, alphabetical or symbol-based denominations
When playing, a real gamer never has to look at the controller. Unless it's to check that it's not on fire.

17. Perfectly repackage console/PC snugly back in its box, complete with Styrofoam and cable ties
Put those ninja-honed Tetris skills to good use.

18. Make in-game moral choices quickly and without flinching
Stop being such a lightweight and kill the Little Sister already. We're pretty sure God doesn't take make-believe evil into account when deciding who gets locked out.

19. Have a selection of "I only lost because..." excuses prepared and rehearsed in the event of defeat
Here's a few for free: "...I couldn't take my eyes off your lap"; ...I hurt my fingers when your mum sat on them"; "...Satan told me to"; "...I was a victim of sexism" and so on.

20. Own non-gaming friends at absolutely anything
You've never played the game before. The pad's missing buttons. You've got amoebic dysentery and you can feel a hairy-ass spider crawling across your face. So what? When you're up against a newbie there is no excuse for anything less than comprehensive ownership.

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