Don't you hate when that doesn't happen
There's a weird irony with video game characters. They suffer life-or-death, world-saving trials every day, but they never have to deal with the regular traumas of real every day life. You know, the little problems and flaws that bother and inconvenience real human beings constantly.
Yes, they have to fight off orcs, goblins, demons, and occult theocratic robot space-lemurs all the damn time, but missing a bus? Breaking a nail? Slipping a disc? Losing their place in the magical tome required to vanquish the local Elder God and having to go back to the contents page? No. Never happens. Click on for 14 more things that really should make being in a video game far, far harder than it is. In a way, those jerks have it easy.
Forgetting their passwords
Aiden Pearce is going 70 miles per hour down a city street with a dozen squad cars in hot pursuit, but he's not particularly worried. All he needs to do is raise a few bollards and change a few traffic lights and he'll be free and clear. Smirking at his own cleverness, he pulls his phone out from his pocket and loads up ctOS.
But then an unfamiliar screen greets him the login screen. With mounting horror, Aiden realizes that he cleared his browser cookies last night after reading racy Brony fanfiction. His eyes dart from the street ahead to the empty password field below. He begins to panic. Dear Lord, what was his ctOS password? AidenNo1? blum3suck5? abc123?! Nothing's working! Where's the 'Password Reset' option?! Why hasn't the email arrived yet?! Why is he not watching the roa
Paying off student loans
Being the foremost robotics expert in the world and the recipient of a Nobel Prize, you might think that Dr. Light has done very well for himself financially. You would be half right. The profits from his world-changing technology allowed him to construct a state of the art lab and surrogate robo-children, yes, but it hasn't made paying off his Ph.D's student loans any easier. Particularly since interest rates have gotten even worse by 200X.
Dr. Light spends so much of his income just keeping up with interest that he can't actually afford a place of his own. He lives in the lab's broom closet, and Roll's beginning to suspect something after having found him passed out between the mop bucket and floor waxer for the dozenth time. At least Dr. Wily gets a castle. Then again, he does have to fill it with killer robots to keep the creditors from repossessing it.
Outgrowing their pants
It's easy to get attached to your armor in Destiny, given how you much time and Glimmer you invest in finding it, leveling it up, and customizing it to your liking. Thankfully, whatever sentimental pangs you may feel from swapping a trusty old piece of gear are usually crowded out by the joy and anticipation of slotting in a new item with more powerful stats and bonuses.
Unless it's not really a stat upgrade, and you just had to farm for new leg armor because your old ones are riding a little tight these days. Hey, it happens to a lot of Guardians - you get older, you start putting on some Light levels, and suddenly your butt doesn't fit in your old default dropship seat. Maybe go a few sizes up when you're farming Engrams to be future-proof, since you can always wear a belt.
Failing a smog test
You know, with all that armor plating, weaponry, and a freezer full of ice cream novelties, Sweet Tooth is nearly unstoppable. Doesn't really matter in the arena if your ride weighs five tons, handles worse than a bathtub on wheels, and belches plumes of acrid exhaust, as long as it keeps moving and shooting longer than all the other cars. Passing your biennial smog test, though? That can be a problem.
But if Needles Kane doesn't want to get pulled over for driving a vehicle with expired registration while he's trying to get his vehicular manslaughter on, he doesn't have much choice. Ugh, can you imagine how hard that would wreck his killer clown image? Now he can only pray that the technician doesn't notice he replaced the catalytic converter with a flamethrower
Image via Your Smog Man
Getting worried calls from parents
The Dragonborn was somewhere outside of Morthal, on the edge of the Hjaalmarch, when a familiar Argonian face appeared in the mists before her. "Mother?" she asked. "What magic is this? Why do you interrupt me as I work to liberate this frozen land?" The face was taken aback, inasmuch as a swirling grey visage could convey taken-abackedness.
"Well hello to you too, sweetie. Oh, I just went down the street to old Xolth's - you remember Xolth, he said the blessing at your scale-fasting - and asked him if he could conjure something that would let me talk to you. Because you never visit! And I worry about you up there in Skylimb because it's so cold and you never dress warm enough! Your horns will freeze off! And for that matter, how are you ever going to give me grandchildren if you spend all your time liberating? You need to come back to Black Marsh and meet Xolth's son, he's back from college and he's going into business with"
Getting stains out
The only thing harder to get out of a khaki-colored henley shirt than Nathan Drake is a bloody grass stain. That's why treasure hunting is such a vicious cycle for him - he goes looking for rare artifacts, but in the process gets his entire wardrobe shot up by mercenaries or torn to shreds from falling out of airplanes, so he has to sell all the treasure just to afford new designer shirts and pants to half-tuck into each other.
Money gets lean between adventures, though, and eventually he has to sit down with a needle, thread, and a spray bottle of stain remover to try and salvage what he can. His hands are so messed up from years of rock climbing and firing high-caliber weaponry that it usually ends up looking like the work of a five-year-old, but he knows Elena will just laugh him off if he asks for help. It's tough to be Drake.
Soaring insurance premiums
Yeah, getting that new Mercedes Roadster seemed great at the time, but the problem with driving an actual car on the course is that you need actual car insurance. And it's a Benz, so the insurance is incredibly expensive. You wonder why Luigi has that ever-present death stare? He's willing you to stay the hell away from his car so that you don't get in an accident and drive his premiums into the stratosphere.
I mean, it's a great car, but taking care of it has kind of driven the joy out of racing, y'know? Not much to do about it now, though - Luigi traded in his kart to help with the downpayment and the secondhand market for tiny, cartoon-sized sports cars is notoriously fickle.
So youre Gordon Freeman. Youre a badass guerrilla physicist. Egon Spengler, Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, James Bond and Rambo rolled into one. Your time in City 17 since you arrived has been spent on one long journey of discovery, survival, and insurrection amid the long-standing Combine occupation. Now, finally, it looks like victory is in sight.
One thing though. Youve noticed lately that your aim has gone to shit. And the loud bangs and ratta-tatt-tatts of the battlefield are making you really twitchy. And you keep forgetting important tactical conversations youve just had with various members of the resistance. And you keep getting really sad and teary about the stupidest little things. And youre really, really, really paranoid. Then you realise. You havent taken a minutes break since Half-Life 2s continuous, unbroken campaign started four days ago. And those arent Combine that youre shooting up, but the innocent Sunday shoppers of Tesco, and youre actually just tripping balls.
Marcus steps out from behind a rock with a look of relief on his face.
Dom: Where's your bandana?
Interesting thing about months-long, cross-continental RPG quests. The human immune system wouldnt like them one little bit. Between the perpetual, mostly on-foot travel, constant exertion, ever-present risk of attack, resulting plethora of minor flesh-wounds, repeat mana burn-out, and potential for zero sleep, even if your game has a day/night cycle (and if you do get any, its likely to be al fresco), an RPG campaign conducted under real-world conditions would make you ill.
Levelling up as the journey goes on? No way. By the end of an RPG quest conducted under real-world conditions, you wouldnt be stronger. Youd be a quivering, snotty, coughing ball of infection. Maybe thats why levelling slows down the further you get into a game.
Slippy-slidey ice worlds! Amazing! Slipping! Sliding! Pretty, tinkley tunes, evocative of all the best things about Christmas! Murderous snowmen! I love them, you love them, and Mario certainly loves them. He loves the atmospheric change of pace. He loves the new challenges thrown up by the extra momentum and inertia under his platform-savvy feet. He loves stomping on insidious, sentient snow-piles and making friends with friendly penguins.
He loves all of that because he only has to involve himself with the fun parts of winter. Never once has he, around level five or six, realised his error in only bringing along his standard dungarees and thin work jumper. Never once has he found himself slowing in the run up to an important jump, joints seizing and hands aching. Never once has he slumped under a tree, mere feet from the final flag pole, so tired, so cold so hungry so blue
Wear and tear
You know whats ridiculous about the epic, House of Blue Leaves fight scene in Kill Bill: Part One? Its not that Beatrix kills roughly a thousand sword-wielding Yakuza while taking barely a scratch. Its the fact that after demolishing the structural integrity of seven or eight gangsters, shed have found herself unable to inflict more than a nasty bruise on the rest. Swords, you see, go blunt really fast.
Katanas in particular, being the samurais weapon of choice, are not really design for long, protracted duels. Instead, theyre all about short, incredible sharp, one-hit kills, ideally after walking up to someone like a badass and slowly explaining how youre definitely about to kill them and that theres nothing they can do about it. Sorry, Mitsurugi, Yoshimitsu, and any protagonist from Onimusha. In real-life, after a few choice cuts youd be reduced to slapping your opponents to death with a long, steel ruler.
Ken had it in the bag. It had been a tough fight. Bison had been typically relentless from the off, keeping up the Knee Press pressure and dodging every corner-trap with that bloody EX Psycho Crusher of his (seriously, how does he get that crap out so fast with half a scrap-yard attached to his shins?), but all the pain had been worth it. Kens Ultra gauge was now ready to go, and while he had just been knocked down, his opponent was getting cocky. The dictator had thrown caution to the wind and was actually jumping in. The crazy fool! What was he thinking? One Ultra Dragon Punch on wake up, and that shit-eating grin would be wiped off Captain Caps face forever.
Bisons boots grew closer. Time slowed down. Ken rose to his feet, prepped the Shinryuken, and leapt. His fist connected with Bisons chin, and his wrist crumpled with a nasty snap noise, as a direct result of the sprain hed incurred during that cheap, one-two punch combo after the cross-up in round two. Kens fist went as limp as a dead squid, and immediately afterwards, all was darkness.
John Marston was not happy. Yeah, well help, had said the cheery locals of the oppressed Mexican town in the south. Just one thing. Can you go and single-handedly clean out the fort in the north for us first? Wed appreciate it ever so much. Youll find it really easily. Its only 50 miles away, just past the big rock and left at the third cactus.
What theyd spectacularly failed to tell him was that the entire desert was made of rocks and cacti, and the northern border was 150 miles across. And everywhere was full of hungry coyotes. No, John Marston was not happy at all.
Simple pleasures (and simple pains)
Anything else you'd add? Any average, underplayed woes plaguing your life that you really think game characters should get their fair share of? Let us know in the comments, and then go and have a nice cup of tea to calm down.
And while you're here, why not check out what would happen if a game hero applied their high-fallutin' powers to a more normal life, in Solid Snake doing mundane, unexciting jobs. And another worthy click would be The 12 most important desks in video games.