10 abnormal things that normal people do in video games

More teabagging, Vicar?

When you stop and think about it, we behave very strangely in video games. As developers increasingly strive to imitate real life, it makes our virtual behaviour seem all the more bizarre; more detached from our everyday lives. Thats no bad thing--games are a brilliant form of escapism, and an outlet for stuff wed never dream of doing in real life.

However, that doesnt mean I cant poke fun at it for a few paragraphs. So here are the most abnormal things that relatively normal, well adjusted human beings do in video games.

They... eat food found in the street

Oh look, someone left a bit of roast chicken in the middle of the street. Hmm, I do have a bit of a headache--maybe eating that roast chicken will magically make me feel all better, said no-one--in real life--ever. Look, no sane person eats food off the floor when theyre out and about: its one of the first things you learn as a child.

However, in video games, its fair game. Energy bar sitting in the middle of the road? Yeah, Ill have that. Mystery pie that could contain literally any filling? Already quaffed it, mate. When we dont have to consider the ill effects of discarded food on our own health we become adventurous gastronauts; kind of like when you dare a friend to drink a whole bottle of malt vinegar for 50 (which youd never dream of paying anyway).

They... do anything asked of them by complete strangers

Whats that? You want me to collect five dogs for you? Sure. Why the hell not. I mean, Ive literally never spoken to you before in my life, and I have zero idea about what you need the dogs for, and theres every chance you could be a dangerous psychopath who just escaped from the local nut-house, but what the hell. You might give me something that somehow enriches my life in return.

Again, in real life theres very little chance of this actually happening. Yeah, Im not a total selfish bastard--Im quite tall, and I will fetch jars of Horlicks off the top shelf for pensioners when Im in the supermarket. But when Im asked to slay seven goblins by some bloke hanging around outside H&M, I walk away quickly and call the police.

They... randomly murder people

Hello there, Captain Obvious here. While most of you choose not to murder your fellow man in real life, I reckon everyone reading this has--at some point--taken a life in a video game. Remember, kids. Dont do drugs, always recycle, and never eat food off the floor. Captain Obvious out!

Yes, video games do offer a consequence-free environment for virtual genocide. When I start to even contemplate my life-time gaming body count, my brain starts to fizz. But no: the fact that we murder pixelated representations of other human beings probably doesnt make us slavering psychopaths as many elements in the tabloid media would have us believe. Still, its probably the biggest moral boundary that we cross when we step into our abnormal virtual lives

They... scream at children

If you walk up to an annoying child in Tesco, punch it in the face, and start to teabag its unconscious body, then you sir are bound for prison. And in prison, you will be very, very unpopular. As such, normal human beings choose to avoid this course of action. However, in Call of Duty, its fair game. After all, this child that you probably dont know just stopped your killstreak, and that really matters in the overall scheme of things, right? Teabag away!

Fact is, the anonymity of online play allows many people to behave like animals and get away with it. Im certainly not condoning it, but here is something interesting to consider about online abuse and random enmity between gamers: people from all walks of life turn into savages online. Ive seen mild mannered, middle-class, socially-adjusted men turn into raving beasts while playing Battlefield. Ordinary people do extraordinary--shocking, sometimes--things when they get into an anonymous online arena. Yikes, thats a bit of a dark thought. Quick, click through to the next slide

They... take random pills and tonics

Modern medicine is a wonderful thing. Those clever lab boffins can cure any number of diseases, psychological conditions, or every day afflictions with the tiniest of pills or the most potent of tonics. However, because medicine is so laser targeted, taking the wrong pill can have severe side-effects. Like illness. Or death. As such, the normal, socially-functioning human being, does not cram every pill they find into their mouth in the hope of, say, salving a bullet-wound.

However, in games, medicine seems to be a cure-all for every affliction. So we neck these pills like theyre going out of fashion. Not only that, some of them make us super-human. Oh, this bottle says that drinking the contents will allow me to shoot fire from any orifice--well, Id better drink it then. Nothing could go wrong, and theres no way the label would lie. Hmm, I wonder if this random bottle of blue liquid I found in my garage will have the same effect. Nope. It killed me instead.

They... wear totally unsuitable clothes in hostile environments

If youre off to Siberia, you dress appropriately. Siberia is a bit nippy at this time of year, so you should probably pack something warm. Jacket. Extra pair of socks. Gloves. Hat. Scarf. Yeah, all these things are probably essential clothing. Well done, you: youve survived frostbite for another day.

Why is it then, that we dont bat an eyelid when our Death Rogue happily wanders the icy wastelands of Bumzinor wearing nothing but a metal bikini and a helmet with massive dragon wings slapped on the sides? Damn it--shes not even wearing knee-length boots! Again, we dont feel the cold from the glow of our overheating gaming PCs, so thats perfectly ok, I guess.

They... rummage through all the bins

Ok, in truth, weve all rummaged through a bin during our lifetime. Maybe you were looking for a receipt for that delightful sweater your Granny bought you for Christmas, maybe you accidentally threw away your wedding ring. Whatever. Point is, you probably dont rifle through random bins on the off-chance that you might find something interesting. Unless youre a tramp. Or a scumbag identity thief.

In games, though, bin-digging is practically a requirement. Who knows what you might find tucked away next to all those virtual empty crisp packets and used condom textures? A new weapon, perhaps? A key to open a door in a house thats in a whole other town? A whole roast chicken that you wont hesitate to eat? The possibilities are endless, so roll up those sleeves and get stuck in.

They... accept random gifts from people on the street

If a man you dont know gives you something in the street, or when youre sat with friends in the local pub, then that item is probably stolen. In normal circumstances you politely decline and walk away, because receiving stolen goods is a crime. Even if the thing being foisted on you by a stranger isnt stolen, you probably eye it with suspicion. What does this person want? What are they selling? Is that xxBiffJockeyxx from Man-Shooter 7 who you teabagged last night? Is he trying to poison you?

Again, though, in games we happily accept gifts from strangers. Theyre rarely trying to poison us, and often dont want a thing in return. Theyre just eager to help. In fact, they will often tolerate us walking into their house, totally uninvited, to see what we can find in their cupboards. Dont tell me youre starving, little Amber Foxylocks. I was in your house five minutes ago, and I found a whole roast chicken in your bin. Naturally, I ate it. Sorry about that.

They... travel miles in the wrong direction just in case they find something interesting

Yes, you need to nip into town to buy bread and milk for tomorrows breakfast. But what would happen if, in fact, you got in your car and drove 100 miles in the opposite direction just in case you find something shiny along the way. Wouldnt that be good fun? No. It would be insane.

Aaaaand yet, when video games clearly want us to travel in one direction to progress the story, we cant help but go in completely the opposite direction in search of stuff we probably dont need. At best, travelling the wrong way for hours will net us a Trophy or a shitty collectable. At worst, itll waste minutes of the only life we have on this planet. Think about it. Carefully.

They... choose death over spending ammo

Imagine, for a minute, that you are some kind of soldier, involved in some kind of conflict. I know some of you are actually armed service personnel, so just imagine youre, er, you. Now, imagine that youre down to around 12 bullets, and a bad guy bursts through a nearby door with the sole intention of ending your life. You put them down, because its them or you. Who cares if you run out of ammo--you're alive. Not so in games.

In games, you weigh the life of your character against the ammo left in their clip. Worried that you spent too many bullets murdering that last room of evil doers in Man-Fragger 4? Youll probably choose to die and restart at the last checkpoint. You could probably do that last bit more efficiently, right? To clarify: youre saying that youd rather sacrifice your own life to preserve ammo. Its perfect video game logic, but in real life, its total anathema to human instinct.

Well, this is awkward

Well, there you have it. 10 bizarre things that are second-nature in games, but total madness in real life. Well, I say total madness--I actually know a guy who works in a very senior role within the British government who routinely does at least 6 of the things on this list every week. If only the voters knew about it

While youre here, and feeling fruity, why not click on some other features. It keeps us in a job, and means we dont have to eat food off the streets. Here's one on Gaming's 19 Most Impractical Suits Of Armour and another jolly feature on The 12 Deadliest Crabs In Games.

Andy Hartup