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Most gamers instinctively do something inexplicable while playing games. Some will spend hours managing their inventory in an RPG, as if placing a fire staff next to a book will actually cause a house fire. Others need to find every collectible or open every treasure chest in a game, even when they’re useless. These gamers usually know their behavior doesn't make sense, but they can’t help themselves. Here are five habits that some gamers, including me, can’t seem to break and why they can have destructive consequences.
Reloading a gun with a partially empty clip
This first habit is common among shooter fans. Every time they fire a gun, even if they just use two or three bullets, they have to reload it. These gamers just have some deep-seated, inexplicable hatred for any empty space in their clip. What kind of respectable soldier walks around with a partially empty gun? The players will even become uncomfortable and agitated when watching someone else play a shooter without a full clip in their gun.
Benefit: Sometimes the extra couple of bullets make a difference.Downside: Usually they don’t. In multiplayer, enemy players always seem to find you in the middle of an unnecessary reload.
Jumping to get around
Apparently all of the gaming universes are inhabited by mighty heroes who insist on jumping everywhere. Any game that has a jump function will likely have that function abused by players who want to quickly get to their destination. According to gamer logic, it makes the character move faster, which would be true if it wasn't false. In most games, bunny hopping isn't a faster method of traveling than running.
Benefit: Tricking the brain into thinking that the character is moving faster, like a placebo effect.Downside: All of the NPCs in the game think you’re weird and overly excited to get to your destination.
Saving way too often
Some Pokémon players have to save before every battle. Some Skyrim players can run through more than a thousand saves in one playthrough. If they go more than five minutes without saving their game, they get a feeling of impending doom. Sure, almost none of these saves will ever be loaded unless the game is extremely hard or the player is completely terrible at whatever they’re playing. But, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right? RIGHT?
Benefit: If you mess up, you don’t have to redo those last two minutes since your previous save. That would be an absolute tragedy.Downside: You paid for Skyrim, but you got Saving Screen: The Game.
Achievement or Trophy hunting
This is a relatively new habit that formed when the Xbox 360 introduced achievements and was strengthened when PlayStation 3 and Steam followed suit. Today, many gamers can’t have a game in their history that only has a couple of achievements. Just looking at it reminds them of their failures and inadequacies. An unfortunate few absolutely need to get all of the achievements or trophies in a game before they can move on. You've created a monster, Microsoft!
Benefit: Achievements can show off your skill and dedication in a particular game.Downside: If you’re playing a game solely for the achievements, you’re missing out on the whole point of playing games.
Holding on to items for too long
Some gamers are unable to use items that they find in the game. Like hoarders, they collect everything that they can and hold on “just in case.” For example, in shooters, they would never use grenades or special ammo. Pretty soon, they’re completely stocked up on lethal ordinances but will still only use the starting pistol. In role-playing games, they’ll keep any potion and useful item until they have 99 of everything. Using even one of these items will leave them feeling naked and vulnerable.
Benefit: You’ll be prepared for any situation, however unlikely that situation may be.Downside: Hoarding in video game is a serious condition that doesn't get enough attention.
Do you have any of these gamer habits? Do you have others that were not mentioned here? Tell us in the comments below.
Email the author Mike Trinh, or follow on Game Informer.