What Horror Games Taught Me
I have been playing video games since I was very young and I have to give them credit; they’ve taught me a lot. Through playing what seems like an endless string of horror titles over the years, I have picked up a few valuable life lessons (and some that are not so valuable). So, I have put together a list of the ones that affect my daily life most often, whether I do them consciously or not. Here are the top 5 lessons learned:
Objects worth having often glow and/or are shiny.
Where seen? Pretty much every game ever, but for me, most notably this happens in games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill. You discover early on that clicking on any object other than these will either: do nothing at all OR result in a line of text describing what’s there or something along the lines of “Nothing of interest”. The shiny objects rule transfers well into real life situations up to a point, after a while you start to feel like a magpie, only looking at shiny things.
If there’s a key, there must be a door that it opens.
This is generally true about life anyway, but I have found so many keys over the years and suspected that I will find the thing it unlocks one day, that I actually have a pot full of keys. Now and again, I like to have a rummage and try and guess what they open, particularly if I find an old locked box in the basement whilst searching for something else. You never know, that locked box might have some valuable item in that will progress the story… wait, I mean, “take you somewhere new in life”.
If you get handed a weapon, you’re going to need it pretty damn soon.
Most people are aware of this while gaming. There is always an introduction to the game where you learn what different buttons do and what your character is able to do and so on. However, the moment you get given an RPG or a machete, you know you will be attacked in a few moments time and will be required to decapitate a zombie or blow up a tank. Transferring this to a real life situation rarely happens, it’s only when someone hands me a spatula I expect I will need it pretty soon to smack someone’s hand away when they try and steal the bacon I’m cooking.
Check around corners before you step out.
Absolutely essential in video games to avoid being attacked by an enemy or accidentally stepping on a trap, but; how to apply this to real life situations? Simple: Check around corners before walking out to avoid being confronted by somebody you’re not in the mood to talk to. Maybe this person is just incredibly annoying and you two simply don’t get along, or maybe its a more serious matter where you owe said person money – whatever it is, this trick works! You can then either: wait for them to go away OR find an alternate route to your destination. Thank you, video games.
Whenever possible, always have a flashlight.
Very helpful in horror games as they tend to be incredibly dark in an attempt to create atmosphere. Some horror titles do this well, others are unsuccessful when it becomes frustrating not being able to see pretty much anything and having to resort to turning the brightness up. So, if you have a flashlight; turn it on. In every day life it’s quite handy having a flashlight in your bag, even if it is a tiny one that’s not too powerful or just the one that’s built into your mobile phone. There might be a power cut or you might find yourself walking somewhere in the dark one evening and a flashlight would help you not to trip over random objects on the ground. Or you might happen to wake up in a strange place you had never seen before with just that flashlight you remembered to put in your bag for such an occasion. However, wanting to see what’s waiting for you in the darkness is another matter entirtely…