If you play games, then you know too well what it’s like to play a game for a period of time, and as you leave the console or computer at home and head into the real world you’ll find that the mindset you had while playing might still in some ways stay with you. Things that you did or experienced in the game, you somehow try to apply to reality. I remember playing Little Big Adventure 2, a game in which you can find money by going through public trash cans. I went through so many trash cans in the game, that whenever I saw one in real life I felt the urge to interact with it. I never went through any trash cans of course, but it’s quite hilarious how games can mess with your mind.
While there’s no official definition of the concept of game logic, it can be defined as the logic that only apply to games – things that seem “gamelike” and make sense in the game, that turn strange or even bizarre when applied to reality.
My brother once told me that while he were in the middle of an intense period of playing online games like The Elder Scrolls and World of Warcraft, he would dream about picking up loot after finishing fights and how the loot would be infinite. It would stress him out as he tried to pick everything up because he didn’t want to miss out on anything. I never had dreams like that myself, but I would have dreams where I believed that the dream itself was taking place inside a computer game (often Tomb Raider as I love to play the old school games in the series). In the dream, while I was being chased by a monster I would try to press Esc (accessing the main menu or pause) when it got too scary, only that it would never work.
Then again, it’s not all stress and horror. I’ve had gamelike dreams in which I pick up normal objects like wooden sticks, find random craft tables in the middle of nowhere and turn the objects into new cool gear, despite the fact that I am the least handy person I know. Game logic is fun, not because it tries to be like reality, but because it most of the time, in it’s own way, fail to do so.
It’s not only in dreams that game logic can affect how we view the world around us. As we walk around and explore our surroundings we may come across things that make us stop and wonder – like the example above with the strange wall which makes us question if there could be magical things to be found behind it, or seeing a boarded up door which makes us wish that we had a crowbar. Whenever I see a map of a building I’m in, I instantly think about exploring all the rooms and crossing off the doorways (based on the doors being locked or not) much like players do in the Silent Hill games.
It’s also interesting how game logic affects how we see the world and how we see ourselves interacting with the objects around us. I find that it’s usually the games that have reccuring objects that you can interact with that always look the same way that mess with your mind the most. whether it’s a specific kind of air duct that you can crawl through, or a type of box where you can always find ammo or random bricks laying around that you can throw as distraction – all these things are examples of objects that can tickle a gamer’s mind because he or she has learned that those are the objects that he or she should keep an eye out for.
An example of this is the game Mirror’s edge, a parkour game in which you use your surroundings while trying to escape. Whenever you need to jump between buildings or over big gaps, you’ll find springboards in red, which you quickly learn to keep an eye out for. I’m sure that if I saw one in real life I would instantly draw a parallel to the game.
There are also many examples of game logic that not only seem crazy in real life but also doesn’t make any sense in the games as well. You can find endless memes on the internet, making fun of it and pointing out how absurd it is in comparison with reality. It can be things like being able to carry a million objects in your inventory without it slowing you down or having your character point out to you that you “have to find another way” when it’s obvious that you could have squeezed through the hole in the wall.
While game logic often is flawed and doesn’t apply to reality, and also tend to cause frustration in players, it is also an aspect of gaming that makes gaming what it is and what makes it fun. And even when it tends to mess with our heads in the real world, it also offers a unique perspective and a chance for us to view the world differently.
Do you have any examples of situations when you have tried to apply game logic to the real world, or have you experienced hilarous game logic in games that absolutely make no sense? Make sure to share your experiences in the comments!