Most people who consider themselves gamers will probably 1. be fairly good at video games, 2. play lots of video games and 3. be able to adapt more quickly when they switch from game to game. I’m not one of those people. I struggle my way through games, almost always playing on Easy the first time through. I slither my way awkwardly into the Player Vs Player aspects of games and sneak around like a BLU Spy trapped in the depths of a heavily guarded RED base. You’ve heard me say this a billion times before: I am shit at video games.
That being said, I do tentatively play other games. I stuck my pinkie toe into Dota 2, found it was too hard and ended up falling for its simpler adopted arch nemesis brother League of Legends. I fell into both Skyrim and Oblivion from the Elder Scrolls series, eventually getting through both games. I tiptoed my way through Portal, because I suck at puzzle games. And don’t get me started on the Half-Life games. The only games I’ve managed to get over 90% completion on are the LEGO Star Wars games on PS2 and Saints Row: The Third. Not impressive. I try though, I try.
Team Fortress 2 though is a different beast. I’ve sunk a lot of hours into this game. I know a LOT of the ins and outs and bits and pieces, despite still occasionally getting lost on Steel. You lose your bearings when being chased by half the enemy team. I ain’t no competitive guy, but I know my stuff. But because I have put so much time into this one single game, generally in huge chunks at a time, I find a lot of the stuff I do in TF2, I’ll start to do it in other games. I don’t just start to do TF2 things in other games, I find I’m doing it all the damn time and can’t bloody well stop.
The most obvious case is that of pressing E to call for a Medic. Not many games have Medics, nor do they have buttons bound to call for their presence. Generally, the E key is for something useful, like activating switches or something. Sometimes, if you’re unfortunate, E is bound to something special, like going invisible in Crysis. Thankfully E isn’t always bound to “Throw Grenade” or “Violently Explode” or anything like that.
Another slightly less common thing I do is try to rocket jump. Thing is, TF2 is one of the first shooters I’ve played. Alright, you can’t rocket jump in Worms Armageddon, but when I finally got the hang of explosive jumping in my beloved game, I had to try it in other games. Every time I play a game with a rocket launcher in it, I give it a go. Of course, I’ll often kill myself in the process, but oh well. I don’t try to sticky jump much though, since the games I’ve played lack that sort of weapon. I’ll actually fairly often try to pick up fallen weapons for ammo, rather than picking them up to, well, use them, which is the case in most other games. There’s no weapon-to-ammo-converter fairy in Trouble in Terrorist Town.
But I have bigger issues. I have a problem that stems DIRECTLY from playing Medic way too much. And it’s a stupid thing because these are just video games we’re talking about. This affects me in literally every game I play, but I didn’t realise how bad it was until I was killed in Skyrim the other day (by a single flaming spider that managed to kill me in one hit somehow).
I don’t like dying. I’ll do anything in a video game not to die. Of course, when you play games normally, you try not to die, but I take this to extreme levels. I have a rather crazy sense of knowing when shit’s about to get bad and know when to leg it. Most of my team mates don’t have that same feeling, so they die more. But I reach the point where my death in a game would be better than me staying alive. When I play like ARAM (All Random, All Mid) in League of Legends, where death is expected, I’ll find myself with 5000 gold to spend and an inability to spend it because I haven’t died yet. When I play Skyrim, I’ll guzzle all my potions rather than die and start again. When I play Worms Armageddon, I play defensively, keeping my worms alive and in safe little bunkers rather than out in the open. Sometimes I’ll even use in-game cheats to make sure I don’t die. Not actual cheats, just the ones that single player games often provide. Although to be fair, I HAD to use cheats while wandering through Hermaeous Mora’s home of forbidden knowledge, because I kept on falling through the floor for some insane reason.
My point is, playing TF2 has conditioned me to play in a particular way. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not, but at least it’s somewhat amusing.