Friday, 22 April 2016

Item Hoarding: The Dumbest Habit

There's a lot of weird habits that you gain when you play video games for long enough.  Both in and out of game, an enthusiast may have some kind of habit that some may find to be a little OCD or a bit strange.  Like my biggest weird thing is keeping a spreadsheet of all the games I've beaten since 2011 and how many times I've beaten them.  I dunno why I do that shit but I find it sort of enjoyable to see that list get bigger and bigger over time.

Anyway, one habit that almost all gamers have is item hoarding and when you take a minute to think it's a really weird habit to have.  What I mean by this is you'll be playing a game and you'll be getting things like ammo or supplies but you'll be doing everything in your power to NOT use them.  The game is giving you these things for the express purpose of using them to give you a better chance against whatever enemies there are but someone who suffers from video game item hoarding syndrome will stubbornly not use it at all, even up to and after the final battle.

Resident Evil 4 is a good example of this.  I might buy a Shotgun or find a bunch of ammo or grenades and shit and how do I try to kill all the enemies?  1 bullet to the head, round house kick followed by knife slashes until they stop moving, rinse and repeat as often as possible.  It's not even like ammo is hard to come by in RE4, it's more like I'm hard wired to use as little resources as possible. 

This habit isn't just exclusive to one genre either, I find myself doing it in almost every game imaginable.  In FPS games, especially classic ones, I'll be using the shitty pistol or melee combat as much as possible so I don't have to use my big guns with the scarce ammo.  RPGs?  All those full healing items will sit in my inventory for the entire game and never see any use even during the final battle.  Survival Horror? Better run away from everything because those bullets and healing ain't going anywhere. 

These things are designed to help me through the game, designed to make my life easier but I stubbornly decide not to.  It's led to many a moment where I'll waste a great amount of time on a boss or section of a game just because I'm so worried about whats after that I'm trying to save my good shit until I really REALLY need it.  It's a dumb habit that I'm sure that I'll never shake for as long as I game.

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