Things Only Gamers Understand - Prima Games

Things Only Gamers Understand

by Prima Games Staff

If you’re a gamer, there’s a certain feeling you experience when playing. Whether it’s a bit of Minecraft or a satisfying round of Diablo 3, you enjoy getting into the zone.

With this in mind, there are certain things only gamers will understand. To some, the following may seem weird, but to people who grew up with controllers in their hands, it’s a part of life.

Flipping over a Sony PlayStation


Early models of the original PlayStation system had a disk reading problem. However, it came with a rather curious solution – flipping the console upside down gave the optic drive more efficiency, allowing it to read a disc. Fine by us. Who had time for a repair in the middle of Twisted Metal 2: World Tour?

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Wearing out W, A, S, D keys on a keyboard


There’s a good chance you destroyed the W, A, S and D keys on your PC, as well as some F1 functions. These are the general movement keys in a number of games, and you just have too many spells to cast to be extra careful. This is par for the course, and at the very least, you can barely see the letters, to which your parents or siblings reply, “What the heck are you doing to this keyboard?”

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A smiley face isn’t always good

When non-gamers see a happy face in a video game, they think, “Awww, that’s so cheerful!” However, it’s not always the good guy. Take Stern’s 80s arcade game Berzerk. After eliminating all the robots on the screen, the invincible Evil Otto bounces towards you, mercilessly bringing all his destructive power in the form of a bouncy happy face. You do not want to give him a hug.

Can’t leave, have to save


Everyone’s been there. At one point, a loved one (more like mom or dad) tells you it’s time to head out, perhaps to a cousin’s birthday party or supermarket, but you haven’t reached a save point. You don’t want to leave the console on for hours, and there’s always peace of mind that comes from knowing you saved the game. Naturally the person screaming at you has no idea what’s going on. Why can’t you just turn the system off? Really mom, really?

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Do you even invert, bro?

Usually, when people play video games, there’s an understanding as to how flight controls work. Push up to go up and down to go down, right? Not necessarily. With the introduction of inverted controls, gamers could feel the genuine rush of flying, as if they were grasping a flight stick, pushing up to go down and vice versa. Some hardcore types also use this control style for first-person shooters. Which do you prefer?

Leaning while playing racing games and first person shooters

Come on, you’ve done this. While playing Gran Turismo 6 or Forza Motorsport 5, you physically lean with the turns. During furious Halo matches, you actually look to peak around corners. Some people think we look ridiculous doing this, and logically that may be true if there are no motion controls in the game, but to us, it significantly enhances the experience. It’s like we’re there!

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Collecting video game magazines


We live in a day where game information is delivered to us instantaneously on the Internet, but decades ago, we turned to magazines like Diehard Gamefan and Nintendo Power to give us our gaming fix. For good measure, Nintendo Power’s strategies were just the ticket for beating certain levels, like a particular dungeon in The Legend of Zelda. We’re saved!

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Smelling video game manuals and plastic cases


It’s time to make this fetish official. Some gamers can’t wait to crack the shrink wrap on a newly purchased video game, open the case and take a nice long whiff. What does it smell like? It’s tough to describe, and each major console maker’s first party game cases and manuals (remember those?) have distinct aromas. At this point, you can blindfold us and we’ll be able to tell Sony’s games from Microsoft’s, purely based on the smell.

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Pushing for games as works of art

This crusade has people on both sides. Hardcore gamers feel their favorite industry does not receive enough respect, and the finest games should stand alongside the best paintings, books and movies. Opponents, on the other hand, strike down games for their level of interactivity. You shouldn’t be able to interact with and change the outcome of artwork, yes? Depends on which side of the virtual fence you stand.

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Making room on the dining room table for the Steel Battalion controller


Remember Capcom’s deluxe edition of Steel Battalion for the original Xbox? It came with a huge controller that gave you functionality galore across a large, elaborate set-up; over 40 buttons! It was so big that the floor wasn’t big enough for it – you had to drag over your mother’s kitchen table and set it up on that, so you could control that mech in style. Let your family eat on the floor.

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Standing up makes you a better gamer

When most people play games, they sit down, calmly working their way from level to level. However, then they become stuck during a certain point of the game, such as a boss fight, what better way to solve this than to stand? It may seem idiotic, but standing actually boosts the adrenaline, and in a way, provides better concentration for getting past a section of a game. OK, so we don’t have scientific evidence to back this up, but it works.

Wires are simply not long enough


We live in an age where wireless controllers are commonplace – and that’s a good thing. Back in the old days, a 1.5 meter cable was the burden of our existence, mainly because it was too short to cover a proper distance between our television and the couch. Some people sat on the floor, but we preferred comfort. You likely do as well.

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The excitement of getting a new system during the holidays

C’mon. There’s nothing more satisfying that going to your tree on Christmas morning (or whichever holiday you celebrate) and finding a shiny new game console. Sure beats a sweater.

Rapid fire controllers were a necessity 


“Why would anyone want to spend money on a rapid fire controller?” a normal person may ask. There’s certainly reason for it, especially if you’re an avid fan of shoot-em-ups. Continuously tapping buttons for firepower is the quickest sure-fire way to wear down a controller’s button – so why not hold it down to get the most from it? Sure, it’ll cost a few bucks, but that’ll save you from buying a new controller down the line, right?

Hardcore racing fans need an actual steering wheel


Let’s be honest – there’s playing a racing game with a controller, like most casual fans do, and then there’s plunking down $200 on a deluxe Logitech wheel with motion-sensitive steering and that real feeling of pedals under your feet. The company’s driving peripherals are second to none, and helped intensity your Gran Turismo sessions.

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Upgrading from an older system to a shiny new model


The Game Boy dominated the late 80s and early 90s. However, there was always room for improvement with the introduction of new models and colors, and fans didn’t hesitate to trade them in and add extra cash to get the absolute newest model available. “But there was nothing wrong with the older Game Boy,” your friend would say. Yeah…except it was ancient. This applies to all systems, and is something people outside gaming don’t get. Why buy another Xbox? What’s so different about the PlayStation 4 over the PlayStation 3? Aren’t they all the same? If they only knew.

Rushing home with demo discs

Nowadays, if someone wants to try a game before they buy it, they can simply download the demo from their given network. Back in the old days, however, nothing got gamers more excited than popping in a disc from the Official Dreamcast Magazine (or Xbox or PlayStation) and playing demos that way. You could get an afternoon of fun out of a free disc included with your magazine.

Slapping down that quarter in the arcade


When you wanted to take on someone in a fighting game, all you needed to do was place a quarter on the arcade cabinet. Some casual fans might wonder why you don’t stand in line, but that’s not enough – you need to reserve your place in infamy. It was such a popular gesture that Capcom included “quarter mode” with a number of its digital fighting releases for home systems. Save us a spot!

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Writing down long passwords

Nowadays, players have it easy when it comes to using game saves to get back where they were. During the NES and Genesis years, we wrote down a long series of numbers and letters, then had to input the password to return to that favorite level of Castlevania Bloodlines or any given Mega Man game. Without it, well, you’re just starting over from scratch.

“Winners Don’t Use Drugs”


The Department of Justice and the FBI teamed up with various game makers to include this warning in different games – even more innocent stuff like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade hit. This was just as iconic in arcades as some of the games. Remember, just say no.

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Disc scratches were the end of your world


There’s a certain benefit that comes from digital releases these days – you don’t have to worry about scratching the disc. Whenever you smacked a system around in anger or even did something as simple as move it around, you ran the risk of scratching the game. Thankfully, there were a few resurfacers that fixed the problem – for a few bucks of course. Still, discovering a scratched disc was seriously depressing.

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“How dare you screen look!”

Years ago, multiplayer was limited to split-screen sessions of games like Goldeneye 007. However, that came with a huge drawback – cheating players peering at other screens to see where rivals were so they could plan their attack. The worst of the worst…especially for those playing as Oddjob.

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Blue spiny shell won you races, but lost you friends

We’ve seen it a million times – a confident racer getting ahead of the pack in Mario Kart, ready to gloat as he or she crosses the finish line. Then it happens. A blue Spiny Shell comes roaring from behind (you can hear it from the sound of the alarm), zooms in on said driver and quickly ends their run. So the next time you hear someone screaming at the top of their lungs during a multiplayer party, it’s usually because of this. No doubt the trend will continue when Mario Kart 8 releases later this month.

Paying crazy money for a terrific import

Finally, non-gamers may not get the idea of spending $200 on something as simple as a video game. For some, though, it was the only way to get the best titles for a system, especially if it was a Sega Saturn. Sure, that copy of Radiant Silvergun or X-Men vs. Street Fighter may cost you a fortune, but the pure joy it brings…it’s a wonderful feeling. Conversely, outsiders can’t understand why you can’t get video games from your home country. That came from Japan and it cost how much? Calm down.

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