Growing up on video games, you unconsciously learn to accept certain quirky things as just common, everyday elements you might enounter in your own little side-scrolling life, without ever stopping to think, "Wait a minute, Childhood Me - I don't think some of these things are actually things?" Here are 13 times that I came to this realization, often to my own disappointment:
The existence of "spikes" in video games is so universally accepted that it wasn't until prrrobably after college when I came to the realization "You know what? I might not actually have to worry about getting insta-killed by big sharp metal things lining the ground precariously in between where I'm standing and where I need to go. I can probably stop carrying this Rush Jet to work every day."
Grand Canyon, Schmand Schmanyon (burn!), where the hell are all the bottomless pits with perfect 90-degree downward angles right in the middle of otherwise perfectly safe terrain? I guess I've never been to, like, Tibet. Are they there?? Seems like they'd be there. Someone please confirm?
3. Ice Blocks
The presence of ice blocks in a video game level is essentially a coundown to an inevitable controller-throw after you annoyingly slide into a pit, but I do think real-life Winters would be more exciting with the added challenge of floating, single blocks of ice that we have to skillfully jump across to get places (then we're rewarded with extra lives, which we then have to live out in realtime as all of our loved ones perish around us.) Is this too much to ask?
4. Giant Outdoor Conveyor Belts
You know, conveyor belts. Like the ones in the supermarket. Only HUGE. And outdoors, in the middle of dystopian streets full of neon-colored thugs trying to beat you up. And always leading right into pits. Can any urban planners out there give me one reason why every city doesn't have several of these?
How hard is this? We have airplanes. We have ships. MAKE A FRIGGIN SHIP THAT FLIES WITH LITTLE PROPELLER THINGIES, SOCIETY. I'm tired of running into wandering monsters when I walk from town to town. And I don't need any more gold or experience.
6. Laser Guns
Kids learn to deal with the realization that many of the things they grew up with aren't real -- Santa Claus, The Tooth Fairy, That Awesome Dog-Farm Where Your 13-Year-Old Dog Went To Live -- but for me, no fantasy-crushing was quite as sobering as when I realized that there weren't actually a bunch of laser guns out there capable of cleanly shooting through metal and body armor and pseudo-Soviet goon-agents. Even as a 27-year-old that news hit me hard.
Obviously even as a kid I knew that it was impossible to shoot fireballs from one's fingertips (especially when you're Player Two and have to do the fireball motion right-to-left), but I have yet to see fire form a perfect ball and fly forwards in any context, magical or otherwise. Oh, and don't think you're free of blame on this one either, Magic The Gathering.