Making Your Own Fun in Video Games.

In episode 146 of the Waypoint Radio podcast, they discuss ways in which they created new gameplay scenarios within the rules of existing games. This took the form of improv within open ended games like Sea of Thieves, or challenging themselves to play against their usual impulses in A Way Out. This is a fun episode and I encourage you to check it out.

It also got me thinking about ways in which I’ve used video games in unintentional ways to create new ways of play. Below I’ve got a short list of various ways I’ve created my own fun. Some are well known variants, but others may have been more original. Check em out, let me know in the comments if you’ve ever tried these things, or other ways you’ve created your own fun within video games.

  1. Tomb Raider 2 – Messing with the Butler
This dude would follow you around the entire house, unless…

I never played a lot of Tomb Raider 2, mostly due to its awkward controls. But I did really enjoy its practice area, Laura’s estate.  In her house, she had a butler who followed you around.  He was super fun to mess around with. You could shoot him forever and he never died. Eventually we figured out you could lure him into a large walk-in freezer, then lock him in.

  1. Super Smash Bros (64) – Ranged battle
The two players who share a side are on a team, and may not cross the middle chasm.

4 players, 2 teams. All items at the highest occurrence rate. Each team takes a side of the unlockable Mushroom Kingdom stage.  You may not cross the center, so you can only use ranged attacks and thrown items. The usual strategy was for one member of your team to play Ness for targeted harassment, and to block enemy items. The other would play as Pikachu to quickly grab items and chuck them at the opponents.

  1. World of Warcraft – Kazzak Darts
The circle under Kazzak served as a dart board for flying players.

Burning Crusade added the Outlands areas, as well as flying mounts.  Within the first area of Outlands there was a demonic circle with a demon named Kazzak at the center. While flying around this area we decided that it looked like a dart board.  We would fly overhead, dismount, fall, and try to hit the center. If the fall damage didn’t kill you, Kazzak would. Honor system was in effect to turn off your mini-map, or else the game would be too easy.

  1. Halo 2 – Zombies
This mode was so popular it was implemented as “infection” in Halo 3.

A very popular player made variant within Halo 2. The game starts with one player on the green “zombie” team, everyone else on the red “human” team. Zombie players can only use swords, while humans can use pistols and shotguns.  If a zombie manages to kill a human, the human must switch over to the zombie team. The goal is to be the last human standing. The game heavily relied on honor system rules, the punishment for cheating being booted from the server.

4 thoughts on “Making Your Own Fun in Video Games.”

  1. These are great! My wife does stuff like this all the time in games – she and a friend of ours played CoD once and just played hide and seek the whole time. It’s cool how you can exploit a game’s existing mechanics to create your own unique experience within it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Back in my N64 days as a youth, exploring 3D environments, I used to mess about in Wave Race 64 and Mario Kart 64. Just driving around exploring every nook and cranny of a course. Same with Goldeneye, actually. I had a lot of free time as a kid.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s extremely rare my stepkid plays a video game in the way intended. Most of the time he’s making up his own story about his character, and he guide their actions according to this rather that the developer’s design. It’s really interesting to watch: he ends up doing all sorts of things in-game that I’d never think of.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have a group of friends who all play guild wars 2 together, and one of our favorite past times is finding super high spots. We then proceed to dive off and die in a spectacular ways. Seriously. It’s not guild night until we all manage to off ourselves. xD I don’t know how the tradition started but it is hilarious.

    I used to play WoW as well and there were a few that I remember. One of which was that we used to play dodge ball with the little leather balls that you can craft. The key was to not have any in your inventory. It’s like a game of hot potato now that I think of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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