With the release of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim I found myself remembering my times playing the last installment, The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. I tried to think of what i spent most of my time doing in Oblivion, and i realized something. The thing I did most in Oblivion was Collect stuff. Actually, I wasn’t really collecting as much as I was hording. The more I thought about some of the things I did in games I realized that I was showing signs of behavior disorders in games that I don’t in life.
5 of these Potions are useful, and I won't be using any of them. (jbvw~alluring potions mod)
Lets Start with my first example. One thing I did in Oblivion, and that I’m sure to do in Skyrim is Hoard. Compulsive Hoarding is defined (by wiki ^_^) as “the acquisition of possessions (and failure to use or discard them) in excess of socially normative amounts, even if the items are worthless.” Something I was certainly guilty of.
In Oblivion one of the main skills I leveled up was healing. Since I could heal myself I probably used a potion 5 times throughout my play-through of the game. However, if you went to my house in Skingrad I had about 2000 healing potions, 2000 fatigue potions, tons resistance potions, strength potions, the list goes on. My character had no need for potions, but every time I opened a treasure chest or looted an enemy I took everyone I found.
It wasn’t just potions either, it was jewels too. These were found throughout the world as a reward, and their only purpose was to be sold at various merchants for gold. I never sold one. I had a treasure box full of the useless things, that even if I wanted something purposeful like a sword, or arrows I never even considered selling. If that’s not hoarding I don’t know what is.
I didn’t just collect a bunch of stuff in games. I needed to have it organized too. Which brings up my next gaming disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). . The game was “Golden Sun” for Gameboy Advanced. Unlike Oblivion, Golden Sun didn’t have storage boxes. Everything I had was on my character, so at all times he looked something like this .
Another problem I had with Golden Sun was the lack of inventory organization. How did I manage this? Periodically throughout the game I would go to a merchant and sell everything I had, only to buy it back (At a markup). I had to have equipped items first, then other weapons, armor, items, then crap I would never use. Every time I did this i probably lost 20% of the total gold I had, and I’ll just say I did it more than once.
Don’t start thinking I’m only person who acts a bit quirky in games. For instance, I try to be a relatively good character in games, so I don’t steal often. Other people don’t seem to have that problem, so I hear the term Kleptomania being brought up In discussion about games like Fallout;
Things like that might make it a good thing people don’t show these habits outside of games. It certainly wouldn’t hurt being a little more tidy around the house. But while in the real world someone might make a model train-set, or scale version of a castle, in Minecraft you get things like this:
Since there aren’t random massive structures being built all over the world, I have to assume that gamers don’t translate these obsessive projects into the real world. In a similar fashion, I won’t take 10 mins aside to organize my school backpack, but I’ll be damned if my weapons arn’t organized based on magic type. It brings up the question; “Why do these “gaming disorders” only manifest themselves when playing games?”. Unfortunately, like “how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop”… the world may never know.