Inexplicable Videogame Phenomenon #1
February 10, 2010
For a medium that (for the most part) strives continually for realism, for larger-than-life interactive storytelling, it is amusing to note that sometimes an utterly bizarre videogaming mechanic, that has no basis in real-world logic, will be added and repeated without the gaming public even batting an eyelid. In this, the first of an ongoing irregular series, infinitecontinues examines the curious case of…
Imagine, if you will, that you have just been struck over the bonce with the business end of an extremely heavy iron pipe. Factor in several probable knife stabbings and an unending barrage of punchs and kicks. The sliver of health bar remaining indicates that you are within an inch of death, and little wonder; you probably have a fractured skull, massive brain damage, and are bleeding profusely from several stab wounds. What do you need in this situation? A team of the best surgeons in the world, probably, and several months of rehabilitation under careful monitoring. What do you get? A fucking apple. And the apple HEALS YOU!
Although we’ve all heard that ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, the developers of gaming classic Streets Of Rage were obviously hearing ‘an apple a day cures all mortal wounds.’ I’m sure Streets Of Rage wasn’t the first videogame to introduce the bizarre notion that food is a cure-all restorative that staves off impending death, and it certainly wasn’t the last (this morning, I healed myself in Bioshock 2 – a game released just yesterday – by eating potato chips), but it’s certainly one of the most memorable.
As illogical as it is for an apple to keep you alive, console yourself with the fact that fruit is, in fact, a healthy snack in the real world. Explain then, why another of Streets Of Rage’s most well-known healing foodstuffs, is a full roast chicken? Ignore the brow-furrowing fact that somebody has left a full roast chicken out on the street in an iffy neighbourhood, and instead focus on the fact that, at a stroke, all that careful propaganda from dieting companies was brought tumbling down by the assertion that chowing down on fatty poultry was the best thing for you.
Cure-all food then – if only it was as beneficial in life as it is in videogames.