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Thursday, September 12, 2013

OCRD, or Salem Fails Weapons Handling Forever

     So we find ourselves at the intersection of gunnies and gaming again, I've handled firearms, having gone to high school in Alabama and spending a year or two of that time in the JROTC program. I learned how to load, handle, discharge, and maintain a weapon, but admittedly it's been years and years, and I've probably forgotten most of what I learned, but I remember the respect and caution that come with handling a weapon. In the intervening years, I have not kept up with firearms, but I've still been exposed to a reasonable facsimile thereof.

     I'm not sure if you guys are aware, but guns are kind of common in video games. Everything from platformers to first person shooters have them, and some of them are awfully authentic. I have well over 600 hours in a game called Killing Floor, which is a smaller, indie-ish title developed by a company out of Georgia called Tripwire Interactive. Their other big title is the Red Orchestra series, which is sort of a Call of Duty for people who want proper warfare, not the viagra-mainlining hyperactive arcade that the CoD series brings. Tripwire puts a great deal of love into crafting their firearms, with a scary focus on realistic sounds, reactions, handling, and reloading animations.

    All of this brings me to my point. I have a confession to make. My name is Salem, and I suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Reloading Disorder. OCRD is a common, if overlooked, affliction in the gaming world. Independent studies* show that 3 out of every 10 gamers has this, and up to 75% don't even know they have it. OCRD can be a painful and debilitating condition* that manifests itself as compulsively reloading your weapon with a partially emptied magazine. Some people justify this behaviour by only reloading after a magazine is half-emptied or more. Some people...

     I was playing Resident Evil 6 earlier and trying out the quick-shot ability, which basically lets you fire a round in a 'from the hip' manner, to follow up with a melee kill on a stunned zombie. Naturally, this leaves you with a magazine missing exactly one bullet. Which I can't help but reload. The aforementioned Killing Floor will leave me reloading after every few shots, or any time there's not something currently in my cross-hairs. The problem is even worse if I'm playing something competitive like Call of Duty. I'll be so convinced that I'll need *every* bullet in the mag to take out another player that I'll spray a few shots, reload, and only to die face-to-face with someone while I'm stuck reloading my weapon. In real life, this would add up to a monumental waste of ammo, and perpetually unfilled magazines.

     Yet another reason why Salem should never be allowed near real firearms.

*there are no studies. I'm pulling this out of my ass. 
*see previous note. I'm still pulling this out of my ass and I know that actual, proper OCD really is a burden on a lot of people's lives, and mean no disrespect to those that have this or similar conditions. Except my ex-wife. I hope somebody rearranges your DVDs.

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