We have just fired a few shots but that feeling is there already– the panicky voice in the back of our brain insisting: "The magazine is no longer fully loaded! Reload at once!“ And it makes no difference here whether there were still 3, 10 or even over 100 shots still left in the old magazine. Above all, we want maximum ammunition - then we are ready for all eventualities. This obsession with constantly reloading can, however, be really tiresome and may even cost us victory. Reloading takes time, in the heat of battle every second counts – during which time our character may not be fully able to react. How could reloading become an addiction? Is there nothing we can do about it?
The obsession creeps in
Originally, it may have just been a precaution: we prefer to reload he magazine every time there is a short pause in firing, so that we are a couple of shots ahead of the next opponent who runs into our sights. Perhaps an oppnent did once send us into the virtual beyond because our ammunition had just run out. However, this precautionary measure can rapidly turn into an obsession. The finger constantly finds its way to the reload button, entirely automatically, even if we have only briefly pulled the trigger a single time. Just unforunate if during the reload animation we are already brought down by the next opponent to attack – even though we would actually have had more than enough ammunition in the old magazine.
The reload obsession become particularly fatal when the developer has placed emphasis on realism. Something that many gamers loudly demand. In this case, however,we should be glad to dispense with it. Since if in real life the whole magazine were to be exchanged, all the cartridges still in the old magazine would be wasted. In the game, it would of course be very annoying if we were to exchange a magazine that is still half-full. That way, our total ammuinition would diminish faster than we could loot. In such cases, only discipline and self-control help.
Practice delibare reloading: Gears of War with Active Reload
If the reload obsession has already bitten deep, a therapeutic cure with Gears of War might help. In this game, the "active reload" system rewards us if we qujite deliberately reload our magazine: On the press of a button, a kind of loading bar appears on our HUD display. Now we have to halt the moving line in the right part of the bar and get a boost from that. Not only is the reload speed thereby increased but the ammunition causes greater damage. Isn't that a good reason to practice deliberate reloading again?
One obsessive neurosis rarely comes alone
Minor obsessions like chronic reloading are not uncommon among gamers. Not everyone loses control in reloading. But most gamers will recognise themselves in at least one of the following points:
- We need to peer into every corner, turn over every stone and smash open every chest. After all, something might still be hidden in there. We can still not free ourselves from this obsession even if our inventory is already full to bursting point and we can in any case not pick up anything else.
- Despite an automatic storage system, we don't quite believe in it Before ending the game, we must just make one more manual inventory. Best to be on the safe side.
- Passionate role-players in particular often have the compulsion to go through every single dialogue option. And howver barren the history of the NPCs may be, an interesting nugget of information might be hiding somewhere in a subordinate clause or a little side-mission might be activated.
- It's red: we need to shoot it! Many games give us hints by colours, and if an object is coloured red, it is an unambiguous signal that an action can be carried out. This may often be red barrels that explode when fired at. It's just unfortunate if we actually wanted to attack in secret from ambush. Sometimes the temptation to shoot is just too great – after all, we have only just reloaded …