Whenever you see people talking about videogames these days it’s not long before people start talking about “realism”. In Call of Duty the games are all about how accurate the weapons are and how great the physics is and how you can see your reflection in the water droplets in your 100% convincing sweat, which will cause people to realistically react to your body odour.
The thing is, I learned to game in age where firing a rocket launcher at your own feet is an acceptable way to jump onto high ledges. Realism just feels a bit less… fun.
Don’t believe me, check out these super realistic games.
Previously known as War Z, this is a zombie shooter. Now zombie shooters are great. Left 4 Dead, Dead Island, Dead Rising. We love dead stuff. But what makes Infestation that much more realistic is two things. Firstly: You can die of hunger or thirst. Yep, just like in a real apocalypse, your main priority, aside from dodging zombies, is going to be keeping yourself fed and watered. The second realistic addition is that there are other players, who A: Also need food and water to live, and B: Are people playing a multiplayer online game, and so are devoid of empathy and conscience.
The end result is you spend as much of your time avoiding other humans as you do zombies, and when you see another human, even if you consider yourself one of the “good guys”, you’re just as likely to shoot them in the head as you are a zombie, just to make sure they don’t get the jump on you.
As first person shooters go this is probably a level that will never get anywhere near a Call of Duty game. For starters, you only get three bullets, and you’re only supposed to shoot one guy. Oh, and that guy is one of the most beloved presidents of the United States of America.
This is less a game than a simulation. The goal isn’t just to kill the president, but to recreate, as closely as possible, the exact series of shots completed by Lee Harvey Oswald on that fateful day in 1963.
It is not at as fun as most of the imaginary people you shoot in games. For instance, rather than exploding, the President just sort of flops over while his wife bursts into tears and the crowd looks shocked and appalled. It’s almost like in reality violence just isn’t that cool.
This game was created by Penn and Teller as a response to campaigners against violent videogames. In this game you play a bus driver. You must drive from Tucson, Arizona, to Las Vegas, in a bus that can go as fast as 45 mph. It takes roughly eight hours. In real time. You don’t have a pause button. You can’t take your hands off the controls because the busy constantly lists to the right. There is no traffic, no obstacles, just endless road.
If you complete the journey, you get one point. This is a very realistic game. It is extremely dull. So dull, that playing it has become a widely recognised feat of endurance, to the point where Desert Bus for Hope to raise money for the charity, Child’s Play, do an annual play through of Desert Bus, where they will continue to play the game in shifts for as long as donations keep coming in. If you think playing a game for charity seems like a cop out, you clearly don’t understand just how dull this game is.
Jason Falls is a freelance writer and avid gamer who works with Butlers Bingo. He’s currently playing a 100% accurate word processor simulator.