7 Things we do in Half-Life we wouldn’t dream of doing in real life – The 7 Series

1st November 2011

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I like a certain level of realism in my gaming but more related to abstract things rather than weapon recoil or other details like that.

For me, it’s more about never having crates in room whose doors are obviously too small to allow a crate to fit through – stuff like that.

But when I think about it, my behaviour is the biggest discrepancy of all. How I behave when I play video games bears little or no relation to how I behave in real life.

Now of course, this doesn’t include things like shooting Aliens, carrying a crowbar around, collecting every weapon you see etc, etc. Obviously, those things are related to a situation that is so unusual (to put it mildly!) that any comparison is silly.

So, here are 7 things we do in Half-Life that we wouldn’t dream of doing in real life.

Don’t forget to add your own in the comments.

Number Seven: Walk up and down stairs sideways
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Come on, let’s be honest, I bet you have done this once or twice in real life – I know I have! However, it’s just too strange to do all the time.

I’m talking about turning your body just before you get to a corner, so that you are facing the direction you are going to go when you reach it. Kind of like making sure you are always facing the centre of a circle as you go around.

There’s no way I would walk down stairs like I do in real life. In fact, I often jump down the stairs when playing games and there’s no way my knees could take that.

I mean, would you really walk along the walls and get to a corner a pop your head out quickly to see what’s there?

Actually, another thing I do on stairs in games is try and avoid some sections. I jump down across parts to avoid running all the way around. In some cases, stairs have no guardrails at all and that makes for some quick descents.

Slightly offtopic, I wish modders would add a simple “push” feature so that I could go up to enemies and push them off the stairs with no guardrails. Does that make me a bad person? Couldn’t you “kick” in some games?

Number Six: Bunny hop
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Okay, this is pretty similar to the stairs section above but bunny hopping is just a case of jumping when you are running. Apparently which, according to the speed run junkies, is faster than just running.

It’s more of an art than you would think. You need to time the hops (jumps) just right or you might just hit that ceiling beam and slow yourself down.

Anyway, putting aside the speed thing, can you imagine how silly that would look in real life. Sure, there are definitely stranger things you see on the street but this would be quite funny.

Number Five: Smash every box and crate you can reach
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Since I started playing the 100SDoN maps and mods I have become a “crazy box-smasher”! In the past I never really bothered, partly because HL2 and the episodes have their own supply boxes but also because I never felt a need.

Now, I smash every single box I see, not only that but I’ll even shoot them if I have plenty of ammo. It’s not so much about collecting health or supplies but just the fact that I don’t want to leave anything behind.

Definitely should be added to “End of Level” statistics: Crates smashed: 87%

Number Four: Crawling in vents
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I don’t know about you but I am not particularly claustrophobic but crawling around in dark and spooky vents isn’t exactly my idea of a fun weekend hobby. Potholers amongst my readership may revel in the experience but I suspect most won’t.

I mean, really, nobody in their right mind would do that. Geez, you only have to have seen Alien 2 or 3 (I can’t remember which) to know that BAD things happen in them.

Yet in Half-life, off we go, crawling through them like it’s the same as checking our mail or looking for food in the fridge. I am pretty sure that if I were in some of those situations I would sit down and wait for something to happen. You only need to see those blooded scientists to know that’s what most sane people would do.

Number Three: Enter a room and swivel our heads 360°
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

First thing I do when I enter a room is swivel my head around 360° but only when I am playing games or mods. Yes, of course, if I enter a particularly beautiful room then I might do it slowly, so as to take in the surroundings, but when playing I’m looking for either enemies, ammo, health or clues as to where to go next.

I’d get a headache pretty quickly if I did. Of course, my field of vision is much smaller in a game but I still think it would be strange to do it.

One thing that is different is that every room or area we enter is completely new to us when we play games, whereas in real life we general visit the same places quite often.

Still, I can’t help thinking it would be funny to see somebody walk into a room and spend the first second looking completely around.

Number Two: Use lifts in an emergency
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I did it twice today and if you have played enough mods, then you have too. We do it without thinking or even without caring. We simply walk into lifts during emergencies. How stupid is that? How many times have you fallen in a lift in Half-Life? Yet we keep doing it.

How many lifts are certified for use in an emergency? Probably none and there’s a good reason for that: it’s a BAD idea! Yet, we, as gamers, thinking nothing of it. In fact, we often don’t have a choice, which brings me onto a mini mapping peeve: how many real buildings have lifts without a stairwell either around or next to it? Not many.

Anyway, we get in, jump around (if you have played enough HL maps!) and hope for the best. Not only that but when it starts to shake and you hear explosions you probably say to yourself “okay, here we go again!”

Next we start looking for ladders to climb inside of the shaft etc. We have NO fear. What’s the worst that can happen? We die and reload. F7! Bitches love reloads.

Number One: Press buttons and turn valves
Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I’ve saved this for last because of all the ones listed, this is probably the most dangerous! Imagine walking into CERN or the Black Mesa Research Facility and one of the first things you do is press every button, turn every valve and fiddle with every screen or panel. They would be carrying you out within minutes – handcuffed too!

I mean, it goes against everything you learn, especially as a child… DON’T TOUCH! Yet without this most basic of gameplay action of gaming, especially SP gaming, would come to a stand still. We would be still stuck near the beginning of Half-Life. Hell, we probably would’t have got our HEV on.

So, if you are ever lucky enough to visit ANY sort of research facility, remember



  1. Herr_Alien

    You forgot jumping from suspended crate to suspended crate. I mean if I am to face such situations, most likely I’ll grab the nearest cable and hold still.
    Oh, and you can kick in Return to Castle Wolfenstein, and I suspect in various mods (SMOD Tactical I think …).

  2. Dias

    I’d totally do #5 if I could but it would get very tiring after a while.

  3. 1.) Jumping unsecured over vast canyons and hanging boxes or anything else regarding that matter.

    2.) running around for hours. ^^

    3.) Jumping at stairs running backwards down the stairs or sidewards.

    4.) I would not dream about carrying tons of stuff at the same time.

    5.) crawling in an unknown vent shaft. Just imagine how the shaft ends after like 200,400 meters and you can’t even rotate as there isn’t enough space for you to do so. So you have to go backwards all the way and the air is also very thin and there’s a lot of dust what makes breathing even harder… brr what a nightmare. 🙂

    6.) Pressing any buttons turning any values pulling any switches in industrial like areas without knowing what these does.

    7.) Working in a facility like Black Mesa or something similar. Don’t get me wrong I would dream about that and would love to as I’m sure someone working in a research facility of what kind ever must be very good payed but I probably simply lack the qualifications. Therefore it would be foolish at the same time to dream about something like that. 🙂

  4. 8) Throwing bricks at the Police
    Eeven thou they are brickheads I still think its bad to make them even more stupid.

    9) Jumping down stairs
    While its good to jump down 2 stairs cause its stupid to find that in the basement , the species of Homo Sapiens invented elevators for a reason.

    10) Start crushing a box on your roomates friend when he doesnt have time for you.
    Mostly often the box will end up on you , or rather around you as you will be folded in it , after clearly remembering nothing.

    11) Throw somebodys TV out of the window.
    Your *back seating apartament* will be the next thing to follow up.

    12) Dont say a thing Watson.
    Even the people that have a disorder in their brains not allowing them to speak are able to comunicate.

    13) Jumping infront of a Train.
    The next station is Davy Johnes footlocker.

    1. I think you need a chill pill.

  5. House

    Ya, How about the floor, or the air?

    1. OMG, I never thought of that.

  6. zonbie

    #8 Avoid any or all of the following for several days on end: talking, eating, drinking, resting, sleeping, using the bathroom, showering.

    #9 Fire your weapon from the hip even if it has iron sights, red dot sights, scopes, and other aiming devices attached to it.

    #10 Rudely interrupt friends, relatives, superiors, and strangers during conversations or lectures by jumping up and down on their furniture and defacing their property.

  7. Mega Sean 45

    #11 Looking down not seeing your legs.

    #12 Standing still for several hours and not get tired.

    #13 Letting Magnusson whine like a bitch at you and not pushing him into the rocket along with Lamarr and the Gnome.

    #14 Able to store 9 weapons in your inventory.

    #15 Not able to turn on the radio in the car.

    #16 Not able to tell Alyx that it’s faster escaping City 17 by airplane instead of train.

    Suggestions. But the ones that are up there that I wouldn’t do. I’d like doing those things. The suggestions I put down are the things I wouldn’t do. And whatever Zonbie said.

  8. CoRuJa

    #17 Fight off your local military by yourself.
    Even if Gordon Freeman was your sidekick, you will be both lucky standing for seven minutes. You’ll be dead sooner or later…

    #18 Attempt to sprint like hell & shoot a firearm accurately simultaneously.
    This is Real-Life, not Half-Life!

    #19 Falling off from a taller place and landing into the water (without any harm).
    No need to comment about that

    #20 Stare into a nice (and maybe hot) girl in the face for a very long time,
    Sure that Miss Vance wouldn’t care about that in the HL universe, you can do that forever, but in real-life terms…

  9. Haha I couldn’t stop laughing reading through these.

    Really pleasant article this one And they all make so much sense.
    Overall it would make a great overacted sketch show bit like monthy python’s ministry of silly walks combined with another whole load of wrongness can you make it happen phillip?

  10. Unq

    Well I do have to include “shooting aliens.” I’m sure I could never bring myself to shoot a headcrab, they are just too cute and I’d just go pet them instead. Except for those damn poison ones.

  11. zonbie

    #21 Resist the urge to tap that ass. I’m looking at you, Judith Mossman.

    #22 Leave my buggy unattended for too long on Highway 17.

    #23 Allow Alyx to interrupt her father when he was just about to tell me about WTF has been going on ever since Black Mesa happened. (Because, you know, I’ve been out of the loop for a while.)

    1. CoRuJa

      Man, don’t even mention that part… my reaction was to punch her in the face for good with all that teasing (honestly, I really dislike Alyx personally)

      1. zonbie

        good, because I’m making a mod where you get a chance to kill her, lol 🙂

        1. CoRuJa

          I do that (killing her) sometimes in Garry’s Mod & especially in SMOD (since both allow friendly fire killing, unlike HL2 vanilla & the later one [SMOD] allowing creative & gruesome ways to kill :twisted:) and even knowing that it’ll end the game if she’s a vital NPC in some segments of it.

          BTW, i’ll stop derailing the post with offtopic stuff & continuing on what the post suggests 8)

  12. Au-heppa

    Oh wait, I read the title wrong, I thought it said “would NOT dream of doing”… oops, now I look like a psychopath

    1. Au-heppa

      So, yeah, luckily that didn’t get posted so you wont know what I am talking about.

      On the topic of that… I remember testing this map someone sent me and there were these walls around the road to stop the player from driving the HL2 jeep into the water. When I gave the level designer feedback about not liking there being invisible walls she replied: “Do you drive cars into lakes in real life?” Well, of course not, but I also don’t shoot people in real life either.

  13. Kyo

    24. Who needs hands? Pick up things by levitating them in front of you! No Gravity Gun required!

  14. Aazell

    Shooting other people in the face…

    …I normally shoot them in the knees IRL…

  15. Ade

    I found this through podcast17 and am so glad, it’s my fav 7 series so far 🙂
    awesome post, PP

  16. bkadar

    life needs an sv_cheats setting

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