Treadmill Gaming and the FPS Condundrum

Engineers don't need pants!
Engineers don’t need pants!

One of my coworkers has been trying to rally the rest of us into playing Firefall– but I’ve never been that good at first person shooters and that was before I started playing on a treadmill.

But you can’t get better at things unless you push the envelope a bit and I figured it couldn’t hurt to try. (I have a lot of fond memories of playing Halflife at house-LAN parties and dying in new and interesting ways.)

So I settled in Saturday and played the first few hours on a barstool instead of walking… Which turned out to be a very very good idea.

Firefall is vaguely City of Heroes-ish in terms of controls, but the concept of aiming and WASD movement was a hard bike to get back on. Add in ‘reload’ and ‘out of ammo’ to the mix and it gets a heck of a lot harder.

(The fact that they let you practice the various battlesuits with all the abilities unlocked and then dump you back in one with NONE of the abilities was very annoying. I really need to make a Things That Are Not Obvious To Everyone post about all the stuff I wished had been in the tutorial that wasn’t. *grump*)

Once I finally had the three core abilities I wanted (resupply pod, shield, and turret gun) and bound them to the razor mouse buttons, it was time to put my feet into gear.

And it turns out I’m no worse at FPS when I’m going two miles per hour than I am when I’m sitting down. (Which is middling well.)

That’s a pretty amazing thing when you stop to think about it. I’ve gotten to the point where walking is basically a default state for playing video games!

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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