Video games are many things to many people. You and I might use games to show our girlfriends where they are on our list of priorities, but scientists and psychologists are using them to cure depression, cancer, lazy eye syndrome, and gay bullying. Just think of all the ways games have changed our lives. Why, before the Wii U existed, it would have required a series of unspeakable crimes to show penis drawings to so many thousands of children at once. And like those brave masters of dong art, this article is about heroes who were inspired by games to achieve the impossible.
5The Top 5 Warcraft Characters Are All the Same Person
World of Warcraft is designed to be a never-ending quest. There are 1,797 achievements in the game, and each of them requires hours, sometimes weeks to obtain. It takes such a monumental time investment that by the time you get past 1,000, your body medically replaces your sex organs with cup holders. It's why, in Mandarin, "World of Warcraft" translates to "The People's Fun and Noble Plan for Sterilize Youth."
One player not only managed to get 1,954 achievements (157 more than the maximum), but did so with five different characters: Ataxius, Ataxas, Ataxus, Ataxxus, and Ataxa. They each have an identical set of achievements because of an absurd computer game delivery system known as multiboxing. Multiboxing is where you use several computers simultaneously to trick the game into thinking you're five different people. It's similar to another trick you might try as a hardcore gamer -- convincing Pizza Hut you're an entire soccer team.
How Much Time Would This Take?
If you or someone you love has three extra nipples, then you already know how difficult it is to play with five different things using only two hands. Simultaneously playing five Warcraft characters turns a relaxing diversion into a stressful, full-time job. A single wrong keystroke and suddenly one of your paladins is eating cupcakes instead of crusader striking. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but with the amount of diabetes in your body, looking at a picture of dessert is more than enough to make your foot fall off.
The point is, multiboxing isn't exactly a time saver. Even if you're swinging five swords at a time, it takes more than just years of killing monsters to get all the WoW achievements. You need to research where countless rare monsters and pets appear, then stake out those locations for days, hoping to get lucky. You have to pretend to fish -- just stand there and fish -- for over 500 hours. You have to schedule hundreds of all-night sessions with 24 actual humans in order to kill complicated bosses. And trust me -- you don't end up moving to World of Warcraft because of your honed people skills. Communicating with MMO players is like trying to speak sign language through a hole in a bathroom wall: Everyone on the other side of it is confused, is angry, or only came here to suck.
Being the top five characters in this game represents years of work. When you read about some woman who forgot she owned a baby because she was distracted by her shaman's herbalism skill, she isn't even close to this. It almost defies science -- isn't human blood supposed to congeal when it sits still for that long? Plus, it's hard to control five guys at a time while insect colonies are sending foragers in every direction to retrieve chunks of you. Let me try to put it another way: In the time it took to win 105,000 Warcraft achievement points, this person could have become fluent in Icelandic and used it to watch a can of Icelandic beans expire seven times.
4Sim City 3000 Player Builds "Perfect" City
Sim City is a soothing game about building your own metropolis. You construct whatever you want, and with no enemies other than traffic and the occasional Godzilla, the only hard part of Sim City is convincing the unemployment office that you're looking for a job. And yet someone found a way to beat it. An architecture student named Vincent Ocasla put this together:
He redesigned city blocks into strange cascading rectangles to eliminate space between buildings and cut down on subway stations. He created an all-powerful police state to keep his uneducated slave people from revolting. He made George Orwell's darkest visions look like a bubbly hand job from the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba!
In an interview with Vice.com, where he explicitly denied any mental problems, Ocasla described his city's people: "They have all been successfully dumbed down, sickened with poor health, enslaved, and mind-controlled just enough to keep this system going for thousands of years. Fifty thousand years, to be exact. They are all imprisoned in space and time." It's hard to tell if he really loves video games or if he's trying to frighten his prison therapist.
How Much Time Would This Take?
As you might imagine, reinventing every aspect of urban planning isn't something you do on accident. The math science he used is outside my area of expertise, but he drew shapes and numbers all over graph paper for 18 months before he even started playing the actual video game, and then it took over two years to finish his city. It's easy to accuse him of wasting time, since after four years of development, all he did was invent a way to cram more people into a tinier space and make them miserable, but I went to enough college to know that that's virtually indistinguishable from most post-graduate programs.