When you play enough video games, you understand certain tropes — shooting a red barrel will cause an explosion, white boxes with red crosses will refill your health, and sometimes you need enough stars to open a door. It's so clear to us, but can you imagine coming into video games with a beginner's mind? None of this stuff would make any SENSE. And some games are worse at being welcoming to non-gamers than others. Here are the video games that make the least sense to people who don't play video games —
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
You see, Zelda is deceptive — at first it seems like a fairly standard world. You play as a little boy — granted, one with elf ears — who runs around a forest with his friends. But then you go meet a TALKING TREE who SWALLOWS YOU and you play a level INSIDE HIS STOMACH. If you've never played video games before, you will probably assume you're having a psychotic break at this point, that the Great Deku Tree is a metaphor for the abandonment issues or your Oedipus conflict or one of your other countless psychological disorders. Man, you're really f*cked up.
Honest to God, what is a Sackboy? There is nothing like him in ours or any other world. Sackboy is the kind of thing you might envision while you're on a Native American spirit quest or the first time you try LSD and you're really scared.
The biggest hurdle to understanding Twisted Metal is this notion that a clown could ever be legally licensed to drive. Wait, that's a thing? Clowns CAN drive? You mean to tell me that a clown can get into ANY vehicle and just be ANYWHERE? We're not safe ANYWHERE.
Everything on 3DS
Imagine the reaction from non-gamers picking up a 3DS. "What the hell is this? Games are POPPING up at me! It's really aggressive!" Also, the circle pad is neither a joystick NOR a directional pad and they have NO idea what to do with that. There are so many 3DSs thrown away because people thought they were buying some sort of kitchen device to tenderize meat or a really really small Samsung phone.
Street Fighter X Tekken
Even if — and it's a big "if" — a non-gamer could get by the green electricity monster fighting racist yoga instructor madness of the Street Fighter universe, they'd still have to get over the complete incomprehensibility of the Tekken universe too. Also fifty percent of the words in this title are not words.
Mass Effect barely makes sense to ME — I was halfway through Mass Effect before I learned how to equip armor. If you want to get into the head of a non-gamer, unable to grasp the basic interface of the task they're trying to accomplish, try eating a dish of alfredo chicken lasagna using a live sea bass as a fork.
What video games do you think would seem nonsensical to someone who's never played video games? Let me know on Twitter at @mikeyfromsu or in the comments below!