Thursday 26 April 2018

Blinking Heck – When Games Resonate in Unforeseen Ways

Blinking Heck – When Games Resonate in Unforeseen Ways

By Casey Douglass

Anyone who knows me or reads my posts will likely know that I play horror game Dead by Daylight. After reaching Rank 1 as both Survivor and Killer, I decided to devote myself to mastering the Nurse, the Killer widely viewed as the very best, when played by skill fingers at least. My general Killer skills are decent: reading and predicting Survivors, robbing them of their lives usually coming reasonably easily. Playing Nurse is like putting the spotlight of scrutiny on these skills. If you can’t mind-game or predict accurately, you’ll be chasing shadows all game long.

This difficulty in mastery comes from her unique Blink ability: being able to teleport through obstacles. First, you have to get the muscle memory and timing set in your head in order to be able to Blink the distance you would like to, and to land where you hope to. This, for me at least, only came through hours and hours of play. I didn’t have to ‘try’, it just kind of clicks. The kicker is that after you Blink, the Nurse is hit with a large “Fatigue” effect, where she looks down to the ground, sighs, shakes, and generally makes it hard to see where a Survivor has run to for a few seconds.

I’ve made great progress with learning the Nurse, going from barely getting a few hits per game to averaging one or two kills. The strange thing is that, on recent nights, I’ve just lost interest mid-game. It seems to take about 30 mins. Last night I downed a Survivor, and I just couldn’t be bothered to pick them up and hook them. I went to the Killer basement for a few minutes instead and just rested in the dark corner. This is something I’ve not done with any other Killer in the game, and I only this morning, seem to have a guess as to why.

I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I suffer with exhaustion all day every day. I suspect that something about the Nurse’s exhaustion effect is tapping into my own feelings of despair and helplessness, and this is twisting my mood after prolonged exposure to her play-style. I mean, the game in which I just couldn’t be bothered to hook the downed Survivor, it’s not as if I couldn’t catch someone. I wasn’t angry, stressed or annoyed, it was just like someone drained my interest in what I was doing. After a short time doing nothing in the basement and hearing the exit gates power, I felt able to come out again and ended up damaging all the Survivors before they were able to escape.

It’s a strange thing, and I’m not sure if it’s just my mind reaching for connections that aren’t there, but it’s something I will be reflecting on for a little while. Sadly, my exhaustion doesn’t come from using some god-like ability such as teleportation, but maybe I do have some more mundane ability that is going unnoticed. Who knows. I can certainly keep a Fruit Pastel in my mouth without chewing. I hope that’s not it, that’s a bit dull. Oh, I do have the ability to meet up with women and the very next person they meet, they end up getting married to. That could be construed as a superpower I guess, even if one that doesn’t benefit me. Might make a bit of money from being some kind of love lucky charm though, more than spitting out words ever earns me anyway.

Thanks for reading.