Like every other poor college student, when I get some extra money, I usually buy a new game or two. When was on my way to pick up Shadow of the Colossus I saw that it was at a reduced price, so I just HAD to pick up a second game. A bright light from across the store caught my attention. While a church choir began to sing in the background and tiny cherubs descended from the heavens to show me the path; my path, the guided me toward Monster Hunter: World. Ok, so it wasn’t really like that but I remember all the great reviews so I bought the game. I was excited about it but I didn’t play it right away because I knew I’d get very invested in it. As I said earlier, I’m a college student and there is homework to be done! Once I finally popped the disk in and played for a while, I knew I was in trouble because I was hooked.
Monster Hunter: World plays a bit differently from other RPG’s because there is no leveling system. Instead, you kill monsters to harvest uh “materials” (body parts) that let you build specific weapons and armor sets. But as I was playing through the game there was one thing I really caught my attention; my weapon. There are 14 different weapon types and they all play extremely different. You can use bladed weapons, blunt weapons, ranged weapons and buff weapons.
Personally, I use the hammer.
There is just something about carrying this huge weapon and smashing monster faces in (but games don’t cause violence, right?). But this made me realize something; in games with different weapon types, I usually go for the large blunt weapons like hammers, maces or battleaxes. This made me think about why I always choose the same weapon types, even in different video game franchises. Whether it was Fable, Skyrim, or Final Fantasy, I always make my custom characters use the same weapon types or I favor the characters that use the big blunt weapons. Even in games where the player can only use guns, I’ll use the big, loud guns that don’t require a lot of accuracy, like shotguns or rocket launchers (Now I’m daydreaming about Borderlands). All this made me wonder if my personality coincided with my preference of weapon.
As a kid, I was always a bit bigger than most. I wasn’t overweight by any means but I wasn’t exactly skinny. I hit puberty fast and I was quickly the tallest kid in my class. I was even bigger than my older brother for a while. I always thought of myself as a sort of iron bull, like I could blast through anything or take on anyone in sports. I grew up playing football and rugby and I dreamed of having a big manly beard that made me look like a Viking warrior. Does all this psychologically influence my gaming experience? Does my subconscious desires impact how I play my games? Honestly, probably. I want to be like what my younger self-imagine when I played video games. I want to be that big, brawny, bearded guy carrying around the huge hammer that could destroy anything.
All this thinking led me to ask friends and strangers on the internet about whether maybe I wasn’t just thinking too hard about all this. I got a lot of good and thought-provoking answers. Most agreed with me, saying their weapon choice was usually the same in the games they play. Some of the answers I got were people saying things like “I like to imagine myself as fast and agile so I always use the fastest weapons in the game like daggers” or “I like playing a magic-wielding character because I always want to be the smartest and that’s what wizards look like”.
I even got some pretty self-aware answers like someone saying they like using the weapons with the best stats because they imagine themselves better than everyone else, they then commented saying that maybe they have an ego issue. One of my friends remarked that he uses bows so he doesn’t have to get up close and personal because just like in real life, confrontation makes him uncomfortable. Of course, people branch out and use different weapons types or classes every now and then, but from the information I gathered, most people stick to what they know and love, even in tabletop RPG’s like Dungeon and Dragons.
Honestly, I think it’s cool and whether you want to feel like a roadblock of a warrior or a devilish rogue who sticks to the shadows; you do you. Let your personality seep into the video games you play as you live out your fantasies. If playing video games lets you live in worlds that you love and be the person you have always dreamed about, then never let anyone tell you that you can’t or that it’s stupid. Never shy away from the things that make you happy and always aspire to be your best self, even if the image of yourself is big, bearded and carries around a huge ass hammer like I want to.
What weapons do you prefer to use in games? What about your personality do you think makes you want to play a certain way or gravitate towards certain characters? We’d love to hear from you so sound off in the comments below!