Video games have an enormous potential to play with our conception of reality. They can do this because when we play video games they are defining a reality. We are forced to play within a set of rules, and we get accustomed to them after a short period of time, no matter how weird they may be.
We have to push a ball around until it sticks to stuff and gets bigger, eventually grabbing onto sports stadiums? Got it. Eat a mushroom, jump on some turtles, climb through sewer pipes to bash a fire-breathing dinosaur who kidnapped your girlfriend? Ok! Invite him to go play tennis afterward? Ok …I guess? Eat meat you found in an old castle wall to restore health? Fine. Whatever.
Yet, video games also have the capability to suddenly break these rules. Sometimes, it’s done as a challenge, such as taking away your guns for a stealth section or switching the controls in a platforming level. Other times, rule changes seem to occur at random, invariably making the player scream and throw the controller.
Finally, there are special times when the rules are changed purely to screw with our heads. Here are some of the best times this happened…
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