5 Unexpected Ways Gaming Can Enhance Real-Life Skills


Compensation for Lag (or Anticipatory Motor Skills)

The next step in target shooting was clay pigeon shooting and man did that feel natural. I’m not going to say I was hitting my gamer accuracy numbers (around 80 percent with non-spread rounds, what now, vato?) but after adjusting to the weight of the double-barreled shotgun and the awkwardness of keeping it steady while pointing it up in the air, I was definitely stealing quite a few targets from a man who’d been handling weapons for almost the entirety of his life.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the concept, lag, otherwise known as latency, severely affects movement and aim in a number of games. Most modern games actually just freeze out for a second until your connection returns or just lets you keep going without any notice, and when you re-establish a connection with the server, you’re either dead or you’re re-positioned 10 feet back from where you thought you were. This is a terrible way of dealing with lag, but with most gaming physics today, I suppose that’s the safest way to handle it. In the era of the FPS, which I’d dominated with its Quake and Unreal Tournament series, lag wasn’t something that went unnoticed. It was something you played through. As a result, you’d have to adjust the way you play because the latency between you and the server you were playing on was just about 10 to 50 milliseconds slower than your competitors. The term that was dubbed for gamers who played under these conditions was High Ping Bastard (HPB) and I was certainly one of them for many years. The conditions that were presented to HPBs were such that if you wanted a shot to land exactly on its target, you’d have to anticipate where it would be by the time you hit “fire,” allow for projectile travel time and ultimately reach its destination.

Incredible air kills (that you can see demos of if you search YouTube for any competition-worthy first-person shooter) became that much more difficult as an HPB simply because of the extra latency added onto the already difficult timing of a particular shot.