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Video Games Are a Harsh Mistress to Players with OCD

Illustration for article titled Video Games Are a Harsh Mistress to Players with OCD

Presented with a vast array of collectibles and achievements, most gamers have no problem skipping the items and accolades and moving on. Gamers with obsessive-compulsive disorder, on the other hand... I'll just let commenter Daemon_Gildas explain in today's Speak Up on Kotaku.


God, I fucking hate being a gamer with OCD.

I just finished Super Mario 3D Land, and decided to look online to see if there were any "Hidden Stages" like in Super Mario World. Lo and behold, it turns out that if you ever died on a stage five times, the game permanently locks you out from getting "Glittering Stars" on your profile (Stars basically representing Achievements in this game).


Now, I'm fine if I have to replay those levels again without dying. However, because I *DID* die five times on those levels, it's now *IMPOSSIBLE* for me to truly 100% the game, ever, unless I delete my file and start over?

It may sound stupid to those without obsessive-compulsive disorder, but this is exactly the kind of thing that make video-games and absolute nightmare to people like me. I just want to be able to PLAY THE GODDAMN GAME, without feeling a need to look up Cheats, Guides, and FAQ's to make sure I play the game a SPECIFIC way, otherwise I'm going to miss out on something.

Dammit, finding out about these stupid "Glittering Stars" has just ruined my entire experience with an otherwise awesome game.

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.

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Obsessive-compulsive tendencies =/= OCD

Not to say this poster doesn't legitimately have OCD, but the above traits aren't exclusive to to an obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD is typically characterized by repetition and focusing on how something is done. If your OCD surfaced while gaming, you'd likely be running in X number of Y steps, only going through the left side of doorways, or making the same jump 20 times because the first 19 didn't feel right. (Just as examples.)

Now, OCPD is more in line with what the OP mentions. OCPD is characterized by an obsessive need for things to be "right". Typically this is exhibited by things being "orderly" or "being a perfectionist", but the two are not one in the same. For instance, (and to use a personal example as someone who has OCPD), you might feel apprehension to let someone go to the store and buy your groceries because they won't buy the "right" thing. Which isn't to say you have better judgement than they do, but rather, you have a mental tick that tells you something is "wrong" or "off" about something. i.e., Someone bought the "wrong" bread because something about the package doesn't click with you mentally. Everyone exhibits minor forms of these traits, but OCPD is when they became so pervasive that they negatively effect your way of life.

TL;DR - Just because you're anal or a collection freak doesn't mean you have OCD, or even OCPD. They are legitimate mental disabilities that effect one's way of life. Not, "Oh man, I like to 100% my games! I'm so OCD!"