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Why We Crouch

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The crouch. One of humanity’s most basic movements. Humans have been crouching since they figured out that going to the bathroom standing up only worked half of the time, but in video games we sometimes need a little prompting.

This post originally appeared 12/3/15.

We’ve been crouching in video games for decades—pull the joystick down and there you go. The classic System Shock introduced crouching to first-person 3D shooters way back in 1994 via an odd top-of-the-screen HUD that also allowed for leaning.


First and third-person shooters have come a long way since the days of System Shock, with control schemes that are much more intuitive than those early stabs. Still, many of them still feel the need to make up silly excuses for us to learn the squatting controls.


Like a plane crashing into an air traffic control tower in Call of Duty: Black Ops.


Or having to clamp a flaming fuel line in a flying aircraft in Wolfenstein: The New Order.


And so “Why We Crouch” was born, a brief, inspiration compilation of some of the ways shooters have taught me to bend my virtual knees over the years. Enjoy.

For the record, my personal favorite comes from Bulletstorm, a game many people enjoyed briefly but then haven’t thought much about since.


No, you really don’t.

Contact the author, crouched down behind his keyboard, at or follow him on Twitter at @bunnyspatial