Running Backwards While Shooting A Shotgun Is A Bad Idea In Real Life

Running Backwards While Shooting A Shotgun Is A Bad Idea In Real Life

One brave or foolish gamer took out his shotgun, went somewhere remote, and tried a common video game first-person shooter manoeuvre. The results were painful.

This is how one man tried to back-up-and-shoot, using a shotgun, a broom and a warehouse. He suffered some distress.

The details were revealed in the September 28 edition of the Giant Bombcast, at the one hour and 58-minute mark, host Ryan Davis read the following email from a reader named Bob Rough (spelling of name not confirmed):

Many contemporary first-person games seem to be designed so that running backwards and shooting at advancing enemies is a basic element of gameplay and necessary for defeating many enemies.

I tried this yesterday.

I took my shotgun into a grassy field in an abandoned warehouse and then tried running backward at full speed and shooting at a target I had pinned to a broom handle and thrust into a bucket full of earth.

The result of this experiment was that I fell backwards about 70% of the time and injured both my back and my skull.

Thusly, I believe it is our duty to convince game designers and programmers to design first-person games where running backwards is unnecessary. Enemies should stagger and respond to gun wounds at close range. A shotgun blast to the chest, legs, or face should suitably disable an opponent so they cannot continue to attack the player at full speed, requiring every encounter to result in a running-backwards Benny Hill-style comedy adventure.

Better yet, what if the player fell backwards 70% of the time and incurred some damage or loss of health? That would be an even better gameplay mechanic. I am brilliant. Someone should give me a job.

Readers, please do not try this yourself. Still, thank you Bob for experimenting this one time and reporting the results!

09-28-2010 Giant Bombcast


  • I’d have to agree on that point about injuring enemies. Most games just have a binary dead or alive system, with enemies that have say 10% health performing the same as those with 100%. Far Cry 2 and FEAR come to mind as games that have a wounded phase, but I’d really like to see a deeper system where injuring an enemy’s arm might force them to use a side arm, a leg injury would slow or immobilize them and other wounds would affect their overall combat ability.

      • The author suggests that running backwards while shooting is not just a core gameplay element but a NECESSITY in most FPS games. I disagree, the last time I did that I was too young to be able to circle-strafe.

        • Killing Floor doesn’t allow circle strafing when there’s a tirade of angry crawlers, Bloats, gorefasts etc coming at you en masse.

        • Well, that’s more of a personal tactic, not a defineable ‘you’re doing it wrong’ moment isn’t it?

          I mean I’ve played plenty of Deathmatches in Halo, Counterstrike, Rainbow Six back in the day etc etc, where you’d have a corridor situation and rather than turn your back to where the enemy was when retreating, you’d face their direction and fire at them as you retreat? Hardly a useless tactic. Hell, SERIOUS SAM, half the time you’re running backwards with weaponry firing like all hell as it is anyhow!

          Circle strafing is a different animal.

  • In other news from our “well duh” deparment, Bob discovered that simply picking up a medikit does not instantaneously heal his bullet wounds. He followed this revelation with an expose on how much ammunition and guns weigh, and why you wouldn’t be able to really carry all of that crap. Finally, he revealed that the Nazis are gone, aliens have not made contact, zombies have not risen to hunt the living, terrorists are not behind every corner – so why would anyone really need to try ANY of this stuff in the real world? You can tell these things are unrealistic just by looking, we didn’t really need empirical evidence.

    • Yes. Surely the only conclusion we can draw is that Bob would make a terrible protagonist. And if game heroes were designed on him we would spend most of the time falling on our asses and hurting ourselves.

  • Is this guy all there? I’m amazed no one else noticed that he said “grassy field in an abandoned warehouse” hmmmmmmmmm… this would only be funnier if he tried rocket jumping or recharging health.

  • I like the fact he says that he fell and injured his back and skull about 70% of the time.

    Because really, after doing it once, he needed to do it a few more times just to be sure.

  • He tackled one of gaming greatest myths. Now next week on the “People who shouldn’t reproduce” he’ll attempt to disprove “THE ROCKET JUMP”

    Geez, We play to escape reality. Doesn’t transfer into RL.

  • Thank you Bob, truly science prevails

    And for some inexplicable reason I have to agree with him, but then wouldn’t be as much fun

  • 100% agree.

    Every game doesn’t have to be a full simulator, but the amount of things ignored for the sake of ‘game-play’ is getting absurd.

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