Video Games That Are Awkward To Play In Public

Video Games That Are Awkward To Play In Public

For most portable video games, you’re not being particularly brave when you play them out in meatspace. The button-pressing and D-pad-pushing is fairly surreptitious in the vast majority of on-the-go titles; you can play without making too much of a spectacle of yourself. But other games make you look like an idiot during your morning commute.

For me, it was Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword. I loved how the DS title’s stylus-centric control scheme made the combat feel quick and brutal but holding the system vertically made me feel like a weirdo on the subway. And those fight sequences where you have to slash frantically on the touchscreen? I got a lot of stares for that.

Other games have had similar mechanics — seemingly created with the express purpose of embarrassing you outside of your living room — like when you blow into the DS microphone for The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, smile into the PlayStation Vita’s camera for Tearaway or talk for voice commands in a Phoenix Wright game.

So, have any games made you feel weird for playing them in public? Ever had anyone tap you on your shoulder and inquire as to your well-being as you spun around looking for stuff in an AR game? Share your stories below.

Picture: pop culture geek


  • Someone once told me when he was on the bus he got to the end point of Phoenix Wright where you’re forced to shout OBJECTION and can’t press the button to do so.

    • To be honest I feel awkward shouting at home as well. I was playing Ryse and they asked me to shout to shoot the catapult at the beginning of the game. I shout once and I stopped and just slash them till I almost died.

  • A couple of times I brought my DS to use on the bus/train and forgot to bring a game that wasn’t Nintendogs.
    Trying to teach your dog tricks by whispering doesn’t work and makes you look even weirder.

  • Blowing up balloons in Mario Kart on the DS……

    … I know you could hold down to do it, but you had to come to a complete stop which would make you an easy target.

  • oh man. i was on a subway in japan and a dude was going nuts on his ds; rubbing, blowing, shouting, he worked up quite a sweat. i wish i knew what he was playing.

  • I felt a little awkward playing my Virtual Boy on the train once. But then I relaxed and just had fun with it.

  • My gaming area backs onto the kitchen, so whoever is there can see my screen in full view.
    The most recent game that comes to mine is GTAO. 9/10 times it starts with my guy in the shower and that always happens to be the time someone is behind me in the kitchen.

  • Pokemon happiness training. furious rubbing, smiling and winking at my DS makes me feel like such a loser haha.

  • Face raiders on 3ds is really awkward on a train or bus as well as yelling into a mic to get your dog’s attention in nintendogs

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!