I play videogames to escape the real world for awhile. I like to spend nights warping around the Mass Effect universe. I’m always tempted to take a few minutes to crush some candy. But if I really wanted to live out my videogame fantasies, how easy would it be to do so?
In the latest episode of a new season of MythBusters, Adam and Jamie try to bring two games indicative of their genres to life — DOOM and Fruit Ninja. Here’s what we learned.
Warning, I am going to spoil the results of these myths. You’ve been warned!
The seminal first-person shooter DOOM is one of the root influences that all modern shooters can be traced back to. One of the mechanics that the game featured was carrying around a large number of items without impeding your control of the avatar (unlike Fallout 3, for example). Is carrying around 80 pounds of gear really that easy?
Fruit Ninja is one of those games with a concept that makes everyone want to try it for real. Adam, a trained swordsman, wanted to see how tossed fruit really moves through the air and how easy it would be to ninja them.
To test this myth, the team found an abandoned military building and outfitted it to look just like a level from DOOM. Then they populated it with weapons, items, and monster demons. Their control test was to complete the level only carrying one weapon at a time. The second test was to hold on to every item they came across, with the load eventually totaling 80 pounds. Both Adam and Jamie nearly doubled their times when they had to lug around all that weaponry, and were ready to call the myth busted.
But Adam and Jamie aren’t exactly videogame heroes — they aren’t beefy and athletic. So the guys brought in Brendan Schaub, an experienced MMA fighter, to serve as a better avatar. When Schaub ran the course, the 80 pounds of gear only increased his time by 3 seconds. The team figured that if your game avatar is anywhere as robust as Schaub, the myth is plausible.
Also, apparently, “zombies don’t like to get hit in the penis.” Good aiming Schaub.
You may have seen this one coming. Having to slice up pieces of fruit thrown into your face isn’t as easy as it is on your phone. Even with a sharp blade and some decent knowledge of swordsmanship, it’s simply too taxing to chop up as many pieces of fruit in the time allotted to you by Fruit Ninja.
Though I’d love to see a full run with Jamie and his chainsaw (which he attempted just for the heck of it).
What We Learned
Adrenaline: Adrenaline or Epinephrine is a hormone and neurotransmitter that can speed up your heart beat, encourage you to breathe faster, and dilate your veins to allow more blood flow (or restrict blood flow to non-essential areas of the body). It is this hormone that gets us pumped up and alert in stressful situations, like having to carry 80 pounds of guns while chainsawing zombies.
Earth’s gravity: Hold up something, anything. Now drop it. It will fall towards the center of the Earth, accelerating towards the ground at 9.8 meters per second per second. That value is dependent on a few things like the mass of the Earth, how far we are away from its gravitational center, and so on. When Adam compared Earth’s gravity to that of Fruit Ninja, he found that the fruit basically floats in the game, nothing like it would if you tossed fruit on Earth, and that’s why it’s so much easier to slice.
I’m a huge gamer, so seeing the DOOM myth tackled was really fun to watch. I love bringing a bit of reality to my gaming, and the super-strength protagonists that can carry any amount of weaponry was something I’ve always been curious about. I came into the episode thinking that myth would be totally busted. But it turns out that if you’re over six feet tall and lug around 250 pounds of muscle already, you can still shoot a zombie in the face while packing a chainsaw.