Social Jumping

Shadow added in post to enhance the illusion of height :)

I’m not going to write about how thoroughly exhausted and beaten down I was last night after completing the epic ~45 minute death march of a fight in the first chapter of the first episode of GW2’s Living World Season 4.

Instead I’m going to keep it light and talk about jumping. I saw a remark somewhere in passing about jumping in MMORPGs (apologies but I can’t remember where) which inspired me to write this.

A lot of people jump around a lot in games. I don’t know about anyone else, but I immediately assume the person behind the so-called bunny-hopping behavior has very poor impulse control, is a child under 16, is drunk, is impatient, has no historical appreciation for the real purpose of bunny-hopping in games, or any combination thereof. I only jump in very specific circumstances and very specific ways.

Mainly, of course, I jump if I need to get over an obstacle.

The more emotional or let’s say “social” reasons I might jump are the following:

If another player has done something nice for me while I’m out and about in the world (like helping me kill a mob, or waited patiently for me, or something like that), I will often jump exactly one time as a way of saying, “Thanks.”

If I’m mad about something the game has done to me, I will often run around in circles and jump up and down to simulate a temper tantrum. The avatar looks mad to me during this process. It sort of looks like he or she is stomping their feet.

(Incidentally, Dark Souls allows me to accomplish the opposite maneuver, which is to display happiness: Performing forward rolls in circles, accomplished by moving in a circular pattern and using the dodge-roll button. This is most often displayed after beating a boss. I don’t think there are any MMORPGs where you can do anything like this.)

If I’m in a group and I want to demonstrate the proper place to stand, or draw attention to my location, I will jump up and down a few times.

If I’m in a group, and someone asks if everyone is ready, I will jump once to indicate I’m ready. It’s a visual indicator to the group that I’m at the keyboard.

Sometimes I will jump once as a visual way of saying, “Yay!” For example, after beating a boss or winning a loot roll.

Sometimes I will jump over a shape or line or a rock or a log on the ground just for the fun of it. This is usually done while running from one place to another in a dungeon that I’m very familiar with because there is nothing else to do. In these cases I only jump once at the precise moment required to get over the imaginary obstacle, because I’m an adult.

Sometimes I will jump once at the top of a set of stairs or a slope going down to heroically launch myself higher into the air, or at least so it looks to me. In games that have gliding, this of course gives you a little bit of a longer gliding path.

That’s about all I can think of. I’ve always tried to optimize my finger movements when playing games. :)

I wish game developers would add emotes that are much more subtle than the ones that are usually in games. Every game has “thank you” emotes that I could use instead of jumping, but they are really extravagant bows or salutes–things that I would never do in real life in a million years. I want something like the quick wave of acknowledge you would use when signalling another driver on the road, that is sometimes no more than raising up your fingers a little bit.

4 thoughts on “Social Jumping”

  1. I seem to recall a post somewhere about MMO player behavior that said that jumping a lot, especially jumping in place while waiting for something, was a reasonable sign that the player was a youthful male. I cannot recall if that was the result of a study or just a inference that young males tend to be a figidity bunch, but it seems legit on the surface.

    I tend to stand in place, but jump a lot when running or riding places, often just for the sheer joy of getting some air off of any small rise in the terrain. I probably do it while running even more so when I am playing a night elf because I am rewarded with a tumble every few leaps.

  2. I jump a lot at times in video games. Neither juvenile, nor male, but when waiting for things I’ve been known to fidget by running the character around and jumping. I do this particularly while waiting on pulls in raid in WoW, partly because jumping occasionally means my night elf does a nifty little flip, which I enjoy. I jump fairly often while moving out of things in combat as well. I don’t know if it’s really any more effective than just running, but it feels more dynamic.
    Then of course there’s also the jumping to show another player where I am, or where the object I want to draw their attention to is. I tend to be more likely to express my thanks with a /wave or a /smile, however.

  3. I do many of the kinds of jumps you describe and for much the same reason. I don’t very often jump around for the sake of it while waiting for something – although sometimes I do – but I do often run around and around in tight circles, often picking an innocent bystander for the maypole.

    When Mrs Bhagpuss and I happen to meet by chance in game – which happens a lot since we are often on at the same time but doing separate stuff – we tend to jump around a lot and also /wave, /dance and any other emote that comes to mind. We both tend towards character play that sets our characters as children or at least child-like, particularly the smaller races. Our Asuras are generally played as somewhere between seven years old and late teens, depending (we both have a lot of Asuras) and the ones at the younger end do jump a lot.

    It does depend a lot for me on what race and class I’m playing. Some have gravitas that would make jumping seem ridiculous while others are bursting with exuberance and playfulness which makes it entirely appropriate.

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