Having tics when gaming

Video games are meant to be my chill time. But chill time is pretty hard to achieve with TS…

And as is usually the case, the worst tics for that moment are ones that put me off my game.

Although these tics have evolved since my N64 days, they still ruin gameplay.

Tics in Sports Games

I have an urge to do things that will distract me. This mainly involves the eyes, shutting them tight or looking up to the ceiling briefly. I do the occasional head nod and develop a trigger finger, fighting the urge to press a certain button that would have some kind of consequence.

This depends on the game though. In a football (soccer) game, I have a constant urge to put in a crunching tackle when it will most likely get me a yellow or red card. I can usually resist this though, by pressing that button when a tackle isn’t possible, or very lightly resting my thumb on the button and sliding my finger sideways.

This movement presses down on the button and the release gives a clicking sound, satisfying my tic.

I have also had the urge to pass to a certain player on the pitch, not because it’s wise but because my tics tell me too. Sometimes I have to carry out a certain amount of passes before a I can take a shot.

The latter may be classed as Tourettic OCD due to an obsessive-compulsive nature. How many passes I need to make depends on the day really, and whether I shoot after an even amount of passes or an odd amount is a daily debate I have with myself.

  • Do I shoot after seven passes, so the shot is the eighth action?
  • Or do I shoot after eight passes, keeping the passing sequence even and not counting the shot in that sequence?

Sometimes there is no right answer.

I will be detailing how OCD has sometimes made gaming impossible for me when I am suffering in the most in the near future.

Tics in first person shooters

In an FPS, I find myself taking single shots at unnecessary times just to hear the gunshot. If I am using a gun that sprays bullets, I will try to press the trigger so lightly that it only shoots one bullet. I will keep trying this until I achieve it.

Sometimes I have the urge to look behind me even if it isn’t needed. Sometimes I will jump when I don’t need to.

This is interesting because I don’t have a jumping tic in real life. But it may be more of an urge to press a certain button on the pad rather than to carry out the jump. The jump is just the outcome of the finger pressing urge.

And even before I get into a game I have issues in the menu screens.

If I want to click on something third on the menu, this means I have to press a button two times + one click to enter the next screen.

Three clicks isn’t good. Must be two or four to keep it even.

But what I can do is press the same enter button twice to fool myself into thinking an even number of actions got me where I needed to be.

aaaand relax…

Tics that span all games and genres

Eyebrows movements are a visual distraction and is usually paired with a need to look towards the ceiling. This one is a particularity annoying one because it takes my attention away from the game, often at times when I least want to look away.

I also do this thing where I ‘click’ my eyelids. It is hard to explain, however I basically look up, going from a blink to an eyebrow raise motion very fast and my eyelids unstick during this motion. This giving me a clicking sensation. If I don’t feel the ‘click’, I have to repeat until I do.

Another clicking sound can be achieved by aggressively shifting my thumb on the analogue stick so the joystick hits the plastic surrounding it. I often let these out during loading screens so I don’t affect the game, and normally this is satisfactory.

Clicks seem to be a main focus of my tics when gaming

As I type this it is becoming more apparent that a clicking sound is often desired during gameplay. And I am thinking that maybe the jumping tics aren’t necessarily needed to see the character jump, but more visual proof that I pressed the button I just had to press at the time.

The ‘shooting a single bullet’ tic seems more like a vocal tic, as I like to hear the satisfactory sound of just one bullet.

This goes against my other tics that need to be done in even numbers, but I don’t make the rules.

Sound seems to be a big influence on my tics, although in my daily life motor tics are much more common than vocal tics.

What helps my gaming experience

Nothing really helps me in these situations, although I know that when I am more engrossed by something the tics do subside. When I get fully immersed into the game I am distracted, the same with movies. I have always had a hard time completing a game or a movie, but the ones I have finished I have loved.

If I can pay a game without distraction I am really enjoying the game. My tics decrease or may even be non-existent.

I am confident that eating healthier and not being stressed contribute to less tics in general, and therefore less tics in game. When I am suffering more severe OCD, my Tourettic OCD is more present. Less OCD usually results in less tics.

Of course, therapy has been key to helping me understand my behaviours and learning to manage them.

Let me know how tics affect you in game. Do you have similar behaviours or do yours differ?