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Game Mechanics refers to the abilities shown in games (usually video games) that are determined by the rules of the game (examples include hit points, levels, statistics, world map crossing in seconds outside of cinematics, etcetera) and are not necessarily indicative of a character's or entity's actual abilities.

Examples

  • In many Star Wars games, a capital ship can be destroyed by repeated laser attacks from a single fighter (specifically, a fighter can reduce a capital ship's health points to zero over a number of laser attacks that do a certain amount of damage based on coding in the game's programming). However, in an actual in-universe battle, this would be impossible as the force shields would recharge faster than the fighter could damage them (Health points do not exist, as that is obviously not how durability functions outside of games. You cannot chip away at something, and eventually break through, if your firepower is not sufficiently strong).
  • In StarCraft, battle cruisers do not automatically one-shot fodder infantry soldiers with their Yamato cannons. However, in the cutscenes, Yamato cannons nuke the entire battlefield, cause mass genocide, and obliterate entire populations. The game's programming tries to avoid making large ships too overpowered during gameplay for competitive purposes.
  • In-game, Mario can get knocked out by a Goomba in a few hits and cannot even dent Thwomps without use of invincibility stars. But in canon, Mario has the strength to effortlessly lift an entire fortress containing entire armies of Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Thwomps, ectetera, and he can toss them all off the screen. And he can also crush the same castles thus one-shotting all of them just by jumping on it.
  • More general examples include bullets doing minor damage to someone in gameplay in which they are essentially shown to be bullet proof. As mentioned above, it is not possible to chip away at durability like this in real life (If something can shrug off a bullet once, it can usually continue to do when hit by continuous number of them over an inconsistent interval against arbitrary areas).
  • Many game characters, including various Nintendo, retro video game, and JRPG protagonists, are incapable of destroying simple structures such as rock walls. However, they are capable of harming enemies who have endured a mountain- or even universe-destroying scale of damage, and recurrently have many similar feats in the lore of their respective verses.

Game mechanics are considered to be non-canon, and using examples of them in an argument is considered fallacious.

It is also important to remember the fundamental meaning of the term, and not arbitrarily use it when it is inappropriate.

See Also

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