Simulating reality is hard. Simulating reality in an entertaining manner is hard. So, the game designers take shortcuts. Also, the games are not always realistic because, well, realism isn't always fun. As long as video games have existed, they have been full of completely surreal things that are, at the same time, very logical.
This trend is not going anywhere - and that's a good thing. Of course, it's an equally good thing that the game designers also make games that are realistic.
This realism breaking thing is known as "Nintendo logic".
As the name suggests, it was most easily observed in the time video games went everywhere, the time when the total killer beast of the field, NES, was going strong.
First, a theoretical example, one of the most amusing RPG cliches. If your friend dies in real life, you're probably not at all amused. In games, well... "He's dead, Jim. You grab his tricorder, I'll get his wallet." In role-playing sense, everyone should think in emotional terms; In game sense, grabbing what the deceased friend was carrying makes sense because you're dealing with an inanimate object that no longer has any other game value.
NES games were literally full of things that made very little RL sense, but made a lot of sense in games - if not other sense than to make playing a bit more interesting. A few examples:
- Jumping makes a sound effect. (That makes playing possible if your TV is dead, I suppose)
- Inconsistent environments. In some places, you can swim, in others, you drown. In some places you can walk, in others you fall instantly.
- If you die, you reappear, flash, and are immune to hits for a while. (Better than starting all over, with the save-game functionality not yet commonplace, I suppose...)
- Touching anything hostile will instantly kill you. Except if you jump on its head.
The term is believed to be coined by Seanbaby.
Instead of GTKYNing, I ask you to node things under better titles and /msg them to me, I'll add things to this list:
(Note: The writeups here were deleted by editors due to their GTKYN nature (even if I personally felt it wasn't that bad yet and locking would have been a better option). If you wish to list specific instances of Nintendo Logic in specific kinds of games, please node them under better titles.)