When I was a kid, I had my very own set of invisible armor. It also had a magnetic deflector field for diverting armor-piercing bullets. And on my hip, a small box (invisible, of course), that could temporarily teleport me out of existence and right back again — all in the blink of an eye — in the very special case of ceramic armor-piercing bullets.
All of which explained why my best friend Nathan could point a finger at me from point blank range, yell “Bang,” and I could reply: “You missed.”
Whatever he came up with, I had an antidote. And he had a new poison. And on and on it went in that imaginative arms race familiar to anyone who ever fashioned their hand into a gun.
I carried this same imagination into other forms of entertainment. When I started playing DOOM back in the mid-90s, one of the things that struck me immediately was the inability to jump. You could slam on the spacebar all you wanted, and it might open a door or throw a switch, but your feet weren’t going to leave the ground. This was a shock to a kid who spent years pretending to be a mustached Italian plumber. A raised floor no more than knee-high would completely flummox my badass space marine.
Ah . . . but I had an answer. I was carrying EIGHT weapons, you see. Including a chainsaw and a chaingun. And a BFG. Of course I couldn’t jump.
“But what about in the very beginning, when all you have is a pistol?” my friend Nathan might ask.
“Oh, well, you see, my space marine has a bum knee. That’s why he doesn’t jump around. He tore it up in that bad tumble he had from the heli-jet on Titan. Hasn’t been the same since.”
Every video game limitation simply became a part of the story. The same for plot holes in films. And also in books. If my imagination could protect me from armor piercing bullets, it could certainly stitch together an odd tear in a plot here or there. In fact, the stories I used to fill these holes with often became the best parts of the stories. Like donuts suddenly stuffed with cream.
Sure, you can choose to be disappointed with the limitations of that game or the oversight from that filmmaker, but why? Why not augment the story a little and make it even better? Being impressed is a decision as much as being happy. Choose wisely.