When I'm busy blowing away vicious demons and manically dodging death in a video game, it's rare that I ever pause to consider the weight of my virtual character's seemingly bottomless backpack.
But think about it a moment: how on earth would anyone be able to carry a kick-ass assortment of pistols, machine guns, flamethrowers and chainsaws, without a convoy of bulletproof mules following behind?!
The very same conundrum occurred to Mythbusters' own Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, which they resolved to solve in the show's first ever video game related special. The two rumor-squashing detectives decided to put the realism of 1993's seminal classic Doom to the test, to see if it really is possible to carry all of the game's nine weapons while surviving the onslaught of enemy hordes...
And I certainly wasn't expecting what they discovered!
So, can a space marine - just like the protagonist you play as in Doom - carry half an armory's worth of weapons, a handful of medkits and enough ammo to last at least a level or two, before collapsing under all the weight?
Or, do we just have to give-up on the notion that video games are at least vaguely located within the realm of possibility? Jamie and Adam were going to settle the score once and for all.
First, they needed a real life Doom level to test the theory, employing one of the creative directors behind the original game to help craft an accurate counterpart of the digital version.
They settled on this:
An abandoned military base full of bloodthirsty monsters straight from the darkest pits of Hell (all played by actors and interns, of course).
The man who would stand in for Doom's pixelated warrior was former football player and mixed martial artist Brendan Schaub - this hunk of marine meat:
Firstly, the busters of myth timed Schaub as he ran their video game gauntlet, only picking up just one weapon at a time (like a normal person).
However, on the second run he had to pick up every single gun - like in the game - and carry it all to the exit. Despite the extra baggage putting on 80 pounds of additional weight, Schaub still managed to complete the course just three seconds slower!
So, it is possible! Doom's graphics might not look anything like real life, but it (kind of) follows real life logic.
So, if any smart alecks try to say "Well, you could never carry that much stuff, it's so unrealistic", then tell them that a certain professional martial artist wants a word with them. That'll shut em up.
Be sure to watch the full experiment below: