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A ladder is a simple device used to increase ones level of height to make it suitably confortable to work, or gain access to an area. They come as a simple rectangular frame with a varying number of "rungs" or steps or as a Hinged A-Frame design which is much safer and better ballanced.
Common Myth Surrounding Ladders
It is often said that walking under is a ladder is a serious no-no if you are superstitious folk, the orgins are believed to come from medieval times when A leaning ladder was thought to resemble the gallows and so by walking underneath a ladder, you are playing out your own execution. Another explanation points to the triangular shape a ladder will take when erected or leaned up against a wall. The triangle is considered the symbol representing the Holy Trinity and to walk through a triangle violates and desecrates God while you, the perpetrator, fall prey to Satan.
The First-Person Shooter Ladder Predicament
Since the first time ladders were introduced into the first-person shooter genre, game developers have had to deal with several issues. Most notably are the decisions of "Do we let the player simply keep walking forward to climb the ladder?" or "Should we make it so when the player is near a ladder, they are prompted to push the action button to interact with the ladder?" While both have their advantages, they both also have their flaws. While the "Keep walking forward" method is ideal for climbing UP a ladder, it can be the worst method when trying to go DOWN a ladder, many times leading to the player not interacting at all with it as they try to climb down and accidentally falling to their death. As for the "Ladder interaction" method, it can be more reliable, but it also can create an unwelcome break in the action, and make escaping enemies difficult, if not impossible. Perhaps in the future, game developers will find the ideal method for ladder interaction, but that time has not yet come, and as such, players are still left to either fall to their deaths, or frantically press the hell out of the interact button to climb to safety.