5 Valuable Life Lessons Video Games Teach Us

5 Valuable Life Lessons Video Games Teach Us

For most people, gaming is nothing but a waste of time. However, for hard core gamers, gaming brings endless hours of boundless joy, beautiful stories, a world of problems to solve, amazing characters, and incredible worlds to explore. And to top it all, gaming teaches valuable lessons that we can apply to real-world situations and gain massive successes. Lessons that you may not consciously pay attention to when you are immersed in thriving virtual worlds, but will come to value down the lane. Here are 5 things gaming has taught me over the years.

LESSON # 1: Even When You Feel Like Quitting, Move On

If there is one thing I learned from years of hard-core gaming, it is that even though it seems like you have hit a rock-solid wall, you will eventually find a way through. Before the advent of online multi-player games, we were limited to playing solo at home or with one other play at most. We all know the frustration of coming across a level, puzzle, or challenge that seemed unsurmountable at the time. No matter how much you struggled, you were blocked from progressing.  However, not doing anything gets you killed! But if you remember, there was always a way around if you tried hard enough. All you needed was an ounce of grit and a grain of determination. You just had to analyze your environment, study the rules in that area, and figure out what you could use to the best of your advantage. Surprisingly, you can use this tactic in real life when you are faced with an obstacle.  Whenever there is a challenge, you cannot solve or a problem you cannot conquer, take a step back, see what resources you have, and leverage them to the best of their abilities. And remember; if plan ‘A’ doesn’t work, there are 25 other alphabets to try!

LESSON # 2: Failure Is Just Another Opportunity to Learn

If you truly want to ace a game, you need to learn its ecosystem and the rules of its universe well enough to acquire the necessary skills, such as timing, dexterity, resource allocation, etc. You cannot do this the first time around. Sometimes, you have to fail to learn something new. It may seem excruciatingly frustrating to die miserably at the end of an hour-long mission, only to try again from scratch, but think of all the things you learned along the way. Reframing failure as a learning tool will help you identify your weaknesses and areas for improvement and develop new skills, perspectives, and strategies. Ultimately, failure gives us an opportunity for self-reflection, self-improvement, and resilience in the face of adversity. Those gloriously immersive RPGs can teach you a heightened level of focus, determination and perseverance that will get you through the toughest trials and tribulations of life.

LESSON # 3: Winning isn’t the only thing that matters. Enjoy the journey!

If we’re feeling bored or irritated by the process of learning and getting better, then we’re missing out. If all you do is put your head down and trudge through life, you’ll miss all the beauty.

Whenever I am immersed in a competitive football match, like FIFA, I don’t just “set my eyes on the prize” so to say. It’s about soaking in every moment of the game. Did you catch those sneaky tactical changes from your opponent? Were you impressed by that slick move they made? And how awesome did it feel when you finally pulled off that epic move you learned from watching the pros?

And hey, if you’re strolling through the streets of Valentine in Read Dead Redemption 2, take your time to actually feel your surroundings as if you are physically there. Stop and admire the view, notice how the stagecoach leaves its mark in the mud, and listen to the sounds of the bustling town. Use your imagination to actually transport yourself in that virtual world! If you are there, don’t forget to pat that adorable dog!

LESSON # 4: Face your Decisions

Whether it’s choosing the right weapon to defeat an enemy or deciding which path to take in a virtual world, gamers often have to make split-second decisions during gameplay that will have consequences and risks in the game world. Those nail-biting moments of games can make you break a sweat but remember that cognitive skills and strategies developed through gaming can have a positive effect on decision-making in real-life situations. Games force you to think about consequences, since the smallest decision can vastly impact the world around your character and influences how the game ends. Years of gaming trains your mind to naturally try to imagine and simulate what could potentially happen if you made a certain decision in real life. This teaches you not to rush through things, but rather, to think analytically, calculate the potential consequences and make more informed decisions based on data and facts.

LESSON # 5: Use Shortcuts whenever Possible

Things are not always fair in life and you have to find your way around the cracks.  Every system has its underlying rules and once you learn them all, it’s easy to find and exploit various glitches, bugs, or overpowered items. In real life, there are many situations that you can see coming a mile away if you know how they are usually “scripted,” and in most cases there is an easier way to overcome obstacles and NPC’s that you know are coming.

Let’s break it down with a real-life example. You know how some places like restaurants and clubs basically operate on a pay-to-win basis? You can just flash some cash to the maître d’ or the bouncer, and voila, you’re in. Or maybe you’ve figured out that a particular item paired with a heartfelt apology gives you a solid +10 boost in your ability to handle the “silent treatment” or the “cold shoulder” from your partner. There’s a whole bunch of these little hacks you can pick up that just make navigating life a whole lot smoother.

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