8 Life Skills That Video Games Can Teach You
Video games can help you succeed at life. That might sound crazy to say, especially when some people believe that video games cultivate immaturity, violence, and even addiction. However, like most kinds of media, video games can be both good and bad.
Video games can help shape you into a more productive member of society. They can teach you good traits, skills, and knowledge that you will carry with you for the rest of your life. So, here are the life skills that you can learn from playing video games.
Old arcade games forced you to suffer through tons of repetitive gameplay to see how far you could go. Role-playing games with a level-up mechanic often encouraged repetitive monster fights to grow stronger. MMORPGs cemented the grinding concept while the free-to-play craze perfected it.
The ability to endure routine and repetition is one that will come in handy no matter what you pursue: grinding through homework, work projects, or money for a vacation.
Or in other words, the ability to suffer through something that’s unpleasant right now in order to secure for yourself something even better in the future. Some call it delayed gratification. Others call it patience and perseverance. Either way, life requires it.
2. Strategic Planning
Puzzle games and strategy games will never go out of style and reach an even wider audience now thanks to mobile gaming. There are even puzzle games to play in your browser . Both casual and hardcore gamers love and appreciate the kind of gameplay that stimulates planning and strategy.
It doesn’t take much imagination to see why this is such a valuable life skill. Can anyone argue against the practicality of planning income vs. expenditure? Of laying out a realistic five-year plan? Of navigating a fulfilling career path? As long as these aren’t taken to the extreme, they can be very helpful.
But even more so, this kind of thinking a few steps ahead is immensely important in social contexts. Should I say what I’m about to say? If I do, what are the potential consequences? What’s the right way to approach a tense subject or situation? Again, don’t let it paralyze or overwhelm you, but it’s a good skill to have in moderation.
Perhaps the most popular gaming stereotype is the antisocial gamer who resides in a basement. Look past the stereotype and gaming is just another outlet, rather than a fallback, for social interaction.
Starting with the earliest consoles, before broadband allowed online play to take off, gaming with friends involved a physical gathering in front of a single TV. Even in today’s climate of online multiplayer gaming, gamers can communicate over voice and video chat.
It could be argued that gaming enables stereotypically introspective individuals to be more social, ultimately improving social skills.
In the case of guilds and clans, socialization can evolve into leadership. It may sound silly, but there’s a lot of overlap between managing a guild and, say, managing a project team. Synchronizing schedules, mobilizing people towards a goal, inspiring motivation, and resolving interpersonal conflicts are all skills that can be learned from gaming and applied to real life.
4. Mental Prowess
There are games specifically designed to train and improve brain functionality—Nintendo’s Brain Age was one of the biggest mainstream hits. It offered plenty of activities that help with mental math, reading speed, and concentration.
But brain training isn’t limited to games that explicitly train the brain. Sudoku is all about logical deduction. Tetris helps develop pattern recognition skills. In fact, there are plenty of mobile games that make you smarter by exercising memory, matching, and thinking outside the box.
Like muscles, the brain will atrophy if you don’t work it. The interactivity of games is one way to exercise your mind while having fun.
Game designers are really starting to explore and incorporate the emotional elements that exist in other forms of media; the most important element being narrative. Some of the most groundbreaking and revolutionary titles ever are those emotionally weighty games that jerk at your heartstrings.
These types of games force you to relate to the characters and imagine yourself in their shoes, even if their experience isn’t something you’ve personally lived through. Sometimes you are given a choice where there is seemingly no right or good outcome. These situations develop a player’s sense of sympathy and empathy.
Video games that have a heavy narrative focus can help people learn languages and improve their literacy, even introducing them to words they might not come across elsewhere.
Classic point-and-click adventure games are the perfect example of this, where you had to read the dialog between characters in order to understand the story and often understand culture-specific phrases and jokes.
Games like Minecraft and The Sims also get people interested in telling their own stories. This can then leap off the screen onto the page, with many gamers inspired to write their own fan fiction based on their favorite series or even a new creation of their own.
These text-based adventure games are great examples of titles that improve literacy.
7. Hand-Eye Coordination
To play even the most basic video game, you need good hand-eye coordination. Whether that’s moving a character around or just clicking on something, the ability to synchronize your eye and hand movements is vital.
Of course, the better you are at this, the better you will be at some video games. Improve your hand-eye coordination and you won’t have to look down to see what button to press. Your reaction times will improve too.
Studies have shown that games help strengthen our hand-eye coordination. There’s so much that this skill helps with outside of games, whether it’s in sport, music, or just basic day-to-day tasks.
You need to be aware of your surroundings in a game. Perhaps you’re on the battlefield and an enemy just landed in the distance or maybe you’re a detective and notice a vital bit of evidence in the corner of the room.
Some games take this further and are built around the concept of observation. For example, L.A. Noire requires you to study the expressions of people you interview to try to determine if they’re telling the truth or not.
In the real world, these observation skills can be used to inform us about our environment and the motives of other people.
How to Make a Living Playing Video Games
These are some of the many life skills that you can learn from video games. Obviously, constantly playing video games with no other interests or hobbies isn’t going to turn you into a well-rounded person, but they can support a varied lifestyle.
But don’t go overboard. Too much gaming can lead to gaming fatigue and gaming burnout. Check out these tips on what to do if you’re feeling gaming fatigue and gaming burnout!
If you work hard and get lucky, you may even be able to earn a living from your hobby. Here are some ways to make money playing video games .
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