Life lessons learned from gaming – it’s really not as cheesy as it sounds. Take the time to really think about it. Video games are one of the world’s most popular mediums of entertainment. Far from being an idle pastime for the geeky and the bored, video games are in fact awesomely powerful tools that aim to provide experiences like no other medium can. And as with all experiences, there’re always something we can take away from it if you are able to put your saltiness aside.
Along that train of thought, as a part-time gamer in her mid-20s who has clocked hours upon hours of game time over the past few years, you’d think that I would have learned a thing or two about life from these games by now.
You know what? I’ve learned and I am willing to share some of this wisdom with you readers.
1.There’s always another way to win
Growing up, we’ve been conditioned to believe in the concept of a single pathway to success in life. We become obsessed with this ideal and lose ourselves in the pursuit of what we’ve been led to believe is happiness. In doing so, we unknowingly become our own worst enemy and often end up falling into a pattern of existential ruts.
As a generation, we can break this cycle. Much like an adventurer seeking to conquer a wide open game world, we need to have an open mind and embrace all options available to us, no matter how ridiculous they may sound. Tap into your curiosity and look into the opportunities or leads that you’ve been taught to ignore. Any adventure game aficionado or role-playing fan will easily tell you that the potential rewards and thrill of exploring the unknown far outweigh the risks of wandering off the beaten path.
Don’t be afraid of failing or breaking the mold. Brace yourself and take the road less travelled. You never know what treasures you might find.
2. Losing sucks, but it’s okay
Back in grade school, a ‘D’ followed by a terse ‘See Me’ scribbled in red ink were the last things anyone wanted to see on their paper. Thankfully, I never had to endure such a fate but trust me when I say that just the thought of it was enough to scare the living hell out of me on a day-to-day basis.
What they didn’t tell us at the time was that failure wasn’t the end of the world and that from failure comes a stronger motivation. Failure is but one of two possible outcomes from the willingness to try. And much like playing a video game, things don’t always go your way and you’ll have little choice but to spend a ‘heart’ and try again – you don’t want to, but games always have a way of convincing you to try again.
We’re all human and we were created to make mistakes just like the in game heroes we play daily. I even wrote about it here. Getting good at something, in life or video games, takes time. And while you’re getting there, you better be prepared to lose a few more ‘hearts’ along the way. I could probably bring up any number of predictable gaming characteristics to illustrate my point but I think you get the picture.
3. Giving up isn’t cool
Now, we’ve already established that failure isn’t that bad. Giving up, on the other hand, is really kind of lame.
Why? Because giving up implies that you’ve stopped trying. It implies that you’ve made the conscious decision to stand up, say ‘I’m done’ and left the room. It means that you’ve willfully overridden the rules and put an end to what could have been a fulfilling experience for you and your peers.
Failure comes naturally, both in life and in video games. We all make mistakes; we all mess up once in a while; we all occasionally fall into that bottomless pit in Mario. Failure can be a rough card to deal with and it can get very tempting to get up and leave, especially when faced with a real-life crisis. As long as you keep on trudging and learning from your failures, you’ll surely find it in you to beat that annoying stage or life problem and find yourself in a happy place (eventually).
Once you’ve given up and effectively stopped trying though, then all hope of success gets hurled out the window. So don’t let the game end because you gave up, play it until the ending is the only possible outcome. 🙂
4. Value your resources
This is huge. By resources I mean, teammates, time and funds. This is applicable to most games and if they’re not all applicable, then at least one is. If you find yourself in a game with all 3, then you are probably learning the most.
In real life, people take time for granted the most, because it is on a larger scale. You can think about having your entire life ahead of you and that your decisions may not have immediate consequences, but in a game, the repercussions of your decisions are immediate.
The lessons we learn depend on the person taking part in the adventure, but one thing is certain: we are constantly learning, even when we’re having fun!
TL:DR Video games actually teach us valuable lessons
Cover image by: Hazze