Levelling Up in Reality: How Great Video Games Taught Us Real-Life Skills
Video games often get a bad rap and are seen as time-wasters, distractions, and even culprits of antisocial behaviour. But as any dedicated gamer knows, that's not the full story. Far from just mindless entertainment, video games can impart important real-life skills – and we're not talking about your quick trigger finger or ability to chug energy drinks. We're talking about cognitive abilities, problem-solving, teamwork, and even cultural awareness. Whether we realize it or not, some of the best video games out there have given us lessons and tools that we can carry into our everyday lives. Let's look at five examples of how video games can leave us with a few valuable skills.
1. Strategic Thinking and Planning: 'Civilization' Series
There's no game quite like Sid Meier's Civilization series for instilling a sense of strategy and planning. Tasked with leading a civilization from the Stone Age to the Information Age, players quickly learn that impulsive decisions can have long-lasting effects. Success in this game requires patience, long-term planning, and an understanding of the complexities between different resources and technologies. These skills translate directly into real-life situations, from managing our time and resources to making strategic career moves.
2. Teamwork and Collaboration: 'Overwatch'
Overwatch, with its focus on objective-based team gameplay, is a masterclass in collaboration and effective communication. Each character has unique abilities, and success hinges on how well you can synergize these abilities with your teammates. This game teaches us the importance of cooperation, understanding individual roles within a team, and working towards a common goal – skills that are highly valuable in any real-world group scenario, from work projects to other initiatives.
3. Cultural Awareness: 'Assassin's Creed’ Series
Although the Assassin's Creed series is packed with action and adventure, it also immerses players in diverse historical periods and cultures. Whether navigating Renaissance Italy or Revolutionary America, players are exposed to different philosophies, customs, and ways of life. This cultural immersion fosters empathy and understanding, opening our minds to different perspectives and encouraging us to learn more about world history and cultures.
4. Problem Solving and Creativity: 'Minecraft'
Few games promote creativity and problem-solving quite like Minecraft. Building grand structures or intricate mechanisms out of basic blocks encourages players to think outside the box and approach challenges creatively. This kind of inventive thinking is a valuable real-life skill, fueling innovation in science, technology, arts, and countless other fields.
5. Perseverance and Resilience: 'Dark Souls' Series
Famed for its extreme difficulty, the Dark Souls series is an exercise in resilience. You're going to fail, die, and lose everything - repeatedly. But the only way to progress is to pick yourself up, learn from your mistakes, and keep pushing forward. The series shows us that persistence in the face of adversity can lead to success, a lesson that applies to everything from personal goals to professional pursuits in real life.
So, the next time someone tells you that video games are a waste of time, feel free to share these points. Whether they're shaping the leaders of tomorrow or just making us more aware and thoughtful individuals, video games can play a big part in developing real-world skills. So keep gaming, keep learning, and keep levelling yourself up.