When people think of video games, they often think of it as a simple and fun pastime, but there is far more to it than that. Video games can actually teach you life lessons.
As we play games we often find ourselves dealing with some of the worst imaginable situations, whether in the form of the single player stories or the terrible people we encounter while playing multiplayer. And that can make you better.
Today, let’s take a look at some of the aspects of gaming that can actually make you a better person. If you can get through these parts of the video game world, you just might come out on the other side infinitely better for it.
Warning: All videos contained in this article contain NSFW and offensive language.
Turning The Other Cheek
I am willing to bet that when you walk around your town, or head out to the store, you are not constantly insulted by the people you meet. “You choose the Campbells soup instead of the Progressive? What an idiot.” That happening would be just ridiculous, but in the world of multiplayer video games it’s commonplace. Make a slight mistake in a game, and the chances are high that someone on your team will have some choice words for you (most of which I don’t feel comfortable including in this article). It’s something you just might get used to over time, and when you reach that point, you just might be a better person.
The ability to turn the other cheek is important, as you might find yourself in a situation where someone needs to blow off some steam, or you might genuinely upset someone, and perhaps you deserve to be yelled at. Take enough of it while playing a multiplayer game, and the venom they are spitting at you won’t even hurt. So next time some 12 year old kid is telling you how bad of a person you are because you made a mistake, just remember: you are becoming better.
Race and Sexual Orientation Tolerance
Depending where you live in the world, you may not encounter much racism and homophobia. One place you will encounter plenty of it is the Internet, specifically while playing any kind of multiplayer game. Regardless of your race, you can rest assured that players will call you any slur you’ve heard before (and plenty you haven’t). If you’ve never seen the negative effects of intolerance, online games will let you see it all first hand.
Sarcasm aside, just listening to any voice or text chat in an online game will make you see how messed up the things people say to each other are. Even as a caucasian male I find it offensive, and it has certainly made me realize how terrible homophobia and racism are. Sit through enough online games, and you will never feel compelled to say a homophobic or racist slur again.
In almost all video games, something is going to happen that makes you mad. Whether its an insanely difficult level in a platformer like Super Meat Boy, or someone shooting you in the back in a game of Call of Duty, you are going to become upset. What will make you a better person is how you choose to deal with it. Will you get mad and chuck your controller through the television, or will you take a deep breath and relax?
If you get mad enough, at some point you develop the ability to control it, and this will make you better suited to making it through your daily life. Just like turning the other cheek, controlling your rage can help you get ahead in life. Boss asked you to come into work on Sunday when you already had plans? That’s okay, you know how to control your anger. You’ve had enough video games upset you to know how to deal with it.
Value of Time and Money
If there’s two things that are easy to see about the video game hobby it’s that it costs a lot of money, and it takes up a lot of time. Current generation games cost $60 each, and many can take hours and hours to complete. In the time it takes you to finish them, it’s likely that a new game you want to play will come out and we have a serious money spending loop. Factor in the abundance of Steam sales, and next thing you know, you can easily end up buying games that you will never actually be able to play. When this happens enough, you just might realize that time and money are not unlimited. You can only afford to play so many games, and this lesson can be applied to the real world. You only have 24 hours in each day, and only so much money you can spend during the course of them. As video games have taught you, making the most of each day is important. Who would have thought such a fun little hobby could teach you such an important life lesson.
These aspects of the video game world, each of which could be looked at as a negative, can actually be considered a good thing. It’s all a matter of perspective. What parts of the video game world that most people think of as bad can actually be flipped and turned into a positive with a little perspective? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Image Credits: Mike Poresky Via Flickr