Video games are often unfairly stigmatized. Their origins and the demographic which they appeal to most, has historically meant that for people who take themselves ‘seriously’ they are an occasional indulgence at the very most. Luckily, that unfair stigma is changing, as the games industry proves just how incredibly innovative and appealing it can be. In fact, as people have started to take it more seriously, there are actually new ways constantly being found in which video games can help people. If this seems like an outlandish idea to you, here are 5 useful skills that video games can help you develop.
- Mastering The Grind
Grinding, in video games, refers to exert a large amount of effort and time into achieving something within a certain game. You have to be willing to devote yourself to certain games and game types to find the success that you are chasing after, and a period during which that is tested most vehemently would be whilst you are grinding. “When you grind in a video game you are actually exerting a potent combination of patience and perseverance, even though to some it may seem simply like you are playing a game for fun”, says Toni Marcel, game blogger at Academized and PaperFellows. These are both traits which are required in order to achieve a whole host of things in your real life, so it’s great to be able to learn them through playing games.
- Strategy And Planning
Strategy and planning come into almost all games to varying degrees. Strategy is a vital part of strategic shooters, naturally, but equally important in approaching a boss battle in an adventure RPG. On a small-scale level, strategic planning is required in normal shooters as well, as split-second decisions on how to behave next make a lot of difference to how well you end up playing. Strategy and planning are oft-forgotten parts of all sorts of industries and can be developed really well by training up in a video game.
Reactions are proven to be improved by video game playing. And you can see why that is. “A whole range of games rely on reaction speeds. In fact, some games are literal just reaction tests, and that’s the whole game. Certainly shooters, sports games and racing games are all massively popular game genres which involve some real reaction training”, says Mark Lennon, lifestyle writer for OxEssays and AustralianHelp. Reaction speeds are just generally useful, much less so in terms of careers but more just for the sake of bettering yourself physically and mentally.
Video games are a completely unique form of entertainment in which those engaging with it are also controlling it. If you watch a film, a play or you read a book you witness the actions of others and see how the actions play out and what rewards they do or do not reap. You then instinctively react to what you witness in a way which teaches you a bit about yourself. In video games you are forced often all game long to make decisions. Though you are expressing everything through a character or avatar they are, like all creations, representative of the creator themselves. Games often teach morality and reveal truths in a direct sense to players, as they witness their own choices play out in a remote but affecting sense.
- Risk Taking
In general, taking risks can be, well, risky. In life, we are often encouraged not to risk things, since, though risk can be exciting and is often the indicator of something exciting, it also implies a potential for loss. Games can train you to take risks in intelligent ways through the choices it presents to characters. Risks feel real but with some distance so you can practice taking risks and feel the consequences in either direction, without any long-term damage or gain.
So, don’t roll your eyes at the idea of gaming. Try it yourself! You might find that you discover skills and traits that you didn’t realize that you were so adept at which could possibly go on to make a big difference to your life in general.