Video and online games simulate adventures you don’t see in the real world. While the premise isn’t realistic, this doesn’t mean the lessons you learn aren’t tangible in a very real way. There are nuggets of wisdom to be found everywhere if you are willing to search for them. Let’s dive into 8 important life lessons you gain from gaming.
1. Forming Healthy Habits
In how many of the games you play are there daily challenges or quests? Usually, these are set forth by the gaming company to entice you to play more frequently. Although this is a clever marketing strategy, ahem Candy Crush, in reality, there’s an added bonus. You learn to form habits and stick with them in order to achieve more success in your game. This wires your brain to connect repetition with reaching a higher level of mastery. You’re learning to form healthy habits that generate real-world results. The more healthy habits you incorporate into your day today, the more successful you’ll become in professional, personal, and creative aspects of your life.
2. Overcoming Challenges
Everyone encounters less than ideal situations in their life. Sometimes they’re world-altering, other times mild annoyances. Regardless, in order to succeed you need to learn to approach these situations with the right mindset and attitude. In gaming, there are always new levels to beat. Sometimes you get stuck, but by continuing to attempt to win, you are learning another critical life lesson; how to overcome challenges. You wouldn’t be a successful gamer if you gave up every time you encountered a new obstacle. Just as you wouldn’t be successful in life if you gave up every time something happened to knock you down. Bring the conquering gaming attitude when you encounter challenges and you’ll be blessed with the resilience and creative thinking skills to meet everything life throws at you head-on and succeed.
3. Cooperating with New People
In the world of online gaming, you are often thrown into multiplayer situations with teammates whom you’ve never met before. You can go into this situation with a rigid attitude but if you can’t work together seamlessly, you aren’t going to succeed as a team. So many circumstances in life hinge on your ability to work well with strangers. If we could pick those we’re interacting with on a daily basis, life would be much simpler but also much less rewarding. Learning how to cooperate with new people is crucial in a great many common situations. You’re only doing yourself a favor by honing these skills while also continuing to participate in one of your favorite hobbies.
4. Expressing Gratitude
One of the ways you can make cooperating with new people easier is by expressing gratitude. This life skill will serve you so well when it comes to almost any situation. In gaming, there is mutual respect demanded between competitors. You’re both looking to achieve the same objective and while you might get frustrated if your competitor is superior, being able to be grateful for the level of competition serves everyone involved well. This carries over into everyday life. When you appreciate and are grateful for those you’re around, they feel this energy and are much more likely to reciprocate it back to you. Everyone wins.
Winning isn’t easy, and consistent winning doesn’t happen overnight. Those who are great at any one activity have spent countless hours fine-tuning their craft. Ask those who stream Fortnite and make far more money than those of us working a desk job, or the Beatles who became the phenomenon they are through countless hours of thoughtful practice. Any skill you neglect isn’t going to remain as sharp as it would be through diligence and perseverance. Gaming teaches you to stick with something, and continue to try, over and over, in order to advance in skill. By learning that it takes effort and time to achieve your goals, you’ll be much more willing to persevere when the going gets rough.
6. Winning Isn’t Everything
Yes, this sounds a bit cheesy but it’s true. When you sit down for a solid session hunting down opponents in Call of Duty, you definitely don’t go in expecting to lose every game and be happy about it. However, there are always positives. Perhaps you met a new friend over the microphones with whom you have a lot in common, and mesh well when it comes to playing styles. Or perhaps you finally were able to snipe an opponent from a distance that always eluded you. Winning isn’t everything and learning to appreciate all the little details that get overlooked along the way teaches you to apply this elsewhere in your life, as well as how to not be a sore loser. Gaming teaches you to look beyond the final scoreboard and enjoy the little moments that make you smile or celebrate.
7. Creative Problem Solving
The definition of a fool is someone who attempts to gain a different result by reenacting the same steps again and again. There’s no one way to approach a problem and if you find yourself consistently getting blindsided while playing poker because an opponent has a particularly convincing bluff face, you know there is work to be done. You can learn to search for tells, or how to bluff back better. Difficult circumstances require creative thinking to find a solution. Poker specifically, requires you to think outside of the box when it comes to strategizing and beating opponents. Learning this in the (hopefully) low-stakes environment is valuable when you’re in a high-stakes situation. Gaming teaches you how to look at every situation from different angles, and how to push your brain to be better.
8. Learning to Level Up
Remaining stagnant doesn’t feel great and isn’t productive. Chances are there’s a game you used to obsess over, and it no longer brings you the same joy. You’ve moved on to new challenges and more exciting games. Or even within one game, you’re playing at a level you never dreamed to be realistic. Life is about moving forward and learning from the past, learning to level up in all aspects, and being grateful for the journey. Staying put doesn’t serve you in any way, and by learning to embrace new experiences and levels, you’re setting yourself up to experience greater satisfaction and fulfillment. Level up not only in your Mario Kart marathons, but your relationships, travel, and love life too.
Gaming is beloved all over the world and sometimes gets a bad wrap as being a waste of time. Reframe your thinking and look for the little life lessons to be found in even something as simple as Temple Runner on your phone. There are lessons to be learned, you just need to know where to look.