4 Real Life Lessons I Have Learned from Gaming

You might not think you can learn anything from video games. But you’d be wrong! Well, sort of wrong. Most people don’t learn a whole lot from video games, which is why I often shake my head at how much time I spent trying to beat the water temple in Ocarina of Time. Still, there are some good things to learn even from the most simple of video games…no, really. I know you’re laughing right now, but I’m serious. Don’t believe me? Keep reading then! Hmph!

You’re Probably Heading the Right Way if You’re Encountering Enemies

It’s happened to me more than once…I’m wandering around some stupid field on a horse, or with a sword and shield, or with my hands covered in magical fire, and nothing’s freakin’ happening. Nothing! I’ve killed every crazy monster that’s come my way and there’s nothing left to do. Obviously this is the point I realize I’m lost. If there’s nothing to kill, I don’t know where I’m going. A little more searching usually turns up some pathway or door I  missed, and the familiar battle music plays again while I kick the snot out of some baddies.

The same is true in real life. Sometimes these enemies are within, however. If you always travel the path of least resistance, sometimes you will find yourself walking in circles…since every other way looks (and is) more difficult than what you’re doing right now. But this ruts because walking in the same circle over and over again would, in fact, start to create a circular hole.

This can mean we’re not experiencing the things we need to experience or doing the things we should do. You may be even missing out on things you love, because often it takes a bit of struggle and confrontation to find a passion you didn’t know you had. If I hadn’t conquered my fear of getting bitten by a horse, I would have never discovered how much I absolutely love horses. A trite example, but you get the point. So go stab that boss dragon! Stab him good!

Don’t Blow Your Limited Resources Foolishly

I don’t play a whole lot of first person shooters, but I’ve played enough in my life – and watched enough, for that matter – to know that ammo is amazingly precious. If you’re facing down a hoarde of zombies or aliens and you haven’t a bullet, your only other option is to run like mad. This, of course, ultimately means either a) you find ammo or b) you faceplant metaphorically and something eats you.

Unlike in real life, however, the video game usually gives you a second chance at the same scenario. While life is full of second chances, you don’t usually get a shot at the same run through. This probably applies best to the way you spend money. You can’t just rewind time and not buy a pizza with your gas money. You can’t press the start button and magically have that fifty bucks you blew on this that or another thing to pay your electric bill. Using your limited resources – whether that means your money or your time, in many cases – is detrimental. Save your last bullet, and save it wisely.

If You Dislike Someone and Want to Acquire Their Talents, Eat Them.

Like Kirby.

Courtesy of: Nintendo

…Don’t actually do that.

Learn How to Be a Team Player

I include this one mostly because I’m awful at it. I try to work in groups, I do. But then something happens. I am suddenly doing everything by myself and the  others in my group are chatting away. Worse, I’ll find myself being in charge, which is really just an excuse to be bossy in my book. I love being bossy, but I hate what it does to the people around me. They either start to depend on me for everything or they hate me. I find this is true for many of my nerdy momma-sisters – we just don’t know when to stop.

So, like in Halo where you can ALWAYS use someone who hangs back and shoots the guys you don’t see, learn how to be a team player. Work on it if you haven’t done it yet. And I want to make it clear that when I say “team player,” I don’t mean someone who knows how to make big things happen or even one that plays well with others. I mean someone who knows when to step up and when to hang back and knock off those cleverly hidden rivals. Like I said…I’m awful at this. But it’s definitely something we can learn from video games, even if it means dying a dozen times to get that lesson.

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