Things I learned Gaming

I am a gamer. I love my PlayStation and PC, my shooters and platformers, and for me, there is nothing like that feeling you get from being the hero in a good adventure story.  The trouble is a lot of people discount video games as a juvenile or even a waste of time. Non-gamers have trouble understanding why an adult would want to spend hours exploring a digital landscape or fine-tuning your marksmanship.  

They can’t understand the emotion that comes with toppling that final boss or pride of finishing your game on “impossible” difficulty or even why we “gotta catch them all”.  I won’t waste my energy trying to convert the non-gamers of the world, If you don’t get it then it probably isn’t for you, you sad individual, but I would like to share some things that gaming has taught me.

1)   Flank the Problem

Heavies. Every shooter has a heavy class. They are built tough and are never easy to bring down; at least not with a frontal assault. Whether they carry big shields or just a lot of armor heavies generally share one weakness: apparently, they can’t attach armor to their backs. The lack of foresight on their part creates the perfect opportunity for a gamer who is quick and willing work around the problem. I heavies demonstrate that sometimes the direct approach just isn’t the most effective. The same solution that has served with all your previous enemies won’t help you when it comes to this new breed. In fact, it will most likely destroy you. Complicated problems often require creative solutions.

This is Death Wish Vs. Good Planning

2) Observe, Prioritize, & Make a Plan

There is an Orc to kill, flower samples to collect, archery & stealth skills to level up,  and random dragons invading your kingdom all the while you are still on the hunt for chests to loot. RPGs demonstrate it best but the truth is, in games, as in life there is never just one objective. In fact, problems tend to travel in packs and have a distinctly cumulative effect on your world.

Games teach us how to prioritize, multitask, and how to find the most effective solution. Whether you are prioritizing enemies or chores my decision-making tactics draw a lot from the games I play (well games and my parents). It is not just about making decisions though, games with a large number of objectives for a player also show us we can’t let the number of obstacles deter us. My quest list never seems to get any smaller in Skyrim my I forge on because the people of my virtual sandbox need a hero, they need me. You have to set your primary objective and handle challenges the best way you can.

Uncharted German U-Boat
Rusty Nazi Subs: Probably Not Covered by Traveler’s Insurance

3)   Fortune Favors the Bold

I love to seek new adventure but I am not sure I am the mountain scaling, train wreck surviving, running and gunning bad ass like one Nathan Drake.  Mostly because I don’t think my good luck would last as long as the romantic protagonists of a good adventure story. Our virtual heroes do not shy away from the challenges that are presented to them. They push forward and more to the point they take risks.  

I don’t recommend taking on a mercenary army to anyone but one thing you can take away from these epic tales is that risks yield rewards. Never be afraid to try new things or tread new paths. Be confident in your abilities and seize the opportunities you want, don’t just wish you could.  Risk also yields trouble, mind you, but perseverance in the face of adversity can lead to great things, even epic adventure.

4)   Timing is Everything

They say “right place, right time” and that is never truer than in video games. The thing about the right place and the right time is it is not just about speed.  It is about the balance of speed and patience. In a good platformer, you have to manipulate the pieces to work the way you need them too.  I just finished the newest Tomb Raider; a game with some truly good puzzles. Some of which required the player to get platforms moving, but cranking the wheels out of order will get you nowhere.  Neither will racing to crank them all as quickly as possible. The best strategy is to set one and then wait… it is only a few seconds but it is excruciating. You don’t want to miss the window but hitting it too soon would be just as pointless.

It isn’t just platforming games. Stealth games teach it too. In situations where you are outnumbered and outgunned the traditional run and gun method will get you nowhere. Bide your time, observe your enemies and figure out the best way to take them out. You have to make your own moments and seize them. Wait, watch, take action.

Well, at least those are some of the lessons video games have taught me.  I love gaming,, and although I game to relax it has definitely had an effect on how I approach the world and for the better.  How about you?

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