From surgeons to busboys, everyone can benefit from playing video games. Like the people who can benefit, video games range from shooting people in the face in a historical setting to spinning in the middle of flowers to get some currency. A lot of people take a lot of games at face value; they see first-person shooters (FPS) as violent or fun, puzzle games as a challenge, and role-play games(RPG) as make belief. While all these things may stand true, there is much more to it.
1. Motor Skills
Motor skills is a pretty obvious one and one touched on a lot; for good reason. Many games teach you hand-eye coordination, a notable example being first-person shooters such as Halo. Shooting your opponent in the face faster than he can shoot you in the knee and stop your adventuring all together requires fast, small and accurate movements. What does this mean to you? Well if your surgeon plays an fps regularly, it could save your life. Finely tuned motor skills are a bonus no matter what you do, whether it’s sports, surgery, or busing those tables. You’ll be faster and better than those who do not.
Leadership can’t be easily taught outside of real life every day experiences. Most of the time, you either have leadership skills or you do not. Many video games help establish leadership skills, games such as World of Warcraft (WoW) is a prime example. In WoW a main component is the guild structure. Guilds are groups of people working together to establish a common goal, in many cases in WoW, successful raids is that goal. Being in a guild allows you to step into a leadership role where you need to properly delegate, structure and organize, otherwise, you get a whole mass of chickens with no heads. Not pretty – very bloody. It’s pretty clear that leadership skills teach you how to be a better, more patient leader. Thank’s chickens.
On the other end of the leadership spectrum, you get teamwork – Yay! I’m not going to get into how to spell team, but rather get straight to the point and use the guild reference again. If you don’t want/have time etc. to lead a guild or raid, you get to sit back and trust your leader. For a raid to be successful, you need a leader who knows how to approach a boss or scenario and a team of people who can listen and think on their feet. Dying twenty times to the Lich King in a Pug (a group of random people) can teach you how to beat it, sure, but hey, if you can cut that down to half, why not? If you work as a team you can learn from each other as well as gain knowledge from those with experience so you yourself make less mistakes. Teamwork skills will teach you how to survive in a lot of life experience where your in a group and need to work together to accomplish something. Teamwork also goes hand-in-hand with leadership. With both those skill sets under your belt, you’ll be a rock star in no-time.
Strategy is a part of almost every game regardless of its categorization. My favourite example, and game, is the Zelda series; an infamous RPG series that really started it all for me, (sorry Mario.) The games are essentially about saving this princess, Zelda, time and time again. In order to save this damsel in distress, one must complete a series of temples (Water, Earth, Fire Ect). Completing these temples is no easy task, you cannot simply swipe your sword at all the enemies and be done with it. You’re forced to think outside the box due to the various puzzles that litter the place. You cannot progress without completing each puzzle and these solutions are not always obvious. You need to fiddle, tinker and open your mind until viola! you get that magical sound that means you did it! Taking this “outside the box” approach to life is a major plus, it opens a world of doors and opportunities to you that you never would have seen had you not learned a thing or two from all-mighty Link.
5. Stress/pain relief
Last, but certainly not least, is that playing video games can ease many of life’s burdens. It’s been proven not only to relieve stress but pain as well. Video games can be a form of escapism, a place to steal cars while running over hookers or a place where you hop through portals so you don’t die from a malignant computer. You can do all of these things, legally might I add, as well as in the comfort of your own home aka in your underwear. Everyone could use a stress relief and video games provide an excellent platform in a rich array of styles.
All-in-all, games provide many benefits in life that get overlooked, so the next time your learning about the French Revolution in Assassin’s Creed or honing your motor skills in a game of Halo, think about how much more awesome it’s making you.