If you grew up in my generation, then chances are you grew up in the prime era of video games (you know, before they became Candy Crush et al.). We were there when there were only just about 150 Pokémons, and nothing more. We saw the very first Playstation with its pretty impressive 3D graphics for its time. We played some of the best MMORPGs out there, such as Ragnarok Online.
People may criticize us for getting too involved with our video games–often being told that playing too much video games will ruin our lives, but truth be told, video games aren’t all entirely bad. Video games can just be as violent as any book or movie, and some video games have rich stories that can match any best selling novel.
If people tell you that you’ve wasted your life playing video games, then show them a thing or two by telling them how your life was probably even more enriched by playing video games. Here are just some of the few life skills you probably learned while growing up playing video games (like I did).
1) You’re a practical problem solver
A lot of times, video games require you to solve problems. While it may not be too obvious for most games, the best ones out there are the ones that gets you searching the internet for walkthroughs because you got stuck. Of course, if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to ruin your fun by cheating your way through a walkthrough, but rather you want to enjoy the satisfaction of figuring things out yourself.
2) You know how to read a map
This one is mainly for all your RPG fans out there. Most games require you to navigate around a certain map. While most games do make it easier for you with their own GPS system that still beats anything in real life today, at the very least, you are navigating your character around a map. If you played through over a dozen Final Fantasy games and still don’t know how to read a map, then I’m seriously judging you.
3) You learned the value of money
Most games give you a certain currency that allows you to trade in-game. While today a lot of popular games require you to pay actual real life money for in-game cash, back then games would run their own economy. This would mostly apply to those playing MMORPGs, but you probably learned what it means to work hard for your money–selling loot or taking quests. And of course, you always try to find those rare items so you can sell them to people, granted you price competitively. Online gamers are like part time businessmen in their respective games!
4) You are trained to reach your goals
At the heart of every game lies a certain goal you must achieve, be it finishing a few quests or finishing the story of your character. Video games throw you the challenge of going through whatever the game is in order to reach for the goal. Do it enough, and you might not realize it, but you’re probably starting to become a goal-oriented person. When you set a goal, you are ready to face the challenge it will take to reach it because you always do that in your video games anyway. Next time someone tells you gamers are lazy, explain to them how you spent the last few days trying to get that level up.
5) You are probably more tech literate than most people Let’s face it, when you spend hours in front of a computer, you start to learn a thing or two. Now a days, being tech literate is just as important knowing how to drive–it will get you to places. We’re living in an age where technology grows at an accelerating rate, and those who can keep up are those who will dominate the future. In fact, a lot of successful indie video games nowadays came from people who started out as hardcore gamers and learned how to hack other video games.
Being a gamer is nothing to be ashamed of. While you probably aren’t as athletic as your other friends who spent their childhood playing sports, at least you have the life skills you learned as a gamer. The important thing is to make sure that you don’t let gaming become a life problem. After all, it’s a totally different issue when you start skipping meals and precious sleep just to play games. Be a responsible gamer.
Deondre Ng is a 19 year old Chinese-Filipino tech-geek and computer enthusiast. He is currently taking up Computer Science in the University of the Philippines. He loves learning new things, and hacking his education. During his free time, he enjoys surfing the internet, playing video games, honing his photography skills, baking and doing all sorts of adventurous things.