Video games often don’t get enough credit for the beneficial effects they have, not only for gamers, but for everyone else as well. Games have become so much more than just entertainment. They are formats for complex storytelling that foster players’ imaginations, creativity, problem-solving, and even humour. Just like any source of media, video games have positive aspects and negative ones, but the best games help shape people into productive and active members of society.
People who struggle with some social skills can learn to develop them from video games. With the right game and attitude, these are some life skills that you can learn from playing to up your pride and confidence as a geek.
Those who are steeped in geek culture are often stereotyped to be antisocial gamers who live in the corner of a dark room and have no interaction with the outside world, hence the social ineptness. People who believe this notion can try and challenge the stereotype by considering gaming as just another outlet, instead of a replacement for social interaction.
Many kinds of socialisation occur when gaming with others. Online multiplayer gaming has made it more common to collaborate and communicate with players from all over the world. Collaborating during intense gameplay requires a good level of social skills, especially where conflict is involved. The structure of games can also be likened to productive activities in real life, such as project management. This can be seen in the building of guilds and clans that can develop into leadership. Resolving interpersonal difficulties, inspiring motivation, and uniting people towards a goal are all skills that are applicable to life situations that require social interaction.
Patience is indeed a virtue, and it’s one that video games can teach anybody. Most people have tried out competitive video games, only to yell in frustration and quit when things get too fired up during gameplay. However, you’ll notice that many seasoned gamers will approach their problems in the game calmly and effectively, demonstrating a good level of patience to get the job done.
Role-playing games can also teach people how to be more patient. It can sometimes take plenty of repetitive gameplay and what feels like forever to reach your goal, especially if you have to level-up to advance. Sometimes games will require you to defeat a boss at every stage multiple times to move forward.
The endurance skills gained from consistently dealing with repetition and routine comes in handy in situations outside gaming as well. Learning skills like suffering through for delayed gratification allows people to do what’s necessary now to reap greater benefits in the future, as seen in simple examples like saving money or powering through work projects.
Games have developed into a medium for compelling storytelling, filled with excellent characters that can teach everyone a thing or two about empathy. Just try to play games like The Last of Us, which is an emotionally heavy, tear-jerker.
Games can immerse you in the world of the character, allowing you to feel the way they would in that particular moment. Even if their experiences in the game are events that you haven’t personally gone through, you can imagine how they must feel. Many games feature choice-based outcomes, which allow you to govern a character’s actions and influence the game’s result with a single choice. These scenarios give you a chance to develop your sense of empathy.
Observation is key in social settings, and it is one of the skills that you develop the most during gameplay. You need to be aware of your surroundings and know how to react. Paying attention to the characters you’re interacting with can teach you important things about their motives and you can also glean other necessary information from the environment.
People who have some struggles with social skills can take a cue from the wonderfully complex and intricate games they play. They can learn and apply these lessons to their everyday lives. From problem-solving, to making ethical choices and developing emotional intelligence, geeks out there can definitely say that they’re anything but socially inept. Rather, games can teach people from all walks of life how to sharpen life skills that are necessary to be observant and empathetic individuals.
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