Who says it’s not possible to learn in a fun way? Or better yet, who says it’s not possible to learn from video games? I’m sure the default answer to such a question is “mom and dad”. But the truth, at least from my experience, is that we can find knowledge and new ways of learning in places you would never think of. (NicoPengin)
While in high school and college, I was a gifted student able to excel in sports, my part time job, and enjoy different activities during my free time. These included video games, which for me, were a valuable contribution to my success.
Luckily, I could spend hours and hours immersed in their wonderful fantasy worlds while learning new and fascinating things. And no, unlike what my parents believed, video games did not rotten my mind. In fact, I recognize that despite all that I still unknown and lack, today I feel stronger and smarter than ever.
How video games can develop learning skills
Each game allows you to explore and develop different skills that can be extremely useful in everyday life or even for your career. However, trying at least one game or genre will not be a waste of time in your skill count. The abilities that – in my opinion – are the most outstanding ones, include:
- Strategy development
My experience went a bit further. Ever since I was a kid, I have been interested in understanding how the things I had on hand work before I started using them. And this has happened to me with everything, from my father’s old Nokia phone and its famous snake game, to the different game consoles I’ve had over the years, and now with my PC Master Race.
That made me realize that the best way to understand something and get the most out of it is to study it. Taking the time to know every detail, every functionality, every shortcut will help you better use that tool.
This was something I learned from an old friend, Kobe (lol), who had to learn this route the hard way in the basketball world. I spent a lot of time watching videos online and reading about how he was dedicated to studying his beloved sport. His persistence to learn reinforced in me that desire to first understand how things worked before putting them into action. Fortunately, for me, this strategy has worked out great.
Other things you can also learn from video games
Although these might not be considered skills, we can gain other kinds of knowledge through video games. Among them, I could cite:
- Learn more about history and geography in an easy way. Some games offer a virtual trip to other cultures, embodying the different ways of life and occupations of those times. But if you want to dig deeper into history, Age of Empires is my favorite choice. I had the fortune to enjoy it and play its editions I and II for many hours. This video game for computers shows us the life of the known empires from the early Stone Age to the Iron Age. It allowed you to navigate the realistic scenarios of its 12 historic civilizations: Greek, Minoan, Phoenician, Phoenician, Egyptian, Assyrian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Persian, Hittite, Shang, Choson, Yamato. A classic not to be missed.
- Persistence and observation. Games that require a lot of playing time, that offer a variety of characters, powers, and styles, such as League of Legends or Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic help you cultivate the patience and dedication to build strategies and align your actions with those of your competitors.
- From the previous point, I can also add that it is not about going in and destroying, or acting senselessly. Instead, it’s about achieving the objectives and planning the best way to accomplish what you want step by step, level by level.
- Fortnite lovers can attest that this type of game will go down in history for being highly dynamic and strategic, challenging you to constantly improve your imagination, decision making and reflexes like only a few other games do.
- And if we talk about languages, in any game you can learn at least a couple of phrases or words of the spoken dialect. Plus, if you’re clever enough, you can even leverage the subtitles to memorize new words in your native language, see how to spell them correctly, and improve your grammar.
Alternatives to play and learn
Some more didactic versions of video games are available to serve directly as educational tools. If we talk about how games can help you improve your grades and particular skills, the options are endless and by now I’m sure we have all tried some of them.
This is a topic that many have taken seriously and that is why we can currently enjoy Acedemons, Anatomy Learning, and the friendly little green bird that helps us learn even endangered languages, Duolingo.
The world is full of opportunities to explore
I know that I am not the only one and that many people have got incredible results in their academic or professional lives thanks, in one way or another, to video games. It is important to take advantage of the skills and assets available. For sure, as well as all the options I have named so far, there are many others that can show us things beyond our imagination.
For me, any game can be useful in some way. From the most boring to the most complex game, they can all make you develop fantastic skills. Even if those around you tell you otherwise simply because they don’t like video games or aren’t able to achieve it as easily as you, explore whatever is appealing and useful to you.
Just because I understand things the same way I understand video games doesn’t mean everyone else has to. Don’t limit yourself to this mentality, I am just inviting you to evaluate this possibility or any other and make decisions based on your own experiences.
I don’t want to say that we should dive into video games and think that with them we will learn everything we need to know. I just want to express that I am glad to be living proof of the hugely positive side of the gamer life and the open and different mentality that this lifestyle can give you.
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