Gaming doesn’t always get enough respect as a hobby. When some people picture gamers, they picture couch potatoes or overly enthusiastic fans. While it’s true that some of us can get a little carried away, gaming also provides some valuable life lessons. Here are a few of my favorites.
Failure is part of the fun
The idea that practice makes perfect is not new, and yet, a lot of people have a hard time risking failure. It can be frustrating to fall short of a goal, and most of us tend to give up prematurely. One of the great things about video games is they can train you to learn from failure in a relatively safe environment.
Most adult gamers have fond childhood memories of losing dozens of times in a difficult game before they finally won. Try to think of any other situation where a kid will willingly subject themselves to that kind of repeated failure. This is valuable, low-stakes preparation for the real world, where learning from failure is often the foundation for success.
Competition can be friendly
Whether we like it or not, we live in a fairly competitive world. People often apply to similar jobs, challenge each other in sports, apply to the same top schools, and participate in competing business organizations. While competition can be a healthy way to push yourself, it can also be easy to take it personally. People who grew up playing videos games were raised in a constant battle with their closest friends. When you are a kid, learning to compete graciously with your friends is valuable preparation for the real world. You learn to win without being rude, lose without lashing out, apologize after being a poor sport, and not take the competition too personally.
Solving problems is fun
Talk to a room full of engineers and you are bound to meet a few gamers. It’s a stereotype, but there is a hint of truth to it. Unlike many other types of entertainment, gaming is difficult on purpose. You have to get through mazes, build efficient cities, and solve puzzles. Many games follow the same basic format. A problem shows up, then the player has to use her brain to solve it. This trains gamers to view tough mental problems as fun challenges rather than frustrating chores.
Teamwork is everything
If you want to be a great gamer, you have to learn to collaborate, particularly if you are a big fan of online gaming. The first application I ever filled out for a team wasn’t for my first job. It was for a guild in a certain popular online game. Once I made the team, I had to learn how to fill a role, communicate with players from all over the world, show up to activities on time, and take constructive criticism. These things can teach you a lot about the modern workplace.
There are many other great lessons from video games, but these are the ones that have benefited me the most. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out the official AT&T gaming page to see what we have in the works for gamers, or check out the AT&T Gaming Arena to connect with a growing community of other players.
This article was written by Matt Johnsen, a TechBuzz contributor. The statements in this article are his own and don’t necessarily represent the positions, strategies, or opinions of AT&T.