Title Card - Developing Skills From Video Games

Developing Skills From Video Games

Alright, let’s get this out of the way. What I am not suggesting is that you just have to play video games to the exclusion of everything else. What I AM saying, is that if you do happen to play video games as part of your routine, you could still be developing some pretty useful skills passively through your choice of hobby. I don’t know that I would put video games on a resume that doesn’t actually include a video game position, but I do think that they should not be discounted either.

Video games come in a wide variety of genres and styles. Depending on who you are and what you enjoy, each type of video game can help you in different ways.

Let’s get the easy ones out of the way first. There is a whole category of video games out there that help you practice certain aspects of your life. Two of the most famous examples of these come from Nintendo, with Brain Age and Wii Fit. With a Brain Age type game, you are solving puzzles that are meant to keep your brain feeling sharp, and depending on how fast or effectively you solve these puzzles, it will score you better or worse so you can keep track of your progress. Wii Fit on the other hand, alongside a plethora of other games that focus on your use of motion controls to keep you in shape, attempt to do just that. With the advent of virtual reality and an ever-increasing number of games using motion controllers, you can bet that your balance and coordination will only be helped by games like these.

Okay, what about other genres like first-person shooters, racing simulators, or other multiplayer arenas? The advantage to playing against other players (and much of the appeal of this genre) is that you get to have a new experience every time you pick up the game. How each player plays will undoubtedly be different, and while you will absolutely occasionally be matched with someone outside of your skill level, most of the time there will be strategies that you can adopt to learn how other people play and do better. Without realizing it, you are analyzing the psychology of other players in real time to determine how best to beat them.

The same can be said about other single player games as well, as there are a plethora of challenging computer-controlled baddies out there. These require the same level of analysis as facing a player, except these bosses tend to follow standardized and predictable patterns, rather than a player who might also be looking to adapt to your playstyle. In that sense, facing enemies like this may feel more like solving a puzzle, where the challenge might be removed after “solving” its movements, but feels equally satisfying at the moment of completion.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to video games, as there are genres out there for anyone and everyone. I could spend all day talking about these different styles, but the point is this: no matter what you play, there will always be something out there that is exercising one or more of your skills. You are putting them into practice each and every day, and although you may not be able to use them, you may find that they end up being useful in more applications than most people give them credit for.

Like I said at the beginning of this blog though, game responsibly! Take a break from the screen and be sure to enjoy life. Just know that while you are taking some time in front of the screen, you are still exercising parts of your brain that are worth exercising.