A lot of amazing games have just come outand are about to come out this year.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons, DOOM, Nioh, Ori, we're about to get the Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy 7 remakes on top of theeventual The Last of Us 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring and Ghost of Tsushima.
And that list isn't even exhaustive yet.
My life revolves around games more now thanit ever has.
A while ago I was staring out the window whena thought hit me.
How different would my be ifI had never started gaming.
Nevermind even the fact that right now a lotof my job revolves around gaming.
No, in general.
What if I, had never picked up gaming, whatwould I as a person be like today.
So I sat down and started on a list.
What are some things I learned from gamingover the years, both positive and negative.
When I was done I decided it might be funto see what my Twitter followers had to say about the topic, so I went and asked.
What I found was that a lot of them had verysimilar experiences to mine.
I've been playing games since I was very, very young.
Although, I didn't really get my own consoleuntil I was ten years old.
The big ten, when my parents finally decidedthat I was allowed to have a Nintendo 64, with none other than Zelda: Ocarina of Time.
Now, the problem is, if you already know this, I'm Dutch.
So I didn't speak a word of English, especiallyat that age.
But I did want to play Zelda and I wantedto know what the Deku Tree was telling me.
So, I sat down on the couch with an Englishdictionary and every so often I'd yell at my dad, just to figure out what the storywas about.
Zelda was very pretty and I liked the flyingfairy, yes really, so I wanted to know what the Deku Tree was trying to instill in me.
And with my dictionary in hand and my dadat the side, I could figure out pretty much everything.
Most everything I didn't want to look up Itried to guess given the context.
And it worked.
It really worked.
I played through the entire game, togetherwith my brother and a friend of his, while actually understanding the whole story.
On top of that, I now spoke a little bit ofEnglish.
Videogames had just taught me a new languagethrough sheer necessity.
I wanted that story, I got that story.
But that isn't all that videogames taughtus.
No, one thing that videogames did teach metime and time again, is that being a good person will generally get you better rewards.
A better ending, better characters, bettereverything, really.
Being a good person in videogames is fundamentallythe best choice in terms of upgrades, endings and characters.
Being nice to people almost always comes withinnate benefits.
In Stardew Valley, if you give villagers giftsuntil they start to like you, they'll send you new recipes or even items.
In Mass Effect if you stay friendly with everyone, you have a much greater chance of overcoming the final battle in one piece.
In Undertale if you're just nice to everyoneyou don't have to fight anyone and also nobody will think you're a complete and total monsterin real life.
Which is a nice bonus.
Think about it, there simply aren't many gamesthat actively encourage the player to be a bad person.
To try and hurt the characters around them.
The opposite is often true.
Help out that village, do the extra sidequestto befriend that faction, don't accept payment from that poor man who needs the money forhis sick child.
In many cases the game will then find a wayto return the favour, reward the effort you put in.
You reap what you sow in the best ways.
Which makes an excellent bridge to my nextpoint.
Which is: Good things come to those who wait.
When I was younger I was probably the mostimpatient person you will ever know.
Sometimes, I still am.
But in games I've learnt to be patient.
When I'm playing Dark Souls or any game likeit and I keep failing on a boss.
Stop, think, carefully and patiently try outsome new tactics.
What's going wrong, where, how can I fix it.
Just rushing in and trying again doesn't oftenwork.
Sure after bashing your head against thatwall enough times something's got to give but it's definitely helped me to stop andconsider other options more often.
In that same vein, plenty of games quite literallyask you to sit and wait to get things done.
Fishing in most games has you stare at a bobberfor a while waiting for that sign that a fish took the bait.
I'm going to bring up Stardew Valley againbut there too you have to wait several days for your crops to grow.
Even though yes, of course you can just sleepthrough all the days but you shouldn't.
In Pokémon you slowly train up your team.
In Resident Evil you wait until the monsterspass by your hiding spot.
Of course there are always ways to circumventthese sorts of mechanics but I for one, have become a great deal more patient over my yearsof playing video games.
And something that links back well to patienceis actually perseverance.
I've mentioned Dark Souls before and I'm ahuge fan of soulslike games.
Dark Souls, Bloodborne, Nioh, Sekiro, a wholehost of indie games that are soulslike.
Ah, if I hadn't had any perseverance at thatpoint I would've given up ages ago.
Some of the bosses took me way more triesthan they should have.
Countless times you'll fall flat on your faceon any given boss and you just have to get up and try again.
Don't give up.
I can unfortunately say that I've given upon a lot of things in life that I probably shouldn't have.
Drawing, is one of the bigger ones.
But games have definitely ingrained in mea sense of: “l can do it, I just have to not give up, keep going, we'll get there.
” Some of the harder games are brutal in howthey teach you what to do and what not to do.
But this doesn't just apply to the soulsgames.
In a lot of games like Dishonored I try todo full stealth runs.
It's frustrating when you get caught on thehomestretch at that point but when I'm set on that stealth run I will reset and try again.
It's possible, I know it is, I just have topractice and do better.
Learn from my mistakes and next time I'llget it.
You don't have to always do that alone though.
You can always ask for help.
That's next point on my list, teamwork.
If you're anything like me, you're not a bigfan of asking for help.
It always felt like weakness.
I'm just too dumb to do it alone, if I wasstronger or smarter I wouldn't need help.
But the truth is, everyone needs help everyonce in a while.
We have strengths and weaknesses and we haveto play to those to get through life.
Even the One-Armed Wolf asks for aid fromthe Sculptor and Emma.
And he's really, really cool.
Most RPGs have an entire cast to help themout.
Very few heroes in videogames go at it entirelyalone and for good reason.
To use a videogame term, you're intentionallynerfing yourself by never asking for help.
So yes, even I now occasionally grit my teethand ask for help.
And, to leave the best for last, in my opinionanyway.
Sometimes when you make choices in life it'shard to see the effect you have on other people.
But in videogames those effects are shownto you pretty clearly, at least by the end of it.
In To the Moon you start out thinking you'rejust doing a job, it's not that big of a deal, why does everyone say the game will make youcry.
But then you get to the end and oh no, it'sactually heartbreaking.
I had no idea that something so small couldmean so much to a person.
And now I'm crying too.
The entire Mass Effect and Dragon Age seriesare one long line of consequences.
Destroyed that research all that time ago? Well now you've doomed an entire race.
Didn't make friends with the right people? You've just lost one of your most valued companions.
In Undertale, well.
And if you don't know, go play Undertale.
Games shoved my nose into the problems I causedbut also the good I could do by making the right choices.
There are games that show us very real worldproblems and the effects it has on people.
Through games, I've gained a great deal ofempathy for people who aren't me.
For a lot of people it's easy to get stuckin a bubble.
This is my life, these are my friends whohave similar lives, everyone else, well I'm sure they're doing much the same.
And although not all games do this, especiallythe story-rich games will stop to ask you: “Yes, but what about those other people? Those people who aren't your friends, peopleyou've never met, never heard of.
How are they doing?” Perhaps this one half comes back to patience, to stop and think and in that sense I guess you could say that games are a pretty decentschool of life all round.
A lot of things will just improve over timeas you play games.
For example if you play a lot of high pacegames you'll probably improve your hand-eye co-ordination.
You've probably heard of that one before.
But I've also increased my attention to detaileven though sometimes I look past very obvious things instead.
But still, it's an improvement.
I stop to think outside of the box more often.
Very often I find myself getting stuck inone particular line of thinking while trying to solve a problem in any game.
Until I stop and think “wait, but this waydoesn't work, I've been trying this for a while, what else could I be doing to achievemy goal”.
And there's also a few that I didn't actuallyhave on my own list, from Borotin on Twitter.
Sometimes you can give all the right answers, yet your companion still turns on you.
Solas, I'm looking at you.
Sister_of_elune talks about focussing on importantinformation in large pieces of text.
Much like you would do while skimming questlinesin an MMO.
PhuryZ brings up learning to type faster, which, I didn't even realize because I'd been shoved into blindtyping school when I wasyounger, but that probably applies to me too.
DatShepBro learned how to set priorities forthemselves which helps their current job along too.
Draecko says games brought mythology and folkloreinto the mix which, I can honestly say I wouldn't have been interested as much in history andancient lore if it wasn't for games either.
Knives_am had quite a list but what jumpedout for me was multi-tasking and identifying your teammate's strengths and weaknesses, those are very important skills in any management position.
And finally, dacoolist, Communication is key.
I can't believe I forgot about this one myselfhonestly.
Learning to communicate was basically a mustwhen raiding in World of Warcraft and in practically any multiplayer game afterwards, up to andincluding Overcooked.
And all this back and forth has definitelyfostered amazing communities the world over.
I wouldn't have met the majority of my friendsif it wasn't for games either and that started with voice chats on videogames all those yearsago.
And here's another that I really just thoughtwas pretty spot on, though I didn't get too many life lessons out of it otherwise.
If you encounter more enemies you're goingthe right way.
So here's the thing, remember how I startedout my list by writing down the positives and the negatives about videogames? Well, I couldn't really think about anynegatives.
So, I kinda stuck to positives.
And it's weird because whenever someone needsa scapegoat, especially in the media, it's very easy for them to target videogames straightaway.
That man was a bad man because they playedvideo games.
They found Call of Duty on their computer.
I heard from a friend that the guy playedDOOM on occasion.
Of course they only ever mention the “aggressive”games.
The “bad” games.
Games that make you hurt others and use weapons.
That same person might've also played StardewValley at the same time or maybe they'd bought a Switch for the express purpose of playingAnimal Crossing: New Horizons.
That doesn't make for very compelling headlinesthough.
So I wanted to make this list to highlightsome of the great things games have given me.
Not just in terms of endless entertainment, friends I've found purely through online videogames, incredible stories and beautiful visuals.
But also the lifelessons.
They've given me patience, understanding, perseverance, a whole new language and so many more things.
And clearly, I'm not alone in this.
I cannot ever thank videogames enough forwhat they've meant to me, ever.
But this will have to do.
I'm only one person though and as the openinglist of games wasn't exhaustive, neither is the list of lessons learned.
So I'll ask you now what I asked my Twitterfriends before.
What are some of the things games have taughtyou over the years.
How have games made you better.
I'm looking forward to reading your stories.
Have a wonderful rest of your day!.