Digital life lessons

As I’ve written before, I’m not a terribly social person in real life. But after going out last night, I’m now sitting here writing this post with a hangover and a packet of paracetamol close at hand. Why I didn’t pay attention during Fable when the Hero would throw up after having a few too many beers?

If only I’d listened to the sage advice offered to me by video games, then perhaps I wouldn’t feel as horrible as I do. Forget parents, school and books: it’s our hobby that can provide us with all the answers if we’d only just pay closer attention to what it’s trying to teach us. I’ve reached out to my blogger friends and here are the useful (and some more serious than others) life lessons they’ve picked up through gaming.

Always keep fighting
Nana Marfo

Final Fantasy, Final Fantasy XIII, video game, female, Lightning Farron, pink hair

“So, life lessons. A interesting about them for me is that I grew learning more from external media than my parents. Not that they were bad parents, I just can relate to game characters more, like how the Sonic series taught me to never give up, and in the case of Sonic Colours, to have fun with life. Or how Kingdom Hearts taught me how to always believe in your friends. However, I think that the biggest thing a game taught me was to keeping fighting, even when they look their darkest in Final Fantasy XIII and to have confidence in yourself with the character Lightning Farron. Games may be just a story telling medium to some but for others (and me), it’s inspires us to push beyond our limits.”

Sometimes public transport is the best way to get around
Chris from OverThinker Y

Mirror's Edge, video game, city, buildings, drainpipes

“I spent a really long time playing Mirror’s Edge a few years ago and it caused me to start visualising ‘parkourable’ objects in the real world as glowing red, so that was odd. (I think it’s attributable to the same things that cause the Tetris effect, or playing too much Tetris and seeing everything as shapes and blocks to fit together.) What I learned from this is that not all drainpipes are secure enough to climb and that sometimes the best way to get from one place to another is, like, public transport or something, as awesome as it might initially seem to sprint the whole way across rooftops or whatever.”

Metal Gear Solid, video game, snake in a box

Keep a cardboard box handy
Nathan from Hurricane thought process

“Video game logic taught me if your ever in a tricky situation always hide in a cardboard box. That’s why I always carry one with me! Just remember not to move until the exclamation mark above you disappears, otherwise your whole carefully-crafted plan will quickly fall apart!”

Do whatever it is you actually need to do, last
Luke from Hundstrasse

Gone Home, video game, drawer, letters, notes, read

“It’s amazing how much the walking simulator genre has enriched my life. In the past I’d enter a room, know exactly what I wanted to do there, do it, then leave. Now with my expert walking simulator knowledge I know that when you enter a room the very last thing you should do is the thing you actually went in there for.

“Firstly head the opposite side of the room to the thing that you need to interact with and just start picking up and handling objects you’re bound to find something interesting. This doesn’t just apply to rooms; paths and corridors have a similar effect. Need to head north through the woods? Well, set off in a southerly direction and make sure that you’ve investigated every tree stump, cave and boulder for hidden things. Eventually you’ll end up going the right way, probably… Have you been told to go upstairs to fetch something? Well, make sure that every square centimetre of downstairs has been explored first pay particular attention to opening drawers, reading notes, and listening to tapes or record that may be in a player. This whole rigmarole goes down particularly well in the houses of friends and relatives.”

You don’t have to have the ‘best build’
Athena from AmbiGaming

“Video game logic has taught me to never directly go for my goals, because doing everything else I can possibly do before that – even if it’s not related to what I originally wanted to do – will make reaching my intended goal easier. I don’t think this works in real life. For something that can actually be applied to the everyday then, RPGs taught me that you don’t have to have the ‘best build’. The only thing that really matters is knowing how to use the skill points and abilities you have. They might not always be ideal, but there is always a way to use them to get to the next stage of the game.”

Diablo, Diablo III, video game, level 60, quest complete, enemies, fire

It’s all about reflexes
Jonez from NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog

“Video game logic taught me to think outside of the box and look for a solution, trying to read the situation and quickly react and adapt to it. But what I notice the most are two things. My speed in repetitive tasks, and my reflexes. I find that I have quite fast reflexes and I can do grinding… I mean repetitive tasks quickly.”

Renovation is a great career choice
Tim from GeekOut South-West

Castlevania, video game, meat, wall chicken. stairs, bricks, whip, knight

“Having played plenty of action-platformers, the one series that has taught me the most in life is Castlevania. It’s deeply philosophical, with the ever pressing question of ‘What is a man?’ being at the forefront of most gamers’ minds. However, it’s not the philosophy that has taught me the most valuable of life lessons, rather that the game has shown me that property renovation is a great career choice. You get to whip walls and when you do, you have a chance to find a delicious roast chicken dinner! As PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds would say: this is a winner, winner, chicken dinner.”

Video games are wiser than we realise
LightningEllen from Livid Lightning

Mario Kart, Mario Kart 8, video game, racing, cars, race track, Bowser, Mario

“True story: Yoshi’s Island on the SNES motivated young me to learn how to read. I really wanted to know what Kamek was saying before boss fights. The Grand Theft Auto series taught me that cars on fire can explode, and it’s a good idea to stand far away from them instead of gawking at them with cell phone cameras out (I saw that scene this morning… no-one was hurt).

“The Final Fantasy XIII trilogy taught me about me and helped me cope with a lot of personal issues by giving me a cool shero to look up to. Bowser from the Mario series taught me to embrace failure and wield it as a weapon… or something like that. The Dragon Age and Mass Effect games taught me that true friends will always be there for each other, no matter what horrors are befalling the continent / universe.”

So tell us: what life lessons have video games taught you?

This post is dedicated to Megan from A Geeky Gal, who very kindly nominated Later Levels for the Blogger Recognition Award last month. She’s one of the loveliest people on the internet so make sure you give her a follow if you’re not doing so already!

UK Blog Awards, UKBA19, logo, voteHello there! If you like what you see in this post, why not take a moment to vote for Later Levels in the UK Blog Awards 2019?
Doing so will bring you great loot, increase your XP by +100 and make you immune to fire.*
(*Not guaranteed.)

12 thoughts on “Digital life lessons

  1. It’s a cheesy phrase but gaming has definitely taught me to “think outside the box” from cheat codes to secret endings and problem solving video games reward you for looking outside of what’s expected and even breaking a game can be really funny and act as it’s own reward. Sometimes climbing up a vertical mountain instead of taking the road is the more challenging but rewarding path (unless you end up glitching through the world I suppose!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • This sounds exactly like me playing Elder Scrolls game. Rather than take the path, I’ll always choose to run straight up the mountain in case I come across anything surprising!

      I know just what you mean about thinking-outside-the-box though. A large part of my day-job involves finding problems in processes and coming up with ways to solve them, and video game logic has helped with that an awful lot. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh gosh, doing what you need to do last is such a big thing in gaming for me. Far too many times, I’ve been burned by accidentally doing the thing I needed to do and then being unable to continue exploring the area and forced to move on in my game. It’s actually become something of a pet peeve of mine.

    I love your collaboration posts! They’re always so much fun to read.


    • I think Luke hit on something there, because there’s a lot of us who now explore every nook and cranny within an area in a game before doing the action we need to do. It’s so annoying when you’ve already triggered it but can see the shiny, glowing thing in the corner you want to pick up and now can’t get to!

      I’m sure there’ll be another collaboration post in the future… watch this space. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: On the Sixth Day of Blogmas… – AmbiGaming

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