There are several life lessons that I consider important to personal growth as a human being, and I believe games teach us so much about ourselves.
The human race has gone through many wars, conflicts and they are usually over control of land, hatred of a religion or race of people. Power, Wealth, revenge, just take your pick of human emotions that have started wars.
In our own life times, we meet bullies, maybe we are the bully. Maybe you are the shy one. Maybe you’re the peace keeper. Such diverse personalities and each carving their own path in life. We have so many life lessons that we learn. Empathy. Love. Trust. Forgiveness. Friendship. Just to name a few. Gaming encompasses all those things in such a way that it is almost sub-conscious - without even knowing it, we are learning about life lessons, each time we play a game.
A game is a controlled environment. A beautifully crafted piece of art whom characters can come to life through the skill of the player. What determines that skill? is it genes? is it intelligence? or maybe it’s lightning quick reflexes. Maybe it’s just sheer hard work.
In that controlled environment, your skin color doesn’t matter, your religion doesn’t matter, your body size or sex or age… all doesn’t contribute to how well you play the game. And the beautiful thing is: we don’t even think about it - it’s so engaging, so entertaining, so time consuming that the only thing we’re thinking about is how to pass that next level, how to link those combo’s and all those little skillful tricks those fingers can achieve.
By far, the biggest life lesson I find gaming teaches us is one that everybody should learn - that it’s O.K. to make mistakes. it’s o.k. as long as you pick yourself up, learn from it and improve on the next time. This one lesson is so valuable and yet, so hard to learn. You might rage the first time. You might scream the second time. Blame others. Blame the game. Blame your device. Blame, blame, blame everything and anything but yourself.
The beauty of gaming is: through all that frustration, strain, anger, calm, composure and ultimately getting that feeling of achievement - you are in-fact changing. You have found a way to beat that level and all that hard work has paid off.
Sure there are cheats. There are trolls. There is the easy way to beat the game. But what is that instant rush that you get when you do cheat? what exactly is that feeling? Are you proud of yourself? maybe. What does that feeling turn into when you get caught? guilt? shame? maybe. Even the act of being a cheater and a troll will eventually turn into a life lesson.
These days, competitive gaming has a name: Esports. But once upon a time, players just wanted to know who was the best. In the same way the Olympic games was born from that same curiousity and sportsmanship. Countries put aside their differences to wage wars in sports with the best intentions, forming friendships, rather than waging actual wars with weapons of destruction.
We as a human race are constantly in a state of competitiveness. Gaming is the neutral grounds in which all humans can participate. Each death in game teaches us tolerance. Each win in game teaches us humbleness. eventually. Some learn quicker than others.
Those who persist through all the hardship learn even greater things.
I love gaming for all the endless possibilities it creates. it is accessible to almost everyone, spare a thought to those with no fingers. Technology is bridging that gap as well, with eye to mouse recognition.
The future of gaming is one that brings the human race together. One day, I dream that the gaming industry gets recognized for their efforts in uniting people all over the world in such a way that no other medium can.
Even sports creates rivalries that see fans fight against other fans. Gaming can overcome that through the anonymity of being a character, a hero, in a controlled environment, that is gaming. That is the beauty of games.