Since the days of pencil and paper, through the rise of board games, up to the current dominance of video games and virtual reality, gaming has had a massive impact on the way people learn life lessons and skills. From the psychological influence of video games to their entertainment and social values, the industry’s expansive presence in most developed cultures has changed the way people interact.
For every drawback of gaming culture, there are at least three positive counterparts that counteract the negative influences. However, if one isn’t paying attention, those life lessons waiting to be plucked from participating in one of the leading forms of modern entertainment may go unheeded.
An important lesson video games teach, particularly through online matches and eSports, is the wisdom found in knowing whose opinion to take seriously and who to simply ignore. The Internet has given everyone a voice, but as has been the case throughout history on a much less noticeable scale (before the Internet), not everyone uses their voice constructively, productively, or even interestingly.
Online gaming has provided exposure to both the careless provocateur as well as the well-intentioned sage. Understanding which is which is often a simple differentiation to the seasoned veteran of competitive play, but to kids or greenhorns, it might take some time to figure it out. Once that understanding clicks, however, one learns to tune out the annoying instigator and listen to the genuine voices of reason and comradery.
Like the cultures surrounding different niches, gaming culture has its own vernacular, which in and of itself has its pros and cons.
Elders who predate the rising surge of video game culture still offer a lot of opinions regarding the influence of video games that are based on preconceived notions. Those notions are often incorrect, or are at least not based on sufficient evidence to prove their validity or accuracy. However, that doesn’t mean that those elders are completely devoid of wisdom.
While video games may not have quite the negative impact that many would claim, therein still lies more important concepts: Moderation and self-care. Putting one’s all into something that is important to them is commendablee. However, it’s also important to not overexert one’s self and to ensure to remain healthy in both mind and body by participating in other activities—everything from scholastic endeavors to physical exercise.
Gaming culture is about more than entertainment. It’s about using reason to get the most out of an industry woefully underestimated by those who don’t understand it.
Something that frequently goes unnoticed by most gamers is that video games also impress upon them the value of perseverance and dedication. Video games inherently provide a system that rewards participants based on their completion of tasks (quests, missions, activities, milestones, achievements, etc.).
The more one perseveres and overcomes obstacles in order to accomplish their goals or beat a game’s content (or one’s online competitors), the more their rewards increase. These rewards aren’t always native to items within the game itself, but can carry over to victories in tournaments, most of which have cash prizes or sponsorships that allow the best gamers to earn an income.
With such a valuable lesson in its repertoire, gaming culture benefits greatly from welcoming more people to participate in its opportunities.
Video games provide a pivotal opportunity to learn how to control one’s emotions. It’s easy to get frustrated when up against heavy opposition or content that seems impossible. However, combined with moderation and self-care, learning how to control one’s emotions will make it easier to not only overcome obstacles in a video game, but in life’s general struggles.
Emotional outbursts, whether from anger or over-exhilaration, make it difficult to focus on the task at hand and lead to poor decision-making. This results in poorer outcomes and, in the case of video games, defeat. Emotions are natural and by no means should they be avoided. They should, however, be appropriately controlled and channeled.
Online competition is ripe with players succumbing to their frustration and anger. Don’t capitulate to that drawback of gaming culture.
Life is about having goals and working to accomplish those ambitions. Gaming culture is a beautiful place to learn how to do that early in one’s life (or later, if one is interested). Setting goals is simple. Working to accomplish them, however, is another story. The smaller the goal, the easier it is to accomplish it. Through gaming, one can learn to start small and finish big.
Regardless of the ambition’s size, gaming is a phenomenal place to cultivate a work ethic or, at least, a proclivity for accomplishing one’s goals. Gaming culture, for all of its misconceptions, is an invaluable source of information, social interaction, and personal development.0