Play Hard, Live Harder

dangerous to go alone

Gaming has always been one of the cornerstones of geek culture. However in recent years, like the mainstream acceptance of geek culture, gaming has slowly found its way into the the rest of today’s modern world.

For instance, here are apps to turn our everyday life into a game, allowing the user to feel like what they are doing is less of a chore. Gamification can turn things like exercise and daily tasks into something we’re more motivated to do.

These apps aside, the reverse is also possible where we can turn the skills and experience that we learn from gaming into skills we can use in real life. Here are some examples:

1. Taking turns – While this is a no-brainer concept in society, gaming especially turn-based or tabletop, helps reinforce the perspective that it is not just about you. Whether waiting in line while ordering food, or even maintaining a conversation, the ability to be patient before our turn can be a lost art for many, but not when you’re used to waiting for 4 other people to draw their cards or roll the die and complete their turn.

2. Life can be out of your control – Most people would call it fate, gamers mostly refer to it as luck. We all know that sometimes, even when we seem like we’re winning, the game throws us a curveball. You roll a critical fail. You have a lousy hand. The reverse is also true, especially in the moments where you’re losing, then everything seems to go right and you pull off that miracle win. It happens in games, so to does it happen in life. Things happen outside our control, and like games, it’s how we deal with what comes, that makes it worth our while.

3. Graciously winning/losing – Perhaps the hardest game lesson to apply to gaming itself, let alone real life, but it is just as important. It is an extension of our ability to deal with the randomness of gaming. However how we deal with a win or loss makes up for a significant part of who we are. True, no one likes to lose, but looking past the lost in expectation for another good game is what makes us better as a gamer. Same goes for winning. No one likes a braggart, so it’s good to take in the win without rubbing in the face of the people you defeated. When it translates to real life, it just means you aren’t going around being an arrogant jerk.

While these are but some of the biggest examples we can take away from gaming to apply to real life, there are plenty more ways which we can take from it. Our ability to conduct relationships with people. Skills that make us more efficient at managing time, inventory and projects. Even our ability to deal with mental health issues can be picked up from gaming.

It is of course, a different, and deeper perspective to that of simple escapism, but for the people who spend their lives immersed in the world of games, it can be a way to reconcile both real life and world of imagination unlike any other. That really isn’t a bad way to live.

Image credit: The Legend of Zelda