For many people, gaming isn’t just entertainment for them, it is a part of their lives every day allowing them to relax, socialise with their friends or just find some escapism.
You may hear that playing games is a waste of time and that your time would be better spent outside with your friends, but it turns out that playing games can teach you a lot, and a lot of these skills can be used in ‘real-life’ circumstances too. Whether you are just playing to relax or grinding hard to become better at a competitive game, you are learning transferable skills that will be useful in your academic studies or in a future workplace.
Each of these are seen as ‘soft-skills’, meaning the way we adapt to different moments, work with other people, solve problems and make decisions. Soft skills are typically seen as more important in many different industries and roles.
Sometimes a game gives us an opportunity to practice skills and learn lessons we normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to in real-life. There is even evidence that playing games has positive effects on your exams too!?
There are loads of skills that players learn during gameplay and we’ve come up with 5 nearly all gamers will develop that will help you to be successful in life.
Gaming isn’t just about fighting and using weapons against one another, it can be a place to build, explore and design.
A recent study has shown that games such as Minecraft help players to foster creative skills such as thinking outside the box and using their imagination to generate new ideas. Games where you have the freedom to explore unique worlds, expand your vision, and face challenges can help you to be creative.
But what good is creativity in the ‘real’ world?
Being creative helps you to view and solve problems in loads of different ways, it allows you to become more innovative in our thinking, come up with new ideas and helps you think outside the box. Creativity causes you to develop your ideas into actual things rather than just words on a notepad, and because of that, creativity can help you develop confidence as you are more willing to try new things and make errors and mistakes.
QUOTE: “Creativity involves two processes: thinking, then producing. If you have ideas, but don’t act on them, you are imaginative, but not creative.”
Not only is creativity the top skill that employers look for in a candidate, but it will also be needed to solve some of the biggest challenges that we’re facing like climate change or poverty.
Oh and being creative can also help with stress relief. So have a look at 101 ways you can reduce your stress by clicking on button below.
Games can be tough and have an ever-increasing challenge, but powering through a game without quitting and having temper-losing urges will help players to build their resilience – another key skill needed to be successful in life.
But this trial and error way of playing can be super useful in the gaming world because it boosts your confidence and allows you to know when you are wasting your time, or progressing with instant feedback.
Playing games helps develop both our patience and determination skills, which combined with resilience, are incredibly important in life because it helps us to develop coping mechanisms to stressful situations that could otherwise be overwhelming.
It is known that gamers spend roughly 80% of their time failing, so through repetitive trialing (e.g. respawning in games such as Call of Duty), or moments where you finally lose a game after playing for hours, gamers are developing positive qualities that will help them to build back stronger and better.
Everyone who plays games knows that communication is key if you want to complete a mission with your teammates, finish last in a battle-royale or win a 5v5 match, and this skill is also vital to being more successful and happier in life. For introverts, gaming is a helpful way to develop social and communication skills that feel awkward and challenging in real life.
And as we found out in the pandemic, gaming allowed us to develop new friendships with people all over the world. It didn’t just allow us to spend time doing fun things with one another (which itself is an important part of developing friendships), but gave us opportunities to talk about and process important issues that happen everyday, including the pandemic and our mental health.
Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most important life skills to learn. There are three types of communication that can be used inside a game:
- Verbal: your voice on voice comms
- Visual: sharing images, graphs and maps
- Written: using in-game chat
Each of these can be practiced within many different games, allowing yourself and others to understand information easily and quickly (which is extremely important in both school and work). Great communication can also improve cooperation in teams, develop better friendships and finish your work faster.
For some people, communication takes a lifetime to master. But with the help of gaming, this skill is being practiced everyday.
They say teamwork makes the dream work, but in life, how useful is being a team-player?
Teamwork is an important part of most games out today, and will help players to improve their own gameplay. Just like we mentioned with communication, playing well with the rest of your team is going to help you win more games, complete them faster and unlock more items.
There are almost no situations in which teamwork is not important in life. Be it at work, in relationships, families, sport or most hobbies. Teamwork has proven to boost productivity and collaboration in areas outside of gameplay such as home, school and work. It’s said that teamwork will make you happier, more efficient, and more innovative.
Playing a game typically forces you to quickly analyse situations and decisions, or alternatively plan long-term strategic decisions. This, coupled with the under-pressure nature of gaming, allows players to try out different things and test new ideas to see what works best. As already mentioned, gamers are out-of-the-box problem solvers, but these skills will actually help you to solve real-world problems faster too!
Strong skills in problem solving allow you to empower yourself in both your personal and professional life, with gamers experts in overcoming challenges with a problem-solving mindset.
Video games provide players with a safe space to try new and different ways to solve problems. Because a video game gives instant feedback, it can be a much quicker way to try multiple solutions to solve puzzles, decisions and problems without the risk of a mistake. Being able to adjust to these mistakes is a life-skill that, like resilience, will help you become a mentally-stronger person.
Gaming can help improve the brain cells connected to memory, critical thinking, retention and learning. It is often recommended as a way to help older people keep their brains healthy so it’s gotta be a good thing to do!
There are many other ways gaming can be beneficial to ‘real life’ and we aren’t alone in thinking that. In a survey in the United States, it was even revealed that 42% of respondents felt like they’ve learned more life skills through video games than in school.
And if you are not into video games themselves, you can still get the same benefits from playing puzzles, board games, card games and more. Playing games in general is known to be both relaxing and a challenge simultaneously, allowing your brain to switch off and feel motivated at the same time.
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This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.