If you’re a gamer, you’ve probably heard the classic criticisms from friends, family, and the media who don’t get what gaming is all about. To them, it’s often viewed as a waste of time, as an antisocial activity, or even as a dangerous pastime which leads to bad behavior. Despite the bad press gaming gets, the industry is consistently growing; it is estimated that by the end of 2020, it will be worth around $90 billion. The wealth of technology available to the average gamer, combined with COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines, means that gaming’s popularity has reached new heights. But once lockdown is over and we are released into the real world, can we take anything away from the skills we learned gaming?
Unlike video games of the past which were largely solitary activities, gaming nowadays is a sprawling activity that usually comprises working alongside others. Even if you are physically alone in your room, you will be connected online with either a private group of friends or a wider public network, with whom you will play against, or with, to progress in the game. Despite what people may think, gamers develop great social skills because online gaming requires you to make fast acquaintances with people and work things out with them. Gamers negotiate, gamers discuss and gamers make fast decisions as a team – if those aren’t social skills, then what is?
These skills can, of course, be transferred to social or professional environments, making you a more sociable person with others you may not know well.
Problem Solving Skills
As well as social interaction, contemporary gaming development focuses on intense, fast problem-solving games, such as free driving games and team-based games. The immensely popular new game Among Us, in which a team of friends plays online as members of a spaceship. A selected number of players are secretly named as imposters, and therefore their job is to sabotage the efforts of their “team members” – a.k.a their enemies. This quickfire game requires deduction, problem-solving, and seriously fast thinking – all of which can be applied to real-world scenarios. Okay, perhaps not real-world spaceship scenarios, but other quick-thinking moments in life might require your Among Us skills. Games like Wordle are great for both literacy and problem solving so if you enjoy spending your time on this popular game then it will have definitely given you some cognitive benefits. Even if sometimes you do have to resort to the Wordle solver– after all, sometimes it is ridiculously tricky!
Playing online games, particularly if you stream on Twitch or elsewhere, requires a certain level of technological know-how. There’s getting the right computer that can deal with the graphics and power required for gaming, then setting up your monitor so that you can optimize your skills, then problem-solving if something isn’t running quite right… You’ll need at least basic tech knowledge. When it comes to getting a job, this can only come in handy; basically, every single job now requires some form of technological knowledge. If you are a gamer with a technological streak, make sure to let your future employers know it!
In conclusion, gaming isn’t just a hobby you do to escape reality. Gaming can help empower your skills for the real world, helping you achieve success.
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