It is easy to think of gaming as being the province of teenagers and youngsters, but the truth is that more than 30 years have gone by since the modern generation of games consoles entered our homes in the shape of Nintendo’s Famicom.
As such, anyone up to the age of 50 or so has grown up around gaming to a greater or lesser degree, and parents are as likely to be involved in games as their teenage offspring.
So rather than dismiss games as a childish waste of time, let’s take a look at some ways in which they have formed us into the people we are today and helped us acquire some valuable life lessons and skills.
Learning through games
Games do not need to be educational per se in order for us to learn something from them, and the discipline of game theory has long been a recognised branch of mathematical study.
The rise of video games into the $90 billion global industry that we see today, combined with the huge popularity of different web-based games, from sports simulators to online casinos, has inspired plenty of researchers to study exactly how games can influence and enhance our lives in ways that we never even realised.
Focus and concentrate
People of a certain age will remember playing Pac Man and Frogger, and those just a few years younger might have cut their gaming teeth on Lemmings or Sonic the Hedgehog. The gameplay and graphics might have improved, but platform games like these have one thing in common, in that they encourage patience, timing and concentration.
Speculate to accumulate
In many aspects of life, both at home and at work, we are faced with choices in which we must balance risk and return, from risking our hearts in a new relationship to giving up a regular income to embark on a new business venture.
There are numerous games in which we hone these skills every day without even realising it. Fans of online casino games will know all about the different jackpot types and be performing risk / return calculations every time they play.
Become a team player
Everyone knows the importance of teamwork to get along in life, and this is an area in which gaming has really joined the party over the past decade. The clichéd image of the ”loner computer geek” with zero social skills could not be further from the truth in this day and age.
Online gaming and internet connectivity for games consoles mean that multiplayer is now the way forward, and today’s games teach cooperation and leadership skills that are valuable for those trying to develop a career in any industry.
30 years ago, there were text adventures such as Dungeons and Dragons and The Hobbit, which have today evolved into Warcraft and Age of Empires. Again, the look, complexity and programming might be worlds apart, but in essence, they help you to hone the same skills.
Spend time on these games and you will soon be better at managing resources, multitasking and thinking ahead, not to mention learning from your mistakes.
There is no doubt that gaming is a phenomenon that is here to stay. So whatever your age or your preferred game type, enjoy your gaming, and make the most of those life skills you are developing every time you log on!