It’s a constant debate and EVERYONE has an opinion: Are video games good for us? They’ve been deemed inappropriate, violent, and basically just a complete waste of time. But don’t let the nay-sayers fool you: video games teach valuable life skills that make us better people.
Time management isn’t anything you’ll find in the advertisement for a video game; however, it’s a necessary skill for many popular games. Even Mario had only had so much time to finish a level. In popular phone games, the user is challenged with managing everything from a bakery to a farm to an entire city with time limits and schedules that make it necessary to re-visit the game again in four hours to cash in a crop or take a cake out of the oven. Wait too long and the crop rots or the cake burns. We become disciplined in learning the methods of how we can best manage our time.
Video games also sharpen problem-solving skills. When you’re challenged by a difficult level, you have to find alternative ways to complete it. Maybe you need to take a shortcut or use tools you were hoping to save for later. If you want to beat the level, you have to solve a problem in order to move on. It may mean staying on the same level for three weeks, but there’s a major sense of accomplishment that goes along with completing it. In day-to-day life, many of us are quick to give up on something because of distractions or a new challenge at hand. Video games make us have to take a problem head-on and not stop until we solve it.
Not only that, but video games encourage deeper levels of understanding and critical thinking. When video games have dialogue and information on the screen, the player has to keep everything they learn in mind. Even if the information isn’t used until later, they may need to know character traits or shortcuts or location information. A lot of gamers just breeze their way through the information without taking it in, but it’s important to read through it and remember how you can use it in the future.
Something to keep in mind: everything varies by game. A handful of companies have even released games that are taught in schools and featured in libraries to help fine-tune anyone’s skills. By broadening the reach video games have, they help us level up in many different facets; from basic skills we can use day-to-day to advanced skills like programming and coding.