5 Thing I learned from being a Gamer

Games can teach us a lot about life.

My entire life, I have been a Gamer. I’ve played board games, video games, pen and paper rpgs, word games. You name it, I’ve played it. Gaming is my second largest hobby, right behind snoozing on the couch with the t to v running in the background. Although, I’m not sure I’ll be able to call that a hobby for much longer, I’m planning on going pro. I’ve spent so much time playing games that I’ve learned a lot of my biggest life lessons from it.

1) Learn the Rules, then abuse the crap out of them.

Munchkins, Power Gamers, Min-Maxers, Call them what you will, they all know one thing: How to work the system. Its a lesson that we all learn sooner or later. We need to shore up our weaknesses and play to our strengths. In any given situation there are rules to how we should act and what we can do. Those rules govern every interaction in our every day life, and those who have learned to manipulate them are usually more successful. There are books and books and books on the subject, all of them telling us to do the same thing. There’s only one problem with that line of thinking.

2) That guy is always a giant jerk.

Not too long after we’ve learned the lesson about how to be a munchkin, we figure out why those terms are all considered derogatory in the gaming community. That guy is a dick. The guy with the drive to be the best all the time might get the farthest in life, but there is a reason for all of those “Lonely Rich Guy” cliches in Hollywood. Nobody likes someone that forgets what it means to have weaknesses. Now in the gaming world, there are too reasons that guy becomes a jerk. One, he’s genuinely better than the rest of us. If that’s the case, power to you better dude, but that breeds one massive ego. The other option, and the much more likely in the gaming world, is the guy that isn’t very good at anything trying to do anything he can to be good at something. At any given time in life, we’ve all been that guy. The one that feels completely inadequate. That’s really why we hate the min-maxer, whether he’s just better than us, or just trying to compensate for something else, he reminds us that we’re all inadequate at one time or another.

3) Friends make everything better

Playing Solo can be fun, but it can also get really tedious. Life, like most games, is meant to be played with others. Some games just can’t be played with alone, and most games are designed for group play to be the norm. Not only does it make some things easier is someone has your back, it also fuels our competitive side and pushes you to be better than you’ve ever been before. Plus, when you have people around, it helps you with that drive to be the best and do everything.  We don’t need to worry about min-maxing when we have friends who’s strengths cover our weaknesses. We can do what we do best when we have friends that can help us out with the things we’re not so great at. Together, we can ascend to a new level.

4) The Search for a Bigger Challenge

When we play one game for long enough, it gets easier and easier to the point of repetition. We play it long enough, and what was shiny and new becomes boring. That’s why new games are constantly coming out, and old favorites are get expansions every couple of years. Without the new challenges things get stale. The same thing is true in life. If you get comfortable, you’ll start to get bored. Constantly challenging ourselves is not only more satisfying, it pushes us to be better and better, make more and more of ourselves.

5) Thousands of Failures lead to one perfect moment.

Bigger challenges are that, harder and more difficult situations. It takes time to build ourselves up to the level of the new experience. We will fail, probably thousands of times, each time we fail, we learn a little bit more about what we need to succeed. Being afraid to keep pushing ourselves means that we’ll never get better.  Al those failures and lessons add up to something pretty huge, though. Eventually, everything clicks and falls into place. Those are the moments when we have the perfect game, we roll a 20 at exactly the right time, we hit all the buttons at exactly the right time and everything molds together. That experience is exhilarating, but those perfect moments only happen 1 time in a thousand. To have them, we have to keep trying.

There are plenty of other lessons we can learn, like, every time we climb a ladder, we’re going to slide down a chute, or if there are man eating plants coming out of your pipes, the best solution is fire, but they’re all secondary. There is one more very important thing that we should never forget:

Don’t forget to have fun.