Hey Friends,

I was thinking about video games and how they can help us to learn or teach a specific set of life skills to our children. This intriguing thought led me to speak with my kids on video gaming with the sole intent to understand their take on it and know why they love playing a specific set of video games.

To my surprise, the revelations were mind-spinning and I took a deep dive into now a bit more about video games Vs life skills.

Firstly, the best thing about video games is that there are enough games available that cater to the widest possible age bracket ( Almost from age of 2 to 80 yrs ). Younger people play games for many reasons like fun, enjoyment or for love for solving certain set of challenges whereas the older people can use these tools to delay the aging of their mind. Its a scientific fact that keeping your mind creatively engaged ( like learning new languages, or where brain cells are actively get involved ) do help in keeping our mind healthy even in old age.

So before I talk about other good effect of video gaming , I would like to file a caveat saying that – “ All these benefits will come only & only when these activities are done in moderation”. To me It’s a win and video gaming is not all that bad provided it’s done in moderation. I came across few interesting studies where playing video games have had the positive effect on the growing kids in their overall development .

Valuable Skills Developed Through Video Games

1. Risk-Taking

Though it may not be a real-life danger, playing a modern video game raises the stakes by putting your avatar and progress at risk from in-game deaths or setbacks. Gamers quickly learn how to navigate unfamiliar territories and scenarios to tackle the unknown and get themselves or their team out of precarious situations safely, giving them the ability to tackle risks and the unknown in life as well.

LIFE SKILL TAKEAWAY – While recklessness isn’t desirable, having calculated, strategic risk-takers on a workplace team can take your business to new places.

2. Patience and Perseverance

If you’ve ever played certain sets of game, then you know all about the importance of patience.

Patience and perseverance are rare qualities that help people succeed both professionally and personally. Mentally strong people are patient and understand how to use these skills to handle challenging situations and wait for success to come, which translates to a team member who’s willing to work their way through training and the ranks to become a vital asset to your business.

3. Problem-Solving

Video games often include puzzle challenges and other obstacles that require players to alter their perceptions or approaches to find successful solutions. I still remember as a child when I figured out, in the Super Mario level Tick Tock Clock, the time in which you entered the level determined the speed of the internal clock mechanisms.

LIFE SKILL TAKEAWAY -These planning, adaptability, and experimentation skills are honed over time and contribute to the business environment when handling crisis situations, work challenges, and conflicts, giving gamers the ability to find creative solutions with limited resources.

4. Strategizing

Plenty of video games ( Minecraft) require strategy and strategic approaches in order to progress in the game and complete a series of steps to get to the next level or prize. Games like Civilization and StarCraft have become extremely popular due to the complex planning and strategy required.

LIFE SKILL TAKEAWAY – Strategic thinkers help in the business world as well since much of business success relies on solid strategies to adapt to the challenges of a changing business landscape.

5. Concentration

The scenarios in video games require the full concentration of the player to succeed. Think about games like Guitar Hero or Rock Band which require complete concentration in order to score well.

Distractions, such as calls, texts, or social media, are tuned out in favor of devoting attention to the task at hand. In a business environment, these distractions can hurt productivity and make employees less efficient, so having a player used to concentrating fully on their work is a valuable asset to profitability.

6. Leadership

In multiplayer video games, players often have teams with designated leaders to determine their strategies and approaches. It’s up to the team leader to set up times, communicate with other players, develop strategies, identify strengths and weaknesses within the team, keep morale up, and keep other players focused on the task at hand.

LIFE SKILL TAKEAWAY – These skills are honed over time and in working with multiple teams in different gaming environments and scenarios. In business, these are the same leadership skills that managers, directors, and team leaders use to motivate their teams and keep everyone working together toward the business goals.

7. Social Skills

Multiplayer video games require interactions between players and remote teamwork via webcam, Bluetooth headset, and social media. In order to stay within a team, players need to develop social skills like punctuality, civility, good sportsmanship, and a healthy sense of competition to interact with other players in a way that’s enjoyable. (Of course, there are variations and not everyone gets that…)

LIFE SKILL TAKEAWAY – In a business environment, these skills make for employees who are willing and able to work as part of a team successfully, show up on time, collaborate, encourage others, and contribute ideas and strategies openly to come up with solutions to business problems.

8. Critical Thinking

All decisions in a video game have risks and consequences, so skilled gamers understand how to analyze their possible choices and use their best judgment for successful missions and campaigns. In many cases, these decisions must be made in a split second, so gamers quickly develop analytical skills in high-pressure situations and remain calm in stressful situations.

When it comes to business, panicked decision-making in business-critical situations can be devastating, so it’s important to have level-headed, fast decision-makers on your team to analyze the current information and derive insights for the next steps to solve a problem.

9. Pattern Recognition

From the earliest video games, a key component to progressing and winning the game has been finding patterns and exploiting them. This usually involves analyzing large amounts of data and scenarios to find underlying causes and predicting the future within the game. The most obvious examples are in rhythm-action games like Just Dance.

LIFE SKILL TAKEAWAY – In the modern business world, data-driven decision-making requires analyzing data, identifying patterns, and making predictions to come up with solutions to problems or get ahead of the competition.

10. Multi-Tasking

Video games used to be so simple. There was a ball and you needed to hit it. There was a finish line and you needed to be the first to cross it. Of course, the simplicity of old games had a lot to due with the technology they were working with. But as game technology advanced, the tasks became more complex.

Take the wildly popular Grand Theft Auto games. Now, players have to race to a specific location in a set amount of time while fighting off antagonists, navigating crowded streets, and making a phone call. It’s a lot of stuff all at once (which I think is the GTA motto).

LIFE SKILL TAKEAWAY – The intensive situational awareness and management required when playing these kind of games help improve the player’s ability to juggle several tasks while blocking out distractions. In business, the ability to effectively multi-task can make you more productive and improve your performance.

Take good care & enjoy reading your dose of cerebral happiness.


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Main Image Credit: Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Get in touch… — JOE’s LIFE SKILLS LAB/Joe Sehrawat

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