This article exists, much like some games, as a shameless cash-in on a predecessor of the same name and also because there are several other things that video games have taught me which I couldn’t fit into the first article, partly because I couldn’t remember them and because I know the attention span of most blog readers can be summed up as “one page or get $%@ed”. So without any further waste of time, I present to you a few more valuable life lessons bestowed on me by video games.
Recently, I’ve been playing many RPG or “questy” type games which are – except perhaps for their bias towards magic, sorcery and mythical beasties – regarded as being fairly “true to life” and immersive. Much like in life you can avoid doing things that would cause your character to die and he/she/it will avoid death, but jumping off cliffs, eating poison or getting engulfed in dragon flame will cause death (which is pretty realistic).
These RPGs have also taught me that I can carry a ridiculous amount of weapons, armour, and assorted loot without slowing me down at all, until I eventually reach my designated max at which point I suddenly move at the pace of drying paint.
I have also learned a fair bit about medicine, most notably the healing power of apples and roast chicken which have been known to bring a person only inches from their deathbed to full health with just a single serving. I’ve also learned that my clothing will be bloodied and torn in direct correlation to my bodily injuries. Conveniently, not only will chicken and apples restore my health, but will also instantaneously mend and wash my clothing.
These games do afford us educational opportunities that we might never come across in our mundane lives. For example I may never get to infiltrate a medieval castle guarded by wizards and creatures, using only my stealth and cunning. However, if the opportunity was ever given to me by means of some weird time travel scenario or a really intense medieval fair, I would have all the necessary training already behind me thanks to video games.
For example I would already know that I could stand a mere two metres in front of a guard and he would not see me as long as I was in a shadowy area, and if I was too close I would know because he would alert me with rhetorical questions such as “Who’s there?”, “What was that?”, or “Did I hear something?”
Furthermore, I would already know that I could kill one of the guards a few metres away from another guard and the remaining guard would not panic or even be alerted to my presence as long as he doesn’t see me or the body of his co-worker even if I kill the guard in mid-conversation.
If the unfortunate situation arises that I am seen, heard, or one of my victims’ bodies is found and the entire castle is alerted to my presence, several more guards appear. I know that if I just wait long enough they will simply call off the search and resume their routine giving no concern to the fact that an assassin is still at large since their dead co-worker must have died of natural causes – such are the occupational hazards of being an evil guard.