What video games have taught me


There are a lot of people (read: ignorant technophobes) who don’t believe that video games have any educational purpose and are just tools of the devil meant to distract us from our lives and corrupt our children. But video games are so much more than just about distraction and corruption. They also educate us about how to overcome everyday obstacles like alien invasions or underground street races or what to do if you were ever working as a plumber and were suddenly mysteriously teleported to the Mushroom Kingdom (on that last point, it also teaches one about the dangers of drugs).

Thus, I would like to submit a few of the lessons I have learnt about the world outside simply through video games.

I have learnt that anything can hurt and even kill you if it touches you anywhere on your body except the soles of your feet. The soles of your feet are so powerful that even jumping in molten lava will not kill you as long as you jump out immediately. Thus if ever attacked by a walking mushroom or a grizzly bear, simply jumping on it will not only kill it, but often will result in them dropping gold coins, jewels or ammunition (because all animals carry ammo and jewels in their pockets which they were storing for the winter). Bad guys and creatures will always drop ammunition that matches the gun you are using even if they don’t have a gun themselves. This is important to remember if you are ever in a fight in real life.

If the defeated enemy, creature or harmless woodland critter doesn’t drop any ammunition, ancient artifacts or currency, at the very least some numbers will rise up off their corpse which will then be added to your score.

These points or coins can be used to buy things such as guns, ammunition or more lives, once again teaching us the fundamentals of capitalism: destroy your enemies, take their money, buy weapons and you will live longer.

Although you are sometimes limited to the amount of weapons or items you may carry (just like in real life), there is no limit to the amount of money, coins and jewels you can collect and you never have to declare this income to any kind of regulatory taxation institution. You will also know if you pick up something particularly important or valuable as music will play.

To be safe it is best to shoot everything. If it dies it was bad. If it doesn’t die then pick it up.  Once they are dead their corpse will either disappear or instantly be reduced to a pile of bones.

Games have also taught me that rooms will often be filled with vast amounts of wooden crates or priceless vases and that people use these to store ammunition and valuable objects. These crates are usually empty and despite being massive generally only contain one item despite being able to store much more. Thankfully there is no consequence to breaking these other than getting more points.

When you die your score is recorded for the entire world to see and you will be remembered for all time, but only as three letters. Furthermore, all the top scores (i.e. the greatest individuals ever to live) had naughty soundings names like POO, BUM or ASS or couldn’t work out how to select their letters and end up with AAA.