What I’ve Learnt Through Gaming

Before I begin this post, I want to announce that I will be doing my best to update this blog weekly (most likely on Tuesdays or Wednesdays at this point – subject to change), and I want you – my readers – to help keep me on track. I’ve had a backlog of drafts and post ideas for a while now, and I want to do something about it – I figure making myself accountable to you all in regards to regular blogging is a good way to get some of those finished and available for people to read (turns out I need a stick as well as a carrot – even for things I enjoy doing……). And now, this week’s post:

I’ve written before on the potential Video Games have to be a tool for learning, but over the past week, I’ve been particularly hit by the realisation that playing my online games (Tribal Wars and The West) has either taught me, or reinforced for me, quite a few different life lessons. I thought I’d list  some of them here for your enjoyment and reflection. This is by no means an exhaustive list of what all games have taught me – being only about 2 games in particular, and only a few  skills from those games – but just something to think about.

The most major of the lessons Tribal Wars and The West have taught me are concerned with what people look for in the workplace. In one of the servers I am a part of on The West, I joined the town I am a part of as a general member – I was happy to help out in any way that I could (both within the town, and in the alliance of towns we are a part of), but other than that, I didn’t have any responsibility. Over time, still being generally just out to help wherever I can, and communicating with anyone from my group that I can, I have been given more and more responsibility, not just within my town, but within the alliance my town is a part of – to the point where I have recently been appointed as a leader in my town, and one of the voting members of the alliance council. I know this has been a more rapid rise than would occur within ‘Real Life’ (not the best term in my opinion, but good shorthand for life outside of the game), but the principles are generally the same – being open to helping wherever possible, and being eager to learn and help others can often lead to more responsibility within any area of life.

Further than that, over the years I have been playing both of these games, I’ve been part of groups that have had good organisation and leadership skills; groups with bad leadership, but good organisation; groups with charismatic leaders, and terrible organisation; and groups with bad organisation and leadership. I’ve learnt to cope with all of these situations, and even thrive under a few of them. I’ve also been a part of running groups of both large amounts of people (in the case of the group previously mentioned, almost 100 people), and smaller groups (less than 20 people), with varied success at both. These are management skills, and experiences that I can call on again if I am ever in a similar situation. Tribal Wars has a lot of strategy involved, as much of the game revolves around building a village, and using the various soldiers that the village can train in order to both defend the territory I already hold, and taking the territory of rivals in my area. Because of this I am no stranger to making what can often be hard decisions about what works best given the current situation (which can often be in conflict with my natural tendencies – which is towards defense, and a strong economy), with both a short term, and a long term goal in mind.

There are more things that I have learnt throughout my experiences with both of these games, and with many different games in general, but I don’t want this post to get any longer – it already seems to be looking like an extended resume, and I’d hate for it to get any longer……

So have any of you learnt anything meaningful from playing a video game? Has it just been something trivial? Have you not learnt anything (or haven’t played enough to see any learning happen)? Do you have any thoughts of the subject? Is this (either the topic, or the asking questions at the end of a post) something you’d like me to do again?

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4 responses to “What I’ve Learnt Through Gaming

  1. Oh, and an afterthought……

    If you also read my other Blog – The Digital Missions Blog – stay tuned for a post (the first in a long time) there sometime in the next few days…..

  2. Well said Ben.
    What you said is worthy of putting in your resume. Within the frame work of game playing resulting in managent and leadership skills, how has non gaming life experience helped you in leadership within the gaming experience.

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