5 Life Lessons I Learned from Video Games

Vlad Micu is an aspiring game professional from the Netherlands. He possesses a Bachelor in Communications and recently finished a Masters degree in New Media and Digital Culture at the University of Utrecht.

In 2007, he founded his own company; VGVisionary to build up is contacts and experience within the industry. During that time, he has had the opportunity to travel the world and attend numerous trade shows, as well as work on several video games.

He’s written for media outlets out of various countries including magazine,Control Magazine and foreign media such as CriticalGamer.co.uk, XBLAFans.com and Game Mode Magazine. He’s now on the job market where he hopes to find a position that allows him to contribute to the game industry on both innovative gameplay and new business models.

We’re seeing more and more people getting their entertainment needs from videogames. And even though conventional wisdom suggests otherwise that video games don’t seem like a primary source for any of the wisdom we find in many books and sometimes movies, videogames do have a couple of important life lessons to teach you in the process of playing them. Here are some I am faced with almost daily.

Man, I need to hit the gym

Imagine you were expected to run and jump as much as most videogame protagonists. It’s tiring just to think about it, but today most people perform almost no physical effort at all. All the popular videogame characters have a perfect physique, so use that as a reminder that you can be as healthy and fit if you are willing to put the effort into it! It’s just like with Role Playing Games (RPGs). Leveling up takes time, but if you put in the effort in real life like you do your virtual avatar, you will be rewarded.

People can be very predictable, so try not to be!

In any competitive game, ranging from shooters to strategy games, I often find myself picking easy targets because most people simply walk the same line every game. The only thing I have to do is wait for the other players to make the same mistake. This might sound stupid, but even I still lose a couple of games that way. If you’re doing something competitive in the real world, it is the same way. Varied tactics result in a stronger chance of success. Don’t do the same thing every time. Shake things up!

It’s ok to have a nemesis in your life

Especially in online games where you play with 16 or more opponents, there’s always this one player that keeps getting this best of you over and over. Like it or not, having a nemesis in a game is very much like in real life. It’s not a bad thing to have one, but you have to remember to be able to fight him and not forget your other responsibilities while doing so. It’s ok to let other people push you toward success, but you need to remember your main goals and keep them your priority. Don’t let competition become petty.

Practice in order to succeed

I’ve had my share of professional gaming in the early days, and it hass taught me a couple of important lessons. Even though Esports has never officially become acknowledged as a sport (except in South-Korea, perhaps), the people that have become professional gamers (like Jonathan ‘Fatal1ty’ Wendell) always radiate an important lesson: if you want to be the best at something, practice, practice and practice even more. It is the same way with real life skills. If you want to be good at something you need to practice. A lot.

Life has no save game (or sequels)

It’s easy to save your progress right before a very difficult level or boss in a game. But making right decisions in real life have much larger repercussions. Take care of your loved ones, cherish the joys of life and don’t believe that bad things will get better with time. It’s up to you to make your life as great as you possibly can. As far as we know it, there’s no second level after this one!