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Things You Learn From Video Games that Apply to College and Beyond

Things You Learn From Video Games that Apply to College and Beyond

Kyiara draws comparisons between playing video games and living your life.

By Kyiara Griffen

December 08, 2011

With the relaxation of winter break in mind, we also take out time to remember the frivolity of our younger years (along with the hours on the PS3 in the common room). Fortunately, those games have prepared you for more than a nostalgia run at Super Mario: video games teach us to follow a surprising range of rules that apply to college, as well.

Every Gamer and College Student Knows…

To Plan For The Important Things

No matter what you want to do with your life, you need to make plans. You realized it as a child while figuring out how to make Super Mario jump across nearly impassable ledges, and you know it now. No matter what your reasons are, planning is important. Trying to rush through a project or button mash your way through a level only works until the A.I. catches on. Planning gives you time to focus and assess a situation.

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To Become Competent At Your Craft

In college and gaming, situations are prepared to increase in difficulty and train you. Freshman year begins with introductory writing classes that give one to five page assignments, and the papers steadily increase in length and depth. Similarly, games start with reminders about the appropriate button to press and progress to more complex combinations.

Interestingly enough, the training in both situations only provides you with tools. Games only tell you which button to press: they rarely tell you when. When you take an exam, no one tells you exactly when to use each piece of information learned in class. The ability to put that information together falls on you.

Competency in college has far-ranging advantages. Competency implies a degree of reliability. Putting the information you learn in college together effectively can transfer to the workforce. Being a part of a successful group project in your history class is a small, but positive step towards preparing a successful presentation at work.

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To Be Sociable

Whether you play games online or not, many games are created with some intention towards a multiplayer mode. Likewise, the skills you gain in college are developed with the understanding that you will use those skills in the world around you.

The truth is many multi-player modes require competency from all the players on a team (because you are only as strong as your weakest link) and a lot of communication. Although further investigation is needed, current studies are showing that there is a relationship between prosocial gaming and becoming a more sociable person. Likewise, students who step outside their comfort zone to achieve a goal on campus are more likely to succeed. It does not matter what you study in college if you cannot share that ability with anyone.

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Keep gaming in perspective. Unless you want to become a better surgeon (as in, you are already performing in that area and want to improve), join the military, or work with games in general, using a video game to upgrade your job skills is improbable. If you want to burn off some steam after a long day of classes or work, however, then you can thank gaming for giving you a break straight out of your childhood.


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