Fine, I am 27. Probably younger than thee and slightly older than your first retro game console. I perfectly agree I may not be in the best position to give life advice but then, fuck that! Let’s just say I do something you likely haven’t done your entire life besides binging beer, being a fapper, and deep snoring- I play video games!
Maybe in my next life, I will probably be a professional gamer than be a medic. Just imagine being cheered on by one million geeks at an Esports World Gaming event- ballistic! Wet dreams if after twenty-three gruelling hours of non-stop clicks, a soaked butt, shoots, kills, and secure the flag, I am crowned Best Gamer of The Century!
Sadly, next life hasn’t come. You are still reading a medic’s post. The much anticipated Ps 5 launch event has been delayed again(Update: a beautiful launch event yet no price). Sigh! I guess not all dreams do come true.
In this post, I share the top five unique life lessons video games have taught me in my relatively short gaming life.
#1: LIFE IS AN UNFORGIVING RPG
If you aren’t a video games fanatic, you probably are lost reading this. Hold on tight I promise to rescue you.
Video games like The Witcher series, Mass Effect, Dishonored and Telltale’s The Walking Dead rank up high as some of the best RPG games ever made. In Role-playing games, your video game character’s actions have consequences. These actions sometimes irrevocable, alter the storyline and affects largely how the ending of the video game pans out. In essence, there are multiple endings and thus, a unique story a player ends up with is a sum of all actions he took.
RPGS IN REAL LIFE
In real life, this resonates with one of the Universe’s most important laws: “The law of cause and effect”. This states :
law of cause and effect
In essence, you are master of your own destiny. Whatever conditions or situation you are in(effect) now, is as a result of certain actions you took(cause). If you are currently single, you probably have decided to prioritize fapping and binge-watching all Netflix episodes of La Casa De Papel in your couch over going out there and socializing. If you are a deadbeat husband, you just decided family comes second to alcoholism and shagging any random skeleton in a skirt.
You are making choices, these are your causes! Your social
If you are reading this, get this firmly drilled into your skull: Some effects from the causes you make can be devastating and can flip your world upside down. You probably know someone who made a string of bad decisions and messed up big time, don’t you?
Spoiler alert: After being a “nice guy” to Ciri in Witcher 3, she ignored my command when it mattered most. She died(effect). I was so pissed. Then I realized all along, I was being a shitty dad and not being hard enough on her(cause). Did I have any idea what the consequences of my actions were? Hell no. Brilliant game 10/10
#2: TO EACH A UNIQUE DEFAULT SETTING
One of the very first things you do when you start a video game is selecting a difficulty setting based on your skill level. Play amateur difficulty on FIFA 20 and you are bound to hit 10 goals against AI no matter how bad you are. Choose über (most difficult level) on Wolfenstein: The New Order and you won’t survive two minutes.
THE LIFE LESSON
Welcome to life! Unlike in video games where you choose your starting difficulty settings, in real life, things are out of your control at the beginning of your life. You don’t choose your race, colour, genes and family. Not everyone is lucky enough to be born to Kanye West as a father who can afford a gold-plated toilet seat for a 5 days old baby. What are the chances of that happening for you? 0.00000001%. Unfair huh?
Truth is, if you are unlucky to be born into a very poor family, life could be similar to starting Uber-like level in Wolfenstein. You probably won’t survive serious illnesses, get quality education, quality nutrition and good parental care. If you are short, chances are you will find it difficult bagging a hot chick who is obsessed with gladiator-esque men.
Being dealt a bad hand in the beginning although sucks, is not your fault. You have absolutely no control. But hey, people have beaten the odds to make it. People have gone from novice to Pro-gamers, people have gone from grass to riches. You just have to get good at beating life at its game. Improve at something. Add value to your life. Give yourself a better chance of making it.
#3: PERSISTENCE IS REWARDED
Ask any avid gamer some of the most difficult video games they have played and 9 out 10 will mention Dark Souls. This game is incredibly difficult. Check out this chilling stat!
Q: How many Dark Souls II players die every second?
A: Console gamers die 150,443 times per hour in Dark Souls II. That’s 2,507 deaths per minute, or 42 every single second.
Now that’s 23 times faster than the real-world death rate(as of 2011)! If the game is that hard why do players persist to beat the game? The answer to that question was discovered in 1954.
James Olds and Peter Milner co-discovered a part of the brain called the “Pleasure Centre” while experimenting on some rats in the lab. Only this time, the setting wasn’t in outer space and didn’t feature Dwane Johnson(Rampage). Pun intended!
THE PLEASURE CENTERS RESEARCH
They realized electrical stimulation via implanted electrodes in the septal area of the rat’s brain triggered released of Dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. The same chemical involved in addiction to hard drugs, sex, alcohol. This made the rats continue to press a lever incessantly even at the expense of eating and drinking for sustenance. See the link?
Dark Souls gamers have activated their Dopamine pathways. They are persevering for the ultimate reward: beating the game. You get good at something if you persevere hard enough. I am talking obsession level kind of perseverance. Don’t half-ass efforts if you want to get good at something. Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammates rave about how obsessed he is with getting good at football. And with five Ballon
Maybe it’s about time, your dopamine pathways got hooked to something productive other than social media, texting, hard drugs, porn and excessive video gaming. Be obsessed. And even when you fail over and over again, be like the Dark Souls player, don’t ever give up. Your persistence will be rewarded in the end.
#4: FLIP TO WALKTHROUGHS
For 3 hours, I was stuck trying to crack a puzzle in Ninja Theory’s aesthetically stunning videogame, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Got so pissed, I smashed my X360 controller against my bed(No one got the luxury to do TV smashing.Lol). Fast forward 30 minutes, I met a friend who claimed he had beaten the game in 6 days. The hell! I was at this game for two and a half weeks. “How did you do it?” “Oh, I watched Youtube walkthroughs”. Whaaaat?????
WHAT ARE WALKTHROUGHS?
If you are new to the gaming world, there are gamers on Youtube who beat games in the shortest possible time for a sport. They upload the videos for others viewing pleasure. They call these videos “walkthroughs”. These guys have gone through the pain to teach you the ways to beat the game if only you will throw your pride away and watch them do it.
THE SUBTLE ART OF PUSHING PRIDE ASIDE
In real life, you really don’t have to know everything. You can be the most brilliant surgeon yet suck as a dad. That’s the shortfall of our lives as humans. You can’t have it all. But there comes a point in your life, you have to give up on your ego and ask for help. Walkthroughs can come in the form of parents advice, teachers, mentors, good books, seminars among others.
Going through a massive mental breakdown? Seeing a psychologist instead of trying to figure out shit on your own is a critical walkthrough. There are 1001 self-help books and blogs like mine that can teach you invaluable life skills. All it requires is, to have an “I don’t know shit, teach me more” mentality.
Just as there is a beautiful saying “There is nothing new under the sun”, whatever you are going through, someone has been there and done it. You just need to find them and extract the juicy info.
#5: ONLY THE CREATOR KNOWS THE END
Sucks but we have to admit, no matter what we do, only the game developer knows the true consequences of our actions. Only he knows the perfect ending(effect) and knows the precise “causes” that can lead there.
I do believe God or whoever you serve, knows the perfect ending and for all the actions we take, knows the ending that pans out. It is the limitation we have as humans. We aren’t omniscient.
If that is the case, what is there to lose? Be ready to take a step unto uncertainty, and be responsible enough to take and live with the consequences. Unfortunately, that is the shitty part of our lives we suck at – taking responsibility for our actions. No one wants to admit they were wrong. No one wants to be seen as a loser. When shit hits the roof, we play the victim to draw the crowd to our side.
Hey Player One, I sat down to type this long post for you to read. Promise yourself you will take charge of your life, and believe you have nothing to lose in the end. In the end, we all die. What is failure in the face of death?
Gaming is more than just entertainment! It is a way of life. (My origin id: charlieb_maxx, Psn id: charliedr944)
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Cover Image: Aurion Legacy of the Kori-Odan