Unless you’ve been under a rock or completely unconscious, you know how popular games and the gaming industry has become over the last 10 years. A multi-billion dollar industry, gaming, has impacted everything from foreign policy to the sports world. The impact on games and training in the military has even changed the way we fight wars. And if you have children, you know what it does to kids whenever they are sent to their rooms to clean. The reality is, even if you don’t like them, video games have come and aren’t going anywhere.
To be honest, I haven’t regularly played video games since the days of Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers. Considered high tech for its time, games have moved into more futuristic formats. We are talking about movement simulators, sensors that detect body gestures and with the introduction of Wii, you don’t even need wires or connectors. I was one of those adults who swore that games were a waste of time and I had more important life missions than sitting on a couch wasting my time. What I found the other day was another perspective from a true ‘gamer’ on what I could learn if I took the time. Here’s how my obsessed gaming friend schooled me:
- Games teach us about rules: Everything in our life has a set of standards, rules if you will. These rules govern the basic platform of performance. The cool thing about games is that after you successfully conquer the beginner’s rules, you are than ready to take on the larger challenge of figuring out how to bypass them. Everyone wants to conquer something. The problem is we start from square one seeking to change the game before we have mastered the rules. Whether you are in advertisement, management or government, you can re-write the game, but first you must master the rules.
- Games teach us about the ladder of success: Everyone in the gaming world talks about the levels they are able to attain. If you are on FaceBook you hear people brag about where they currently are on Candy Crush. The moral of the story is you are not successful until you climb the proverbial ladder to the next level. Sound familiar? Sales are about getting to the next level. Relationships are about getting to the next level. Everything you want out of life is outside of your current comfort zone, or level. Gaming teaches that being satisfied with where you are is a self delusion when there is so much more to available.
- Games teach us that keeping score is still important: Somewhere along the way we stopped valuing the score. I am not saying it is the only thing that matters, but let’s be real…it is important. I grew up in a time where everyone didn’t get a trophy for ‘participating’. Nowadays kids get stickers and such just for showing up. Then when they leave school and join the work force, they have a rude awakening. I think score keeping shows us our potential, leads to our motivation and celebrates those who put forth the effort to train. What would Sundays be like if football scores were not given? Who won? What is the team’s record? Exactly! We need scores to govern our efforts.
With a house full of kids, my mornings usually started off with me confiscating all electronic devices so that we could get out, off to school and work before noon. I would find them hiding in closets or the bathroom just to sneak five more minutes with their precious games. I thought they were addicted, but turns out they may have been learning some valuable life skills too. Either way, my buddy who is an avid gamer has shed some light on the subject for me.
See you at the TOP!
Early L. Jackson Jr., is a successful life coach, speaker, and author. He has a special ability to build leaders, while developing people to a life of happiness, with deep, lasting satisfaction and fulfillment. His overarching belief “If we are to exercise our full status and potential in this life we must be retrained in our daily behavior and mind sets” is a prevalent and recurring theme in his teachings. Visit him at EarlyJacksonCoaching.com