Waste of time? Or learning valuable lessons?
They’re pure escapism for some, myself included, but the myriad world of online gaming and MMORPGs (massive multiplayer online role playing games) in particular can actually teach us a lot about life…
Thirty years ago I played tabletop RPGs, like Dungeons & Dragons and Warhammer, in a damp basement with some of my best friends. We connected over wild adventures, we argued, we played. We had fun.
Now, I play online with new friends from across the globe. But it’s not only about slaying goblins, finding treasure and casting spells. There’s much more going on when you take a look under the surface.
Here’s the top ten things playing RPG’s have taught me about Life!
1) Just because something is too difficult for you right now (because you don’t have the right skills or equipment) doesn’t mean it will always be this way. Keep Leveling up. Progress is the priority.
2) The more you Play, the better at it you’ll get! Plan, Commit, Practice, Win! It’s part of the process to make mistakes and get things wrong, that’s how you learn. And to get the Best results – learn the right buttons to push!
3) Always have conversations with Strangers; All the best adventures start in this way.
4) When you get stuck, asking for help saves you wasting a lot of time and energy wondering in circles trying to find answers that someone else has already figured out.
5) Teamwork is required to complete harder quests and tasks. Making tasks fun, and finding a loyal Party that understand your style of game play makes everything run smoother. Attempting everything Solo doesn’t make success impossible, but it’s certainly more challenging and far more lonely.
6) Some Players will want to Hack the game or find shortcuts. They’re rarely around for long. Don’t be tempted by cheat-codes, as they make your victories feel hollow. Nothing worthwhile was ever gained with ease.
7) Play the damn Tutorial! Beginner lessons are there for a reason; so you can get a firm grasp on the basics. Often when you jump straight in you’ll end up lost later on – or missing an important piece of basic strategy.
8) You’re allowed to start again. And although you may feel as though you’ve lost your progress, you get to keep your knowledge and experience. Use that knowledge wisely. It’s a powerful process to admit when something isn’t working and cut your losses even after you’ve heavily invested in it. And despite what you’re afraid of, the lessons you learned first time round will make the rebuild much easier.
9) Play to your Skills! Strength comes in many forms. Intelligence and Wisdom are very different skills; people with both are a rare breed. And never forget that Charisma will often unlock far more doors, hearts and minds than every other skill combined.
10) Finally, there’s always a Plot Twist! Smile and enjoy it, it’s just part of the game.
So if anyone tells you you’re wasting your time playing video games, you now have 10 great comebacks 😉
Have Fun, and Play hard! Those things are often the best antidotes for Stress.
But as the saying goes when the Fun stops, Stop. While gaming can be a great way to escape, connect and relax, if you feel you’re becoming detached from the real world, or find you are neglecting your real life responsibilities, it may be time to step away.
There’s a tipping point with any activity between it being healthy and it becoming an obsession, or addiction. As a Professional Hypnotherapist I understand that getting that balance right can be hard sometimes…and I’ll refer you back to point 4.