Author Topic: 12 life lessons computer games have taught us  (Read 499 times)

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Offline Miss Demeanour

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12 life lessons computer games have taught us
« on: January 16, 2010, 03:16:19 PM »
[1] Time heals all wounds - In their own way, games want to reassure us that time is the greatest healer of all. So say the countless first-person shooters in which all injuries can be mended by crouching quietly in a corner and waiting a few seconds before charging back into battle. Since the health bar went out of fashion, mighty shooters such as Call of Duty 4 have turned to regenerative health systems. Time heals all wounds. Literally

[2] Entrepreneurship - In these troubled economic times, classic games have something to teach us about money. Mario was forever bopping precious gold coins out of floating blocks. When Link was strapped for cash, he?d smash ceramic pots and cut tall grass to reveal hidden Rupees. In the absence of floating blocks and smashable pots, we?ll have to take this as a symbolic lesson: with effort and diligence, money can be found in pretty unlikely places. Or possibly down the back of the sofa?

[3] Never Give Up - If there?s a game to teach us to hang on in there, even when victory seems out of reach, it?s Mario Kart. You might be stuck in last place mere seconds from the end of the race, desperately trying to overtake Wario, then bam! You pick up a Starman or a Bullet Bill and you?re blasting into the lead

[4] There?s no ?I? in ?team? - Certain multiplayer games not only reward you for working as a team but punish you for trying to lone wolf your way through a level. Take zombie shooter Left 4 Dead, for instance. You might have a full bar of health and ammo to spare, but leave your fellow survivors behind to strike out on your own and soon the AI Director will have a Hunter pounce on you. Then where will you be? Incapacitated and alone, that?s where.

[5] Car Security - Occasionally, we pick up tips not from our game?s hero but from the long-suffering non-player characters around him. Take Grand Theft Auto IV. The ease with which auto-thieving Niko Bellic hauls Liberty City residents out of their cars at traffic lights tells us one thing: lock your doors when driving

[6] First aid - If the Resident Evil series is to be believed, herbs have the power to heal all kinds of major injuries. Ground up and mixed together they are particularly potent against zombie maulings. We think the moral here is something about putting our trust in herbal medicine and traditional remedies, but we?d apply this lesson with caution. Plenty of other games stick to proper med kits.

[7] - Pack spare batteries -Many a first-person shooter has hammered home the lesson: torches are unreliable. They will cut out at the worst possible moment.

[8] Don't trust technology - We?ve all had bad days with technology ? days on which we?d swear our computers were out to get us. Games such as System Shock and Portal, where the machines (SHODAN and GLaDOS respectively) really are trying to kill you, make those paranoid suspicions real. The lesson? When you give total control to a computer, it?s only a matter of time before it pulls a Skynet on you and you?re running for your life.

[9] Practice makes perfect - It?s a gamer lesson that can be liberally applied to the non-gaming world: practice makes perfect, particularly with tricky jobs or games. Work hard at a skill (say, playing Ninja Gaiden) and regularly repeat a task (say, hacking down enemies), and soon you?ll be an unstoppable expert. Just like in real life

[10]  Chemical safety - Should you ever find yourself in a firefight, don?t take cover near barrels that are red or marked as flammable, especially if you are a henchman.

[11] Get help - In games, as in life, you get stuck from time to time. You come up against a problem ? a puzzle or an enemy, maybe ? that you just can?t crack.  At such a time, you go online and find a walkthrough (or a cheat). Problem solved. The moral of the story: there?s no shame in looking for help in the right places, from people who?ve been there and done that.

[12] Your princess is in another castle - This gaming trope originated in Super Mario Bros, in Mario?s tenacious searching for the kidnapped Princess Toadstool.We like to think of it as a hopeful metaphor for single gamers looking for love: you might have to stomp a lot of Goombas and search a lot of castles, but in the end you?ll find that special someone

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