The gaming community has gotten a lot of negative criticism over the years. A lot of people see gamers as people who don’t work hard, don’t have jobs, are unsuccessful, waste time, are anti-social, and the list goes on.
I actually have a very different perspective on video games and the positive benefits that gaming can have on people.
Learning To Be Competitive
Anytime you’re playing a video game, you’re always either competing against yourself, A.I., or other people.
Competition is one of those things that’s involved in so many aspects of life. Learning how to take losses and overcome failure is an unbelievably crucial part of becoming successful at anything.
When you’re playing video games, you’re constantly overcoming obstacles, solving problems, competing against other players, taking losses, and finding new ways to win and improve your abilities.
Over the past 2 years I’ve been obsessed with Rocket League. The ranking system drives a deep competitive spirit that makes the game so fascinating and challenging. I had to learn new skills and abilities at every new rank in order to keep up with the competition and then of course to excel to the next rank.
These overarching concepts are no different than playing sports, academia, sales, and really just the road to becoming an expert at any skill. Gaming is just a fun way to practice these concepts which can transfer over into everything else that you do in your life.
Games Are Educational
Sure, Assassin’s Creed is an incredibly fun game for running, jumping around, climbing buildings, and slashing up enemies, but there’s an entire underlying world of educational content which is what truly makes the game so fascinating.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is an open world action-adventure game set in 16th century Rome. What better way to learn about Rome during that time than to immerse yourself into that world while playing?
Also with first person shooter games like the Battlefield series and the Call Of Duty series you can learn a ton about major wars, locations of battles, political conflicts, weaponry, war tactics, and so much more.
Some of these games might as well be a long history lesson except even better because it’s actually fun. If you can associate positive, fun experiences while learning through game play, I think there’s a better chance that the things you learn will stick in your head.
You Can Make Real World Money
Playing video games on streaming and video platforms like YouTube and Twitch allows gamers to be entrepreneurs. Of course there are many levels to it. Some gamers make a little bit of side money, some make enough for a living, and some rake in a ton of money and are incredibly financially successful.
Streamers make money in a variety of ways:
Of course you need to be entertaining in some sort of way to get viewers and exposure to your stream or you can just be super good at whichever game you’re playing. You also have to be able to cultivate a community around your content if you want to be a really successful streamer.
The skills you need to be a successful streamer are like any other skills. They have to be practiced and you have to spend time educating yourself on the ins and outs of streaming. Maybe some people are naturally good at entertaining others and building communities but don’t fool yourself into thinking you can’t teach yourself how to be good at anything if you feel that you aren’t good yet.
Being a competitive gamer at the top level takes a ton of time and dedication, but it can make money. If you have the guts to put in the work to get to the top level of e-sports, some of the prize pools are absolutely insane.
Some of the largest overall prize pools for tournaments for different games:
Dota 2 — The International 8: $25.5 million
League of Legends - The 2018 World Championship: $6.4 million
Fortnite — Fall Skirmish Series: $4 million
Smite — The 2015 World Championship: $2.6 million
Halo — The 2016 World Championship: $2.5 million
Call of Duty — The 2016 World Championship: $2 million
Of course these tournaments are at the biggest stage of these games, but there are so many smaller tournaments that players can compete in and still make money.
I think e sports will continue to grow and competitive gaming for a living can be a reality for a lot of people.
Make Friends And Socialize
Even the most introverted people can makes friends and socialize with other gamers. I met one of my best friends in high school because we bonded over a game that we both loved called Runescape. Hadn’t I played that game I don’t think I would have ever met him but I’m so thankful I did!
People from all around the world play video games too so there’s an amazing opportunity to talk and interact with really diverse people. You can make friends from different countries and it can be a great opportunity to network. With the internet, anything is possible.
I think Discord pretty much changed the game of group chats for gamers so I have to give it a shoutout.
With Discord you can set up or join other chat servers with your friends. It’s a great way to communicate with fellow gamers and of course, share dank memes with each other.
Skype and TeamSpeak were the best voice and text chat platforms for gamers but Skype was limited and a bit of a hassle and TeamSpeak servers weren’t free.
Discord is completely free, it’s secure, and you can also have the Discord App on your phone. The App is absolutely phenomenal. It’s easy to use and I’ve been using it for about 2 years now with absolutely zero issues.
Originally published at https://austinhoward.tech on June 20, 2019.