Some Insights That I Unexpectedly Learned From Games and Gamers

Video Games are becoming more and more recognized as something beyond children’s past time. Studies have shown the benefits of gaming like improving cognitive abilities and decision-making. Though my primary reason is entertainment, I sometimes find myself gaining some new insights, which may or may not be intended to be conveyed from a game.  Here are some of the things that I learned while playing or watching other people’s gaming moments.

1) You have the capability to overcome the tightest situations as long as you don’t give up. (Daigo on Street Fighter III – Third Strike)

Daigo Umehara is a pro Street Fighter player who competes and wins on several prestigious tournaments. The video shown above proves his exceptional skill. In the footage, Daigo plays as Ken which is hanging by a thread with only one chip damage away from losing. However, the crowd goes wild when he was able to counter the entire super move sequence of Chun-Li unleashed by his opponent Justin Wong. I can’t imagine how I could pull off something like that if I was in that situation. The pressure from the crowd and anxiety from my opponent’s advantage will just drown my motivation to keep fighting. I realized that I have this mindset, even outside of my gaming life which is unhealthy. If I could emulate the tenacity and focus of Daigo, I can overcome more challenges no matter how tough it may be.

2) Passive income is important in earning more money. (Cookie Clicker)

Cookie Clicker is browser-based game where the main aim is to produce as fast and many as possible. You start off with producing a single cookie per click. Once you’ve earned enough number of cookies, you can use it to purchase structures, units, and items that will improve your cookie production. We can make an analogy out of this by comparing the cookie (the currency of the game) to real-world money. We earn our money through our jobs, which focuses on our core skill. This corresponds to producing cookies through clicks (manual production). In the game, it will take some time to have a lot of cookies if you do things by mouse click alone, so you buy the stuff that will increase the pace of your production. This is the same with real-life wherein you have the choice to invest on some type of business or funds that will give you some passive income and in turn will significantly increase your financial resource. Maybe a thing to take note here is that the game doesn’t simulate any risks for purchasing the available items, but at least it’s a good motivation to utilize the resources that you have.

3) Game ideas are cheap until you put it into life. (Game Dev Story)

In game dev story, you’re in the shoes of a CEO of a startup game company. You develop games and make your company grow to hire more capable staff members. Improve the quality of your games to earn more sales and win awards. Part of the game’s mechanics is the possibility that the game you’re currently working is similar to a game that is released while your production is on-going. This will affect the sales of your game once its released. Anyone can easily speak about his/her own game ideas, but it’s probably not as unique as you thought it was and other developers are actually  working on it. So for those who really want to make their own games, take it seriously and study how it’s done or else your ideas will either be materialized by others, or it will just end up in a vapor trail.

4) Nothing can stop you to do what you really want to do. (Broly on Super Street Fighter IV)

When you can’t use your hands, you probably won’t choose to play video games as a hobby, but Broly (gamer tag) took it to the next level by joining fighting game tournaments for Street Fighter IV and Super Smash Bros. Melee. It never fails to amaze me how people with disabilities persevere to do things which may deem challenging to them and at some point perform better than those who are not physically challenged.

5) We can overcome our obstacles based on our perspective. (Echochrome)

Echochrome is a unique puzzle game where you shift the camera perspective to cover holes, join paths, or catch your character in mid-air to shift it to another place. The player will use these rules in order for his or her character to reach a goal point. Sometimes, the worries we have don’t actually exist. In order to avoid negative thoughts, we can change our perspective and focus on our goal. Just like in the game, the holes may represent our imaginary problems and changing the way we look at the situation may reveal that we can actually pass through and such problems were not there on the first place. Joining paths may pertain to finding a solution to get us closer to our goals. Most probably, the designer did not intend to send such message to the players, but I’m still glad I came up with something as deep as this insight out of a game.

Learning these things adds motivation for me to stay as a gamer and a game developer. As someone who is working in the game industry, I’m hoping that someday I can make a game that will touch other people’s lives or at the very least, give a lasting impact to players and make them ponder on something profound or significant. Until then… I’ll continue to enjoy my games. (~^_^)~