A far move from simple point and click adventures, the storylines of video games present their players with choices and decisions that have effects that can last long after the controller has been put away. From diplomacy to taking responsibility for actions, we can learn skills for our own lives from those of our video game characters. Two writers for The Edge talk us through some of the lessons they’ve learned from video games:
University involves a lot of juggling responsibilities until it all kinda works and in that aspect it’s pretty damn similar to the Civilisation franchise, in particular, the 6th. You have to be able to not just manage yourself, but also your entire empire. Finding a balance between a strong military, a leading scientific outlook, and dominant religion, all while making sure everything runs smoothly within cities. This mirrors the need to carefully manage a healthy work-life balance (and not spend all your time dancing the night away in Jesters).
The same can be said about other games in the simulation genre – such as The Sims or Zoo Tycoon; they all need careful balancing to succeed – however Civ requires much more consideration due to the sheer number of things that can go wrong. Another thing that the Civ franchise can teach us is that, no matter what, the smallest thing can trigger a catastrophe – much like just “borrowing” that pint of milk can cause World War 3 to break out in your flat. Another thing that may trigger conflict in your flat is crossing boundaries, be it leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen (aka no-mans’ land), or invading other’s rooms uninvited. There is a diplomatic challenge in shared living; one that can be finessed using skills learned from Civilization 6.
- Jack Nash
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
As a history student, it’s important that I think critically about the information presented, that I don’t always take the evidence at face value. The Assassin’s Creed commands its followers “to be wise” and throughout the games we are taught how to do that. In Assassin’s Creed Syndicate this is shown through Jacob’s brash actions. Action solely based on instinct can be dangerous to people around us, and like Jacob’s partnership with Maxwell Roth shows, can have serious consequences. We have to take responsibility for our actions, as well as being mindful of how others are affected by what we do.
But on the other side of the spectrum is Evie, who plans and has contingencies for the slightest upset. There is no room for error and that can cause stress and is frankly something that I as a perfectionist and student can relate to. We have to learn that not everything goes to plan and we don’t always get a perfect outcome; we just have to roll with it and carry on. Sometimes it’s better to let events out of your control happen, as after all, they can lead you to opportunities that are better than the ones you had planned for.
Evie’s lesson is one that I find myself still learning, but that’s okay; both Evie and Jacob don’t learn their lessons overnight, so why should we be expected to?
- Louise Chase