I gotta say in the tender age of 37 I have a love-hate relationship with video games. My childhood, youth and adolescence are chock-full of playing them. From Great Gianna Sisters on Commodore 64 to Klei’s wonderful games on PC I am playing them, enjoying them (guiltily, if I’m being honest) and just love talking about them.
In this post I want to write down some of the stuff I’ve learned from video games. First and foremost I must add that whatever English I know at the moment, is because of those text adventure games. So thank you Infocom, Sierra and Delphine Software for relentlessly engaging my language brain.
Without further ado, let’s begin:
Eve online is often criticized as “Excel with spaceships” but I disagree. It is a playground of human interaction, deceit and machiavellianism. But most importantly it teaches you one thing: “Do NOT fly what you can’t afford to lose”. We can change this to anything and it doesn’t lose its meaning and importance. Do not risk what you can’t afford to lose.
Generally these games, especially Civilization, is a practical history lesson. There are many many lessons that can be drawn from these games but one I most cherish is this: Unless you have a technological/military/economical difference from other players - and even if you do - getting along with other players does pay. Trying to wage war until there is no enemy left is a policy that often results in mired wars, economy that doesn’t rise above single digits and unhappy citizens all around. And as a leader you find yourself in a position that you want to end it all, but no one is willing to make peace with you because of your warmongering attitude.
WAAAGH! should be the last option, not the first.
Elite 2/Freelancer/Space Action-Sims in general
To quote Robert A. Heinlein:
Nothing of value is free. Even the breath of life is purchased at birth only through gasping effort and pain… The best things in life are beyond money; their price is agony and sweat and devotion… and the price demanded for the most precious of all things in life is life itself–ultimate cost for perfect value.
C&C / Dune 2 / RTS Games in general / Roguelikes
Do your planning before committing to an action. But also bear in mind that no plan survives the contact (With an enemy or with reality). So be ready to roll with the changes, not losing the grand vision in the process. Also, having a better, nicer, stronger tool/toy/unit doesn’t make the previous tools obsolete. There is always a hidden cost of time and learning with any new tool/idea/etc.
Thank you for reading! Happy new year to all of you!