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What We Can Learn From Gamers — My Personal Experience


We often hear about how our relationship with technology and the internet causes us harm. We hear stories of social media addiction, of echo chambers, and of a generally toxic internet culture, but I feel that there is one group of people whose relationship with technology actually enriches their lives rather than drains it—the gamers. While gaming certainly has its fair share of negative effects, most of these are less from gaming specifically and more an issue with screen use in general. From my personal experience, gamers maintain a healthier relationship with technology that I think we could all learn from. Here’s what makes gamers’ relationship with technology special. 


Gamers learn — bigtime

An AND gate built in Minecraft.

I can’t even remotely describe all the things that I’ve learned because of gaming. Here’s a list of just some of the things I’ve learned:

  • I learned how logic gates and computer hardware work because I wanted to build a computer in minecraft. 

  • I learned about hand-eye coordination and what “keep your eye on the ball” really meant in practice from first person shooter games. 

  • I learned how file systems and computer applications work because of managing game installations and modding. 

  • I learned how progressing in skills can be aided by learning from those more experienced and by dedicating large amounts of time to that skill for short periods of time because of a particular summer where I did nothing but play Apex legends for a month. (would not recommend doing so)


This list just scratches the surface of all the things I’ve learned. Some things are quite useful — like how to get better at skills, and some are less useful — like how logic gates work. Most importantly, I’ve learned how to find and verify information on the internet because of gaming. 

I seriously doubt my friend group would be as close as it is if we had just sat in a group call talking.

So what can we learn from this? Well . . . 1) The media we consume can teach us things or inspire us to go out and learn something. If you watch Saving Private Ryan, you’re probably going to learn something about WW2 and D-Day, or if you’re a huge swiftie, you might be inclined to learn how to sing so you can rock out in the car with better pitch. 2) We learn best when we’re having fun. I don’t know about you, but I know that I have an easier time concentrating and remembering information when I’m having fun while learning. 


Technology connects gamers rather than dividing them

Me and my friends before we defeated the ender dragon in Minecraft.

Video games offer a wonderful way to not only talk to friends but also to interact with them. My friends and I have built entire villages in minecraft, worked as a team in Rainbow Six Siege, and been scared out of our minds in Lethal Company. These interactions not only leave us with positive memories but also bring us closer together. I seriously doubt my friend group would be as close as it is if we had just sat in a group call talking. It was doing together, not just being together that formed bonds. 


But gaming doesn’t just strengthen bonds between friends, it allows for interaction between groups that might not otherwise come together. Games don’t track your interests and use an algorithm to connect you to similar people like most social media platforms, so they are a melting pot of wildly different people who all share an interest in gaming. For me, this mixing of different interests, values, and beliefs has changed and broadened my perspective. I’ve met people from West Virginia, from Colorado, from Canada, and even across the Atlantic with someone from Wales. All of these interactions genuinely impacted me. 


So what can all of this teach us? 1) Interaction, shared experiences, are where bonds are formed and strengthened. Talking is nice but doing something is where the magic is at. For the non-gamer, this might look like choosing to facetime instead of just calling someone — that way you can show things to the other person and even interact through gestures. 2) We need interaction with people who are different from us, maybe even to the point that we fundamentally disagree with them. It's very easy to get stuck in a bubble both in the real world and especially in the internet world. Getting access to viewpoints different from yours can be a little tricky on the internet; you could go to social media platforms without algorithms which are rare and often have small user bases, you could purposefully search for a viewpoint different than yours, or you could try and meet individuals to get that non-algorithm interaction. 3) We connect with people through our similarities despite our differences. Without any similarities it’s unlikely you’ll even be able to hold a conversation with someone let alone have them change your perspective. Seek out people who are different from you but make sure there’s something tying you two together. 


Whether you’re a gamer or not, there’s something we could all learn from the special relationship gamers have with technology. At the end of the day, it’s all about making sure that the way you use tech is benefitting you, not holding you back.

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Kody Weninger
Kody Weninger
15 de mai.

I agree with the not being as close to my friend group without games, I've learned a ton about my friends by playing games with them.

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Duncan DeMarr
Duncan DeMarr
15 de mai.

gmaim

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