Do Video Games Teach Problem Solving? Your Questions, Answered


Published in Entertainment Articles

Microsoft’s gaming department brought in 5 billion dollars, and that’s just for 1 fiscal quarter!

Perhaps, one of the reasons the gaming industry is doing so well has to do with new players entering the market. Back when stay-at-home orders were in place, a lot of people found themselves turning to video games for entertainment.

However, is entertainment the only thing video games are good for? Is it also possible that video games can teach problem solving skills?

This article will show you how different action games, like first-person shooter games can help you learn real-life skills. We’ll even throw in a few tips for how you can use your video game experience on a resume.

Read on to learn all about video games and problem solving.

Action Based Problem Solving Video Games

Let’s start by talking about how action-based games can teach problem-solving skills. Action games are any type of video game where the player is in full control, and at the heart of the action.

Typically, action games will include different physical challenges that the player must overcome. Examples of early action video games include things like Donkey Kong.

Platform Genre

There’s a ton of different subgenres that fall under the main category of being an “action” game. Donkey Kong belongs to the platform genre, because of the way that the game was designed. Platform games focus on maneuvering the main character through a series of platforms while avoiding different obstacles.

A lot of arcade games back in the day were platform games. As a player, when you immerse yourself in a platform game experience you engage your brain’s puzzle-solving abilities.

You can think of platform games like giant moving puzzles, where the pieces are always changing. As the player, you have to constantly adapt as you take in new information so that you can reach your goal.

Keeping your eye on the prize, which in this case is getting across the platforms, is a great way to practice focusing. When played correctly, platform games can help you practice paying attention while also engaging your critical thinking skills.

Always Strive for More

Another way Donkey Kong can teach problem-solving skills has to do with creating personal bests. One of the biggest advantages of playing arcade-style games was being able to try to be other people’s top scores.

Seeing that your best, could be bested by somebody else, was motivation to always strive for more. Video game high scores are a great reminder that while you should congratulate yourself for achieving goals, it doesn’t mean you should give up.

Once you achieve a goal, start planning for what’s next. If you don’t take action, there will always be a rival waiting to outdo you.

Lessons From Shooters Style Games

Moving on, another type of action game is a shooter-style game. Shooter games allow the players to use different types of weapons as they engage in the action. Usually, the goal of a shooter game is to take out as many opposing players as possible. There are first-person shooters, third-person shooters, and top-down shooter games.

The style of the game depends on whose point of view you’re seeing the action from. Playing shooter games isn’t going to familiarize you with using real weapons. You’re also not going to suddenly transform into a super ninja just because you’re great at evading your enemies on screen.

However, there are a lot of lessons to be learned when it comes to both solo and team played sessions. Learning how to navigate the maps, and outsmart your enemies will prove to be a challenging experience.

However, the takeaway is that you’ll be improving your ability to think strategically, while also under pressure. One of our favorite shooter games for people to learn from is the first-person shooter called Call Of Duty.

What Call of Duty Teaches Us

Picture it. The game starts and you’re high up in a helicopter, about to jump into uncertainty. Over your headset, you and your teammate briefly review your plan, when suddenly everything starts happening.

You’re on the ground, people are shooting at you, and you don’t even have a weapon! Welcome to Call Of Duty.

When you’re playing Call Of Duty you’ll be acting as a war hero fighting for a noble cause which helps activate our sense of morality. You and your teammates will learn to depend on each other unless you happen to be playing by yourself.

One of the first benefits you’ll get from playing Call Of Duty is cognitive stimulation. The fast-moving game can improve your visual acuity, helping you think fast under pressure.

Fast-Paced Problem Solving Skills Video Games

Pro-tip, whenever you’re playing fast-moving games, you need to play with quality equipment. Always explore your high end gaming options, so you can be sure you won’t lose due to technical problems. Next, do an internet speed test. If your speeds are lacking, ask your provider if they what your upgrade options are.

Dopamine and Personal Growth

Video games feel good for a reason. Intense first-person shooter games can release a rush of dopamine into an area of your brain that can help strengthen your cortical networks. Next, first-person shooter games that rely on team collaboration also help invoke a wonderful sense of gratification.

Whether you’re proud of your accomplishments or beating a high score, you’ll always enjoy growing as a player. When you’re not growing, failure can also be a lesson. It’s frustrating trying to master a video game at the beginning. Everything seems 10 times harder than it should. However, if you’re willing to persevere, the rewards are immense.

As you watch yourself getting better, and reaching new heights, you’ll begin to feel as if anything is possible. If you can master this game, what other areas of your life could you conquer? It’s also exciting when your teammates are real-life friends who get to watch you grow as a player.

They’ll be giving you advice since they too understand the pain of being new at a game. Together, you’ll become a team that learns to fight, and think as one.

Strategic Map Skills

Moving on, first-person shooter games also tend to have a lot of maps for you to learn. The better you know your map, the higher your chances are of being able to outsmart your enemy and reach your objective.

However, if you’re unfamiliar with the map, things like picking a defensive position, or being in a good area to receive air support, will be incredibly difficult. The more you play first-person shooter games, the more tips you’ll learn about how to master and map. You’ll begin to identify what map locations offer advantageous conditions, and what locations spell out trouble.

Depending on the factors of each game session you’re playing, you’ll be able to decide when you want to head into trouble, and when you want to run towards help.

Resource Skills

Another aspect to consider is the different resources that you’re provided with when you play a lot of action games. It can be exciting having a lot of cash in your player’s bank account.

However, if you blow it all on that cool new gun and you don’t have enough to buy ammunition, you’ll be in a world of trouble. Video games give players the opportunities to budget, purchase, and plan.

Listing Video Game Skills on a Resume

Did you know that over 4 million Americans have been unemployed for 6 months or longer, since the beginning of the pandemic? If you’re on the hunt for a job, you could always consider using your video game experience on your resume.

Of course, you’ll have to make sure that the atmosphere of the job aligns with the experience you’ll be listing. If the position isn’t too serious, you should be good to go. Employers enjoy when applicants think out of the box to showcase their abilities to get the job done.

Consider listing the different skills you’re practicing in your video games, on your resume. For instance, at the end of the resume create a section to list additional skills and hobbies. In this section, you can list that you enjoy playing video games that help you practice team collaboration and problem solving with time restraints.

If your potential employer also plays games, you’ll instantly have something to bond over. If the employer doesn’t play games, make sure you stick to talking about the skills that you’re practicing, rather than the aspects of the game you like.

Teach Problem Solving Through Communication

Last but not least, let’s talk about how games can teach problem solving by improving your communication skills. Being able to talk over a headset, doesn’t necessarily mean you have the communication tools you need to win a game with your team.

Simply hearing the words someone else says, isn’t enough. Instead, you’ll have to learn how to speak the language of the game. Additionally, you have to learn the different communication styles of your teammates. If you take too long to get your message across, the enemy will seize their opportunity and failure will be inescapable.

Typically, the more you play with a specific friend, the easier it’ll be for you to learn each other’s playing styles. When you find someone who has a similar playing style as you or a style that meshes well with yours, the rewards can be wonderful. Suddenly, you’ll be acting as one, taking over the game and annihilating your enemies.

Explore Video Games and Problem Solving

Now you know a few of the different ways that video games teach problem solving skills. After reading this article, are you ready to try your hand at a new game?

If you’ve never played a first-person shooter game before, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. Remember, you’re not going to be good at the start of the game, but you will get better with practice!

Go ahead and do a quick search online to explore the different types of action games out there, and give one a try. For more fun tips, read another article.




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