What Video Games Taught Me That School Didn’t

I never enjoyed school.

I felt that most of what I was being taught was useless, I couldn’t pay attention and I didn’t preform very well.

In middle school I was so distracted that the teacher decided to have a meeting with my mother. She came up with the idea of giving me some play-doh that I could play with, along with a tape recorder to record the lessons so that I wouldn’t distract the other kids.

But there was something that could keep my attention.

Video Games

I loved the game Halo 2. It was a futuristic war game that involved team work, skill, strategy and many other aspects. I would login online every day to play this game for hours.

I think I missed almost all of grade 9 because of this game.
But, I learned things that I didn’t learn in school.

Only Passion Leads To Motivation

Doctors told me I had A.D.D., teachers said that I couldn’t learn and my mom told me that I never listened.

So why was it that I focused so intently when I played this game.
Because I was Passionate.

I hated school, so I didn’t try. I loved video games, so I put my heart into it.

This taught me at a young age that you had better pursue things you feel passionately about, or you will never reach any level of mastery.

Every day when I woke up I wanted to keep playing, and keep getting better. These days I wake up and the only thing I can think about is helping people conquer their obstacles.

I could have easily given in to pressure and gone to university. Maybe I would have even found a good job and made good money.
But I wouldn’t reach my full potential if I didn’t feel the passion.

Learn From The Best, Play Out Of Your League

The reason I became so good at this game was because I always searched for the best players I could find and tried to learn from them.

If someone beat me in a game, I didn’t complain or make excuses. I messaged that person and asked them to play me again and criticize my weaknesses.

If you surround yourself with people who are not as talented as you, it might boost your ego, but it won’t help you reach your potential.

When the people around you are on another level compared to you, your skills and knowledge will skyrocket.

Check your ego at the door and play with the best.

Work Ethic Beats Talent

I had a friend in this game, his name was Dustin.

I was always better than him, but he had determination that would impress Olympic athletes.

We would play games with each other one-on-one and I would win every time, but he never complained and never wanted to stop practicing.

One day his school had a lock down drill and he was stuck in class for hours with nothing to do. So what did he decide to spend this extra time on?

He got out a pen and paper, and started plotting. He thought back to all of our games, looking for commonalities and patterns to exploit. He spent literally three hours sketching and contemplating.

The next day we loaded up a game of one-on-one as always, but this time he won, again and again.

I was naturally talented, but he put in more effort so he beat me.

Whenever I worry about my abilities—seeing all of these people who are so much more talented than I am—I think of this story. It reminds that no matter how much talent I have, it’s the effort that counts.

I’m not trying to say that school isn’t important, or that it doesn’t teach you anything, or even that video games will teach you more.

I believe that we can learn lessons from every experience. Video games taught me teamwork, patience, work ethic, humility and much more.

School wasn’t the right environment for me to learn, so maybe it’s good that the teacher gave me play-doh and separated me.

I was learning on my own time anyway.
*pew pew, bang bang bang, BOOM*

video games

34 thoughts on “What Video Games Taught Me That School Didn’t

  1. This was a great post! Personally I have had this kind of experience with a lot of things – I am very hands on and visual – classroom learning was hard on me. I got through it and have my degree but it’s hard to find what I got from that at the end of the day. Even though I’m no longer a student I found this particularly interesting because I am a second grade teacher, and a lot of my kids are fantastic at video games and puzzles and such but can barely pay enough attention in class to spell their own name right. I will have to keep this in mind as I continue building my curriculum and working with my kids!

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    1. I hope that you can conjure up some interesting solutions to any obstacles you face while teaching these youth. I think in the future a lot of schools will start to “Gamify” their learning, creating curriculum that are a lot more interactive. They might give points, rewards, post achievements for other students to see, and allow for more input from each student. We shall see if that comes to fruition, for now I’m glad that we have open minded teachers such as yourself!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful piece, so wonderful I had to read it again to my boys. My boys are game fanatics, so I can relate to your story. My oldest son has the same problem now would school. He does not focus well, however his focus is well alive and strong when playing his video games. While reading your piece to him, he blurts out… thank you, someone has explain in a sense how you can understand. Thank you “2HelpfulGuys”
    P.S. I like the recorder idea. I told my son to try it.

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    1. I am so glad that you decided to share this with your boys. I know that when I was younger I felt like people didn’t see the value in the things I took interest in, so I hope your son can see (and seek out) the lessons to be learned in his video games.

      Video games are relatively new, so it’s understandable that society is taking a while to catch up to just how powerful they can be in the right situations. I’m happy that you enjoyed this piece. Don’t be a stranger, stop by any time!

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  3. Awesome post! I absolutely agree with everything you’ve written! Thanks for the motivation and stories that are small yet so powerful, they’re making me want to work harder towards my passions!!

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  4. Interesting article – you make an excellent point about how we learn at school. I have Autism and I used to struggle to focus in classes that didn’t interest me, especially Maths. But if there was a class that was interesting, I would happily listen to it like I was listening to an audio tape at home. Thanks for sharing this and keep up the good work. 🙂

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  5. Argument slash discussion with the mother, brought her toast, a yogurt and a selection of spreads for breakfast in bed to apologize (always make a ‘sorry’ an epic one!)
    In the course of this ‘discussion’ I used a computer game metaphor!

    Mum: You don’t know stress
    Me: Mum, your Lv 100 and I’m I Lv 5 by comparison, for me this is stress, until I’m as good at the game as you

    Needless to say that computer games have taught me many things and given me many references, even if only my generation (or wise parental units) get them!

    Like

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