These days, there’s a lot of complaining about kids spending too much time playing video games and a lot of that chatter is probably valid. However, you can learn a lot from video games, and I’m not just talking the Sesame Street game I played as a tyke. For this week’s Benchmark 5: The Things I Learned From Playing Video Games.

  1. It’s never as satisfying when you cheat. Skipping levels is the same as cutting corners. When you put in the work, try your hardest and achieve your goals, you will revel in the sense of accomplishment.
  2. You won’t get better, unless you play someone better. My younger brother is better at video games than he is at most other things in his life (a slight exaggeration). I despise losing to him at anything. We’re fiercely competitive. However, I play and lose to him often, since I know it makes me a better player. Don’t be afraid to go toe to to with your competition. To be the best, you need to beat the best.
  3. There’s always a do over. Sure you may wind up a few steps back at times, but you can always pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back to work. Whether it’s a well placed grenade in Halo, or it just feels like one while you’re sitting at your desk, get back to work and do better next time.
  4. That I’m capable of doing one activity for hours at a time. I have ADD. I haven’t been medicated for it since college. It took maturing and learning what I needed to do to focus. It will sound ridiculous, but long hours playing video games at least let me know it was possible. I’ll wait and gauge the eye rolls of my surrounding coworkers when they read this post to see how well I’ve been doing…
  5. I really like seeing my name next to the high score. I wasn’t lying when I said I was competitive. It’s important to always strive to be not only the best, but constantly better. Stay hungry. See who is at the top and figure out what you need to do to get there. Hard work and perseverance will almost always pay off.