Page 2 of 3 of Why you should Play more Games
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So far, the benefits we have looked at all stem from the nature of gameplay. Shooters make us live in the moment because we must live in the moment to win the game: the gameplay demands it. RPGs force us to be explorative because (without the use of guides) it’s the only way we’ll find that missing item we need to complete an area. As can be seen, it is the nature of the gameplay that creates these lessons / benefits. There is, however, another very important way in which games offer us benefits. That way is in storytelling.
Through the positive psychology of stories, games inspire certain character traits in the gamer. For instance, a game like Halo, which features an extremely strong and brave character (Master Chief) will naturally inspire the gamer to develop their sense of bravery and courage simply because they are playing as the brave and courageous character of Master Chief for so long. Characters like Mario, on the other hand, inspire gamers to be more humble, friendly and playful. For all different types of characters games have to offer, there are corresponding psychological benefits offered to the gamer. This range from a sense of spirituality (Aeris from Final Fantasy VII) to integrity (Solid Snake). Those gamers with their wits about them will quickly point out, however, that characters from the same genre more often than not illustrate the same, or at least very similar, character traits. Characters in FPSs are strong and brave, where characters from RPGs might be spiritual and caring and characters from platform games humble and playful. All these different character strengths are of positive psychological benefit, but sadly, because we often limit ourselves to one or two genres, we end up missing out on a whole host of benefits that we could and should be making use of.
More often than not, the reason we don’t play a certain type of game is because we not good at it. FPS players might be extremely good at firing off precision headshot after precision headshot but might be terrible at solving puzzles that require them to use a little intellect and to look creatively at a situation. Fighting games players might be amazing at analyzing a situation and making a decision but might equally be useless at discovering hidden items because they have a weak sense of curiosity and exploration.
Now, naturally at this point you’re thinking “Who cares. We don’t need to be good at every type of game.” Well,actually, there’s more than enough reason why you should learn to be good at all genres of games. We’ll show you why on the next page.
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