Video games, contrary to some public opinion, can teach a variety of different skills. This is true not just of educational games where players have to remember important historical dates to move on to the next stage, but also of games where players have to be able to organize their equipment and budget for which character gets what. It might sound silly, but it can carry over into how players think when they’ve put down their controller.
Limited Resources, Save The Big Guns
Most people operate on a given amount of money at a given time. Young people on an allowance or minimum wage job, older people on a salary. Once someone has had a certain job for a certain amount of time, they can gauge what they can expect. Surviving and saving on a certain amount can be hard, unless one is familiar with the rules of video games like Resident Evil, or even the Final Fantasy series, where saving and budgeting are keys to victory.
Take Resident Evil, a survival/horror game where players have to escape a nightmare mansion filled with the walking dead, among other creatures. In this game health is scarce, and weapons are rare. So when a player gets a big gun or an ammunition cache, or even a powerful health item, they squirrel it away for when they really, really need it. This often translates into saving things like bonus checks, and other “surprises” that gamers get until such a date as they feel they really need them. In game this sometimes translates to not using the most powerful items for the whole game, which is a lot like saving all your birthday money and letting it accrue interest until retirement.
Understanding the Grind, and Setting Goals
Managing a budget is often about setting financial goals, and crunching the numbers. Video games have required this from players forever. From Legend of Zelda to World of Warcraft, there is a direct link between the grind (in the game it’s fighting monsters, in the real world it’s going to work), and getting the resources players need to buy new equipment, gain in power, etc. In short, video games help form the direct link behind work and reward, and it helps people understand exactly what they get for how much work they perform.
This understanding can be essential to planning a proper budget, and understanding how much work has to be done in order to get the rewards a player wants. While a player might not like picking up an extra shift at work, or showing up for additional job training, it’s been learned from games that those are the things one has to do in order to get promotions and to reach the next goal. When combined with an understanding of how to best plot out a budget, this understanding of the connect between performance and reward is one that cannot be overemphasized. It is, after all, the entire reason why people work at all.
The author is a freelance writer as well as an author of several virtual currency articles written in MMOBUX