July 3, 2013
Video Games: What They Have Taught Us

Video games have taught us quite a few things, some useful and some not so useful.

One thing you don't expect from casual entertainment such as video games is to learn something you can apply to everyday life.

Don't give up until you can't get up. Persistence is the key to success in many aspects of life, and no video game genre teaches this better than fighting games. It is possible to be beaten down to one percent of your health bar and still win the round. Of course, applying this to actual fights can get you killed or hospitalized.

You never know what you'll find in odd places. This can be applied to looking for your car keys or a job, among other things. They say you never know until you look into it, but unlike some video games, we wouldn't suggest looking in the garbage or eating a plate of chicken off the ground. And definitely don't follow the example of BioShock and drink coffee that's been sitting in a trash can for who knows how long.

Combining items can make them more useful. Dead Island's weapon system is based on this concept, and on the most part it could be feasible. It's also the foundation upon which socket wrenches are built. However, if you try to combine a cat with an umbrella, usually nothing good will come of it, no matter what Power Stone tries to tell you.

Of course, there are things that don't make any sense outside of video games.

It's possible to fall from any height as long as there is a pile of straw or leaves where you're landing, and you'll be fine. Assassin's Creed logic only goes so far, and this is one of those things you should obviously not try in real life.

Guards can only see directly in front of them for about five feet. Almost all stealth games have this little bit of nonsense thrown in. It makes the game a bit easier for newcomers, but it's far from realistic.

If someone is rude to you, it is okay to beat them to death. Yes, every fighting game out there is guilty of this one. If it were true, certain stores would be like Thunderdome.

Sewer pipes are a great way to travel anywhere, even to other worlds. Super Mario Bros. is responsible for this particular gem. What the game doesn't tell you is that most sewer pipes tend to be lined with things you flush down the toilet, and you really don't want to walk through those things.

No matter how many people are surrounding you in a fight, they will only attack you up to two at a time. Have you ever seen a dogpile in American football? That's more likely, with a lot more flailing limbs.

It is perfectly okay to walk into other people's homes, take whatever you want, and you never need to talk to them. It's really called breaking and entering, and theft, so the role-playing video games have it quite wrong on the legal end.

It only takes about half an hour to build a powerful military if you have enough workers. Real-time strategy gamers do it all the time, but in real life, you're gonna need a bit more than manpower, farms and gold. And it could take decades, no matter what North Korean men named Kim might tell you.

Death is never permanent: You'll come back to life in about five minutes at a designated spot, or drop invincibly from the sky if you've collected enough coins. Seriously, don't test this one.

If you're being chased, just run around a corner and hide for a few seconds. The people chasing you will forget that was the last place they saw you and everything will be forgiven. In real life, people tend to start chasing you again after that, even more annoyed that you had the nerve to think they were that dumb.

Sex makes you regain health. Okay, in all reality, sex is a healthy activity under the right circumstances, but if you're bleeding to death, it really isn't doing to help. And kids really just shouldn't do it. Go to the hospital instead of dropping your trousers with a hooker. The hospital is much less likely to leave you with an embarrassing itch or lingering illness.

When someone dies, they drop a bunch of useful items you can take to make your goals easier. In real life, the only things they're likely to drop are blood, feces, and perhaps some internal organs, none of which is something you really want to take with you.

What are some things you've learned from video games? Were they useful at all?