Video game companies create one of the biggest forms of entertainment in the world, directly competing with movies, television, and music for people's attention. While games are well-known for their ability to entertain and amaze, there are proven health benefits of video games and other positive effects. In fact, there are plenty of real life skills learned from video games that people have utilized in reality to great effect.
Although not every title is a realistic simulator that directly correlates to real life, there are certain skills, abilities, and life lessons that have been useful. Read on to discover how video games have had a sincere, positive effect on people and have even served as a platform to help save lives.
A 12-year-old boy named Hans Jorgen Olsen and his sister were wandering around the woods when they encountered a wild moose. Moose are big, have horns, can cause a lot of damage and in general should be avoided if encountered. Hans first tried to scare the moose away with some loud noises but, when that didn't work, he collapsed to the ground.
Hans looked dead. The moose walked away.
Hans's plan worked.
Playing dead is a pretty solid method when it comes to driving away non-scavenging animals. Any experienced woodsman or backpacker knows this from years exploring the wilderness, but the young Hans learned of this idea after reaching level 30 as a hunter in the game World of Warcraft, where you can acquire an ability called “feign death” to trick enemies into ignoring them. The ploy worked and the young Norwegian kids both escaped the ordeal completely unharmed.
Bob Chambers was a 51-year-old man suffering from muscular dystrophy, a disease that limits mobility, when his house caught on fire. He couldn't reach his phone or run out of the building and he couldn't scream for his neighbors to come and bring him help. He did the only thing he could do: he turned to the chat room for Evony, a game he was playing, and asked them for help.
Players from Texas and Indiana responded to his plea ("My house is on fire and I can't get out") and called the police and fire department, who showed up to save Bob.
Bob's wife (who wasn't home at the time) used to hate the amount of time Bob was spending on the computer game, but now that his association with the other players resulted in the saving of both his life and their house, she has since come around.
It's a great internet lesson: Never tell strangers where you live... unless your house is on fire, in which case, tell EVERYONE.
The first-person shooter Counter-Strike might not seem like it could have a positive impact in the real world, but that is exactly what the video game did in 2013. While a group of friends were out playing in the Philippine city of Mandaue, they discovered several unassuming objects. The youngsters began to play with the items, unaware that they were actually incredibly dangerous.
Fortunately, 12-year-old Jose Darwin Garciano realized that they were actually grenades as he recognized the shape from the game. He quickly warned his friends to put them down, which allowed police to come and safely diffuse them.
If there's anything we can take away from this, it's that we should be teaching kids what grenades look like as early as possible. We cannot be relying on games to pick up all of the slack when it comes to early education grenade stuff.
Pokemon Go became a huge phenomenon almost the instant it was released in 2016, prompting millions of people to go outside in search of the virtual creatures.
Other than the obvious benefits that came with getting some exercise and fresh air, the augmented reality game also led to a whole collection of animals being rescued. It turned out that the explorative nature of the app meant that people went to areas that they might not otherwise ever go near, allowing them to come across abandoned pets.
In one instance, a Reddit user was able to save a cat that had become stuck behind a junction box in the street. The rescue involved the fire and police department, as well as workers from the utility company responsible for the box. Other cases involved a young puppy being found in Texas and nursed back to health by a veterinary clinic and a group of 20 hamsters and seven mice that were found left in a cage in the middle of a park.
Are we saying that Pokemon Go is sending people on a scavenger hunt to rescue abandoned animals disguised as an augmented reality game? No, but we're definitely not NOT saying that...