Gaming Can Be Training

Last night, my roommate explained Farmville to a friend of his. I personally don’t play the game, so I was fascinated as I listened to him explain the game and why he does what he does in game. For example, he explained he cultivates a certain type of crop because they’re cheap to plant and are guaranteed at least three times their worth when you sell the grown plant.

Having watched him play similar games, I know he’s applied this same mindset to those. As they keep working, he’s now always on the lookout for the best ROI, even though he has no clue what that means. And he’s looking to do the same when he makes deals with friends, coworkers, and others away from the game.

He’s also learning to be patient while he waits for things to happen in game so he can get what he needs to move on. I sat with him one night while he was playing the cafe game. We were chatting and he was cataloging the movies he’d just added to his collection, periodically looking at the screen. When I asked what he was doing, because it looked like his characters were moving around doing things on their own, he explained that he’d set up some things to cook, and he was waiting for one of them to finish so he could set up the next dish. This particular roommate can be impatient at times, so watching him find ways to keep himself occupied and calm while he waited for the in-game action to complete was impressive.

So, games can impart many lessons to both children and adults: being the best solo and team player you canfair deals and interaction, and how to wisely invest resources.

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