Opinion: Video games teach valuable lessons

Lyndsey Schley

Lyndsey Schley

Lyndsey Schley is a sophomore news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.Contact her at [email protected].

As a child, I was started off early on video games by my grandparents, who would challenge each other to Tetris late into the night. During the day, I was allowed to play a wide selection of Mario games.

Many people think video games teach children to be violent or that it makes them stupid. However, I argue that I learned many valuable lessons through video games.

The first video game I really fell in love with was “Pokémon: Gold Version.” Pokémon is a game where you travel around a world battling, catching and training animals called Pokémon.

Pokémon is not like Pac-Man, where you are ready for the next level as soon as you are done with the last. Your Pokémon do not automatically become skilled enough to move onto the next challenge; you have to stop and train them, so they will be strong enough. This taught me patience and that nothing comes without hard work.

In Pokémon, the creatures have different types. Different types are more powerful against others — for example, a fire Pokémon is very effective against a grass Pokémon, but not so much against water Pokémon. This taught me how to categorize and strategize, which are great skills to have in social situations, such as meetings.

Another game I loved was Animal Crossing. In this game, you move out of your parents’ house and into a town filled with cute animal villagers. You must make money to pay off your house by fishing, catching bugs and helping the other villagers.

You have no money when you start, so a raccoon named Nook gives you a house on a mortgage. You have no specific amount you have to pay, but you do get perks from paying it off, such as house expansions.

I would constantly work to pay off my house and get that raccoon off my back. This taught me to avoid debt and to keep your debts in mind when planning your budget. I have never gotten a credit card, only a debit card, as a way to avoid unnecessary debt. This is a valuable lesson that would probably benefit many people to learn earlier rather than later.

I also learned how to prioritize my spending. If I wanted to buy a modern couch for my house, I wouldn’t have the money to also buy the cozy sweater for my character. I had to decide what was most important to me.

I was also taught that life does not have second chances. In most video games, resetting the game when you do something wrong can only help you. However, in Animal Crossings, a mole named Mr. Resetti will appear and give you a lecture about how resetting is cheating. It is so annoying that I avoided resetting at all costs. However, more importantly, I learned I can’t just give up when things gets hard.

Sure, kids shouldn’t be playing Call of Duty, but many video games can teach children valuable life lessons. It even keeps them entertained for hours. What more could a parent want?