Everything I ever needed to know I learned from video games

Blair Hanley Frank

Credit: Sloane

Over winter break, I spent a lot of time playing video games, which led me to think about all the important life lessons I’ve acquired from my time spent in front of a screen. So, I compiled a list of helpful tips that I’ve culled from my years of gaming experience:

1. Watch your back
This one’s pretty simple, but it’s so important that I figured it warranted its own heading. Enemies will always appear where you least expected them: behind you in a dead-end hallway, in the corner of the room you didn’t check and just about anywhere else you didn’t look. Keep your head on a swivel, and make sure that you watch out.

2. Giant corporations are bad
This always seems to be a recurring theme in video games: The corporation that’s out there to save the world and help humanity ends up unleashing some evil that you’re brought in to clean up. Generally, this involves some sort of super-soldier or mind control device that goes horribly wrong. (See also: “T-Virus.”)

3. Fog never helps anything
In the real world, fog can lead to car crashes, boat accidents and a general inability to see where you’re going. In the world of video games, fog is much more insidious. It can be used to hide hordes of zombies, carry poison or form hideous monsters.

Corollary: If you come to a small, deserted town shrouded in fog, run: or better yet, drive: in the opposite direction as quickly as humanly possible. (See also: “Silent Hill.”)

4. The zombie apocalypse (more colloquially, the “zombpocalypse”) is right around the corner at all times
Undead hordes are always nearby, scratching at the door of reality, waiting to burst in and wreak total havoc on our poor, sheltered lives. At any moment, a torrent of brain-consuming husks of former humans could be upon us. So, don’t forget to plan ahead. One or many well-thought-out zombie plans could be the difference between life and undeath for you.

5. If your science experiment could possibly open an interdimensional rift, DON’T DO IT
Seriously, has anything good ever come out of an interdimensional portal? Especially if that rift goes to some “dark” version of this planet (or another one for that matter), portals to another dimension never help the situation. To all you science majors: If you ever have an experiment where there is a chance to open a rift to another dimension, first ask yourself, “Am I prepared to have the destruction and/or complete enslavement of the majority of humanity on my hands?” (See also: “Resonance Cascade.”)

6. Conserve ammunition
Facing down multitudes of enemies is hard, but doing it with limited supplies is harder. Hardest of all is when you’re out of firepower. While it may be fun to empty a few magazines of bullets into a room of baddies, you won’t be enjoying things too much when you’re out of bullets a few rooms later. Bullets don’t grow on trees, so make sure you do the most with what you have.

So, there you have it. Six important life lessons from the land of gaming. I hope they serve you well. If you have useful tidbits from your gaming career (extensive or otherwise, leave a comment at www.whitmanpioneer.com).