Thursday, 8 October 2015

Gamefication and Me

Well, I never thought I'd write a post about how much I learned from a video game, but the concepts of Gamefication are there. Firstly, I'd like to start by saying that video games can be as addictive as certain drugs. They can recreate the same chemical reactions of a Dopamine high. Going through withdrawal is not easy, and it can last for years.

That being said, video gaming and learning through Gamefication should be done in moderation.

However, I have learned an incredible amount through gaming.

I learned that people can be jerks. 
Yep. People can be really sickening. Not just the verbal abuse you'd hear over the headsets, but when a group activity takes place and there's one reward that needs to be shared, most gamers will not hesitate to steal and "loot" if there are no repercussions. If they can simply steal their share (and more), close the game and get out while keeping the reward, they will. It's an everybody-for-themselves situation. This taught me that a lot of people are really like this in real life, and I should stand up for myself in many more situations, instead of always being a pushover.

I learned that people can be awesome.
Even through all the dirt that I had to put up with, there are a few gems among the manure. These gems are supportive, helpful, and you can actually develop a real friendship with them. No matter the time zone, they enjoy adventuring with you, tackling problems together, and they admire your skill level (and just want to help!). People say that gamers are anti-social, but if you put the average person into an online social situation where gamers are experts, expect them to feel very uncomfortable. It's almost as if gamers develop a skill-set in a different area of social development. Lucky for me, I worked in radio for 7 years, and developed both an online personality and a real-life one. People are surprised when I tell them I used to play games for money.

I learned how to make impulse decisions with money.
Being in the World of Warcraft (WoW) auction house, there are items in-game that can be useful to someone developing their character, or for crafting more complex items. People in the community will harvest, create, or find these items and post them in an auction house (sort of like eBay). When posting items, you can see what the lowest seller is offering, and you can under-cut them to make sure people buy *your* product instead of the other person's. However, you can be under-cut just as easily. You want to time your sell by looking at the latest trends and price fluctuations to maximize revenue and profit.

I learned why I was failing in Math.
What I didn't learn in Math in high school, is that you have to completely understand the fundamentals before you move on to the next level. For example, I squeaked through 8th and 9th grade by barely grasping an understanding of Algebra. By the time I hit Grade 10, I got leveled by the curriculum. I was nice enough that the teacher let me into 11th Grade Math, with a failing grade. I learned through games that trying to fight a level 70 character with my level 60 would just get my arse handed to me. In Math (and other areas of life and learning), it's important to know what you know, and know what you don't. If you don't know about what you don't know, you might keep getting your arse handed to you. (Think about that).

I learned to question "Why".
I always followed rules, in a linear fashion of learning, and was never curious about what I was learning. Games taught me to ask "Why the heck am I shooting these guys?" Well, because they're evil. "Why are they evil? They've never hurt me before, who says they're evil? I have nothing against them." -- Then you find out your "President / Leader" is the one calling these people evil, when all they have done is accidentally landed on your planet and are begging for help (current events anyone?). You can decide whether to support your leader, or fight back against the system. In life, I always question information handed to me - not because I don't believe it, but because I'm curious and want to know more about everything.

These are just a few things I've learned through Gamefication.

If you have ever played games and are now reminiscing, thinking you've learned something what did you learn? What do you think you didn't learn?

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