Seven Attributes We Develop When We Play Video Games

It’s been said quite often enough how video games can be bad for us—how they can make us become violent, how they can make us unproductive, how they can lead to antisocial behavior, how being addicted to them can result in poor personal hygiene, and how it can disrupt our daily functions, or as in the infamous case of an unfortunate gamer in Japan, how an obscenely excessive indulgence in them can lead to death.

What hasn’t been said quite nearly enough is how video games can be good for us, so as an earnest attempt to right that wrong, here’s a list of seven valuable attributes we develop when we play video games.


You die. You try again. You die. You try again. You die. You try again.

Whether it’s action, adventure, fighting, first person shooter, or any other kind of video game, you’d come to a point when you’ll fail and would have to give it another attempt. Could be three more times, or three hundred more. You may change strategy, learn something you didn’t know before, see things in a different way, recognize a pattern that could help you win, or just plain get better from repetition.

This exercise prepares us for our tasks and challenges in real life, where we would surely fail a lot, and eventually, succeed a lot, too.


Connected to patience in a lot of ways, resilience refers to how quickly we bounce back from failures and challenges. We become resilient when we become unfazed by impending threats and seemingly insurmountable odds.

There’s nothing wrong with taking a rest after going through a bitter defeat, but the real world favors those who get up instantly, undaunted, unflinching, and ready to take another stab at success.


You’ll be using copious amounts of creativity when you play sandbox games like The Sims, Cities: Skylines, or Minecraft. Some serious gamers even take it to the next level by designing levels and maps for first person shooters, or race tracks for racing games and driving simulations.

It wouldn’t really be wrong to say that we can exercise our creativity in almost all video games—the way we can design shoes in basketball games, pick the fighters’ outfits in fighting games, create our characters in RPGs, and even forge our own worlds in Age of Empires. Expressing your creativity may not be a requirement to beat the game but it surely improves and enriches the experience.

Critical Thinking

The best PC and video games encourage us to do a lot of critical thinking. Real time strategy games make us formulate plans and tactics, adventure games make us do problem solving, and RPGs require us to do different levels of resource management, to name a few examples.

This mirrors how we do critical thinking in our daily lives, and when we do it for fun in video games, we learn more about it, get comfortable with it, and ultimately, become better at it.


Developing our reflexes and reaction times can never be more fun than with an afternoon of Street Fighter, Halo, or even old school staples like Galaga, Pac-Man, and Space Invaders. This kind of skill sharpening becomes more important as we age, when we tend to become slower.

Playing twitch games coupled with an active lifestyle can go a long way in making sure that even as we get older, we have a good shot at staying as fast and sharp as we were when we were teenagers.


We develop our abilities to work in a team with multiplayer games like Counterstrike, Team Fortress, or Left 4 Dead. We learn how to play to our strengths, own up to our mistakes, deal with team conflicts and clashing personalities, support each other, and be gracious both in defeat and victory.

How we treat other players in the game world should always reflect how we treat our colleagues in the real world. Though the mode of interaction may be different, we are still working towards a common objective, and success would largely depend on how well our team works together.


Nothing boosts confidence like success, and video games can be a good source of little triumphs that can prep you for real life challenges. More especially if you’re playing multiplayer games and you know how you stack up against other players. The way you can hold your own or dominate in games can always make you feel good about yourself and can inspire you to become even better.

And if you feel you’re not good enough? Well, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. And more importantly, in video games, practice is always fun.

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