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4 Lessons from Video Games You Can Apply to Your Business

By: SmallBizClub


Lessons from Video Games

There’s a Catch-22 that adult gamers always fall into. They need time to play video games, but they must work to fund their hobby; if they’re unemployed, then they can’t splurge on games they want since they don’t have money. It’s a tough spot to be in.

More so if you’re running your own business. Because you need to focus on your enterprise, you have less time to enjoy your games—or hobbies in general. However, there are those who have excellent time management skills who are able to do everything they want even with the seemingly limited time they have, including playing video games.

For such a time-consuming hobby, what lessons can be had from the hundreds of thousands of titles that litter game store shelves? Here are four that you can apply to your business.

Explore the World

As seen in: open-world and JRPGs like Final Fantasy, Grand Theft Auto, Witcher, Arkham, Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls, etc.

Scattered around the worlds of video games are cities filled to the brim with events, dungeons full of creepy crawlies, and nonplayable characters (NPCs) with helpful information about the lore of the in-game universe you’re immersing yourself in. If those aren’t appealing, there are treasures waiting to be found with a little effort.

The real world can be just as wonderful, if not for the colorful people you meet on the street, then for the insights and enlightenment you can get from the most unexpected places. You just need to keep an eye out for those.

Improve Your Skills

As seen in: strategy, action adventure, and RPGs like Command & Conquer, StarCraft, Far Cry, Kingdom Hearts, etc.

There’s a rule of thumb for every game: progression is the long-term goal. Whether advancing through the story or displaying protagonist and supporting cast growth, it’ll only be a matter of time when your level 1 character reaches level 50 and up.

The same is true with life and businesses. You start out at the bottom and work your way up, expanding your skillset along the way. Training all those techniques will amount to eventual mastery, and you’ll soon feel like they’re second nature. Even in hardcore games—whether the Souls series, Nioh, or even going back to the over-the-top-difficulty classic Battletoads—wherein you die over and over, you can’t expect the game, and life, to make itself easier for your sake. Almost every time, you need to get better.

Speaking of hardcore…

Failure Is Everywhere

As seen in: literally every game out there

Every game has conditions for defeat and victory. Almost usually, the former happens when your character/s reach zero health (more on that in a while), except when a mission is timed, during escort missions, or other scenarios. Success, though, is gained after fulfilling any or all of the given objectives: travel from point A to point B, defeat enemy so and so, acquire this, do that, etc.

Like games, success in life is worked for. Hard. Unless you’re really good at something, you’ll fail more times than succeed… at the beginning. That doesn’t give you the right to “rage quit.” Instead, look at failures as lessons on how to overcome them: what to do, what not to do, what to try, and what strategies work best. Let them serve as the crux of why you want to improve in the first place.

Monitor HP Wisely

As seen in: literally every game out there

A must for every video game is knowing, even at the back of your mind, how many lives or health points (HP) you have left. The bottom line is it’s your task as the player to not get your character killed in a number of gruesome ways.

As for life, well, that’s why it’s called life and you being alive. If your focus is just on your business, then eventually your body will fail. The worst you could do is neglect that for the sake of profit. Keep your body in healthy shape. You won’t be failing and succeeding without health. Better to lose profit than life.

Video games, when looked at differently, are troves of information about many things. After all, it can be interpreted as a mirror of life. Does that fact make video games works of art? Regardless of where you stand in the agelong debate, one thing is certain: people can learn lessons from the medium. They just need to be open to interpreting it as such.


Brasco, Ann. “10 Life Lessons Learned from Video Games.” NJ.com. January 19, 2015. www.nj.com/parenting/index.ssf/2015/01/10_life_lessons_learned_from_video_games.html

Dimitrijevic, Ivan. “7 Life Lessons I Learned Playing Video Games.” Lifehack. n.d. www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/7-life-lessons-learned-playing-video-games.html

Harbison, Cammy. “30 Inspiring Life Tips We Learned from Gaming: Redditors Share Life Lessons They Gleaned While Playing Video Games.” iDigitalTimes. January 22, 2015. www.idigitaltimes.com/30-inspiring-life-tips-we-learned-gaming-redditors-share-life-lessons-they-gleaned-409899

Herndon, Neil. “15 Lessons About Life We Learn from Video Games.” Forbes. February 22, 2016. www.forbes.com/sites/archenemy/2016/02/22/15-lessons-about-life-we-learn-from-video-games/#3af4407153f0

Lung, Han-Gwon. “5 Lessons Video Game Taught Me About Success.” Entrepreneur. March 25, 2016. www.entrepreneur.com/article/270419

Stuart, Keith. “Are Video Games Art: The Debate that Shouldn’t Be.” The Guardian. December 6, 2012. www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2012/dec/06/video-games-as-art

Author: Rick Enrico is the CEO and Founder of SlideGenius, a presentation design agency in San Diego, California. He regularly publishes expert presentation and marketing tips on the SlideGenius Blog. You can connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Published: May 10, 2017

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