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What Video Games Have Taught Us About the Real World

Video games aren’t “wasting our time,” they’re teaching us valuable life lessons.

Video games. We've often been told they're a "waste of our time," and that excessively playing them prohibits us from doing things such as "developing our social skills" and "breathing fresh air." But little does everyone know that video games actually teach us a lot about the real world. Here are the most valuable life lessons we have learnt from our time spent gaming.

A man belongs on the battlefield; a woman belongs trapped in a castle.

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When the ending of Metroid on the NES revealed that Samus Aran was, in fact, a girl, everyone shook their heads in disbelief. What was a girl doing saving the day? Didn't they just spend their time trapped in another castle? 26 years after Metroid was released and, thanks to the new Tomb Raider, we finally seem to be moving towards an era in gaming where women spend less time in games being kidnapped while wearing impractical clothing, and more time actually, y'know, doing stuff.

War is very linear.

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Turns out that war isn't as complicated as you might think. In fact, it's a wonder why soldiers go through as much training as they do, when they're simply told to do nothing else but 'Follow' and 'Destroy'. Sure, there's a little moment every now and again when a helicopter might crash down in front of them, or when a couple of nuclear bombs are let off, but other than that it's all quite simple: shoot the guy who are facing you, move forwards and then shoot more guys who are facing you. If war is hell, then hell must be nothing more than a grey, narrow corridor.

The zombie apocalypse won't be all that bad.

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At this point it would be wise of us to just assume that the zombie apocalypse is an inevitability, just so we can prepare ourselves for it. Fortunately, it doesn't seem like that much preparation will be needed, because if there's anything we've learnt from zombies in games it's that they're relatively easy to dispatch. Games like Left 4 Dead, Dead Island and the more action-oriented Resident Evil's have seen us mowing down hordes of the undead without even breaking a sweat, so we're confident that when those zombies do come shuffling towards our door, we'll be able to take them on with a couple of kitchen utensils – unless they're the zombies from The Walking Dead game, in which case we'll probably have to choose between sacrificing our dog or our girlfriend before cutting our arm off.

The word "faggot" actually means "successful."

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And all this time we thought "faggot" was a derogatory term for homosexuals.

Playing video games online has taught us that "faggot" is something you can take pride in being called. For example, after sneaking up behind someone and performing a deadly assassination in Halo 4, your opponent may say something along the lines of "you stabbed me in the back, you cowardly faggot." But he is not insinuating that you are a cowardly homosexual, rather he is simply expressing his displeasure that you have bested him at the game. Other examples include "this faggot must be hacking," "you've killed me in the game but I'll kill you in real life, you faggot" and the classic "f*** you, you faggot."

Don't stand near barrels.

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Standing near a barrel, no matter what its contents are, is a risk that no one should take. We're uncertain of the reasoning behind barrels' weak disposition to, well, everything. Even swiftly moving past a particularly volatile barrel will cause it to explode into flames, setting alight and destroying anything within its vicinity in the process. Ever since Doom, we have been wary of the barrel, because to not be wary of the barrel is to be a fool.


Paul Tamburro is the UK Editor of Crave Online. Follow him on Twitter @PaulTamburro