How making games builds character and life skills

I am exploring how playing and making games help people build the character and life skills needed to succeed in life. Recently, I stumbled upon the article “125 things I learned while developing games,” which had some good insights on the matter. It’s worth checking out, especially if you are a game developer, but I think several of the insights are applicable to everyone, regardless of what field they are in. I’ve pulled them out and organized them thematically below. 

Explore. Be curious. A lifelong learner

4) Learn something about every part of development (programming, design, art, business).

15) You won’t reach your potential by staying in your comfort-zone.

36) You’re never done learning, about anything.

60) Look at everything around you for inspiration, don’t be stuck at just looking at other games.

Find your niche, purpose, or goal. Stay true to it despite the naysayers

14) Make a game for your audience, not for yourself.

18) Not everyone will like your game, that doesn’t mean it’s bad.

19) There will always be people that will like your game, you just need to find them.

40) Responding to trolls isn’t worth your time.

68) Some people will try to attack you on your weaknesses.

69) Again, those people aren’t worth your attention.

70) Do try to learn something from what they say, there is always some truth behind everything.

90) If your game isn’t remotely fun after the first few weeks of development, it probably won’t be anytime soon.

91) Ditch that concept and start something new, instead of trying to fix it. Chances are it’ll never be worth the time investment.

Show, don’t tell. Actions speak louder than words. Just do it!

1) Don’t think about making a game, start MAKING a game.

2) Don’t talk about ideas, show ideas (prototype!).

Be resilient/gritty. To succeed is to fall and get up many times

11) Make mistakes and learn from them.

12) You can’t prevent every mistake, you will make them, accept that.

115) Never be discouraged when trying to get your game noticed, keep pounding on that door till it opens.

Don’t go alone. Find the right people to help you and treat them respectfully

3) Don’t try to do everything by yourself.

5) Trust the people you work with.

8) Don’t be afraid to ask for help, information or feedback.

102) Fights will happen in a team and that’s OK. Just be sure it’s about something important in the game.

103) Also be sure to really listen to concerns that people have in your team, even if you don’t share them.

105) Never hold back critique when someone asks you for feedback, but let it be constructive.

110) ‘No’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘Never’.

Pay it forward

45) Always try to help others when they ask, no matter how successful you’ve become.

46) Remember that everyone started at the bottom.

Thoughts or comments? I’d love to hear them.


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