How many times were we told while growing up that we were wasting our lives playing video games?
Well, parents admit defeat because you were wrong. Those countless hours spent in front of TV and computer screens didn’t destroy our lives – not only because being a skilled player makes you SUPER FREAKING COOL (well, to the right crowd at least), it also prepared us for much of life’s most common scenarios and pitfalls.
We didn’t know it at the time, but Tetris was the game that was most useful in providing skills to help us navigate the challenging obstacles that inevitably appear in life. Need to stack every cup, plate, saucepan and spatula you’ve ever owned into the dishwasher before your mother pops over for an impromptu visit? Don’t worry, because of Tetris, you’ve got this. Or trying to fit all your food into your tiny designated shelf in the fridge/pantry that you share with your housemates? Tetris skills have you covered. Or maybe you’re moving house and can’t be bothered hiring a moving truck so instead you push everything you own – including your ex-boyfriend’s hoodie that you “forgot” to return – into your car and hope for the best. I mean, it’s likely you’ll reverse into your letterbox on account of not being able to see behind because there’s too much crap in too small of a space. But in terms of fitting everything in? YOU HAVE BEEN PREPARING YOUR WHOLE LIFE FOR THIS MOMENT. Let the glory of success sink in. Thank you for all you have done for me Tetris. I’ll never forget you.
Also, being good at Tetris ups your street cred considerably. I’m yet to meet anyone who isn’t suitably impressed by someone that is good at shoving virtual coloured blocks together and making them disappear. And they should rightfully be impressed. Because TALENT!
Princess Peach. Yoshi. Toad. Bowser. The world’s most famous Italian plumbing trio (Mario, Luigi, Wario). All the main players, the A-list of the Nintendo world you could say, make an appearance in this fiercely competitive game. And what can we learn from participating in this hotly contested race? A) Screaming “DIE BITCH DIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” to your younger sibling is a socially acceptable reaction to being forced into last place after she throws some tortoise shells at your character onscreen, slowing you down instantly, B) If you’re not first, you’re last and you must win Mario Kart whatever the cost.DO WHATEVER IT TAKES! and C) Most importantly: mushrooms = power boost. Mushrooms will always speed up any task you’re faced with. Never forget that.
What even the actual fuck is Pac Man? Is he a yellow, circle-shaped alien? Is he a pie-chart who has been fired from his job at an Excel spreadsheet for not correctly displaying the ratio of seeds planted versus tomatoes eventually harvested from Old MacDonald’s Farm? I just don’t even…
I do, however, like the fact that Pac Man kind of looks like a pie that has had a slice already eaten from him. I like pie. Pie is delicious.
But in addition to making me think of food, Pac Man furthers our life education by demonstrating that if you eat too many of those white pill-looking things, those weird blobby characters turn into weird blue blobby characters and then you feel the need to try to munch down on them until only their (oddly-mobile) eyes are left. And no one wants that. So that’s probably an ill-advised activity to undertake.
There are probably a lot of things we may have learnt from playing Donkey Kong, but let’s be honest here – they all pale in comparison to the fact that if it wasn’t for this game, we would have never been introduced to the phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong!” Which is essentially the best phrase on the entire planet. Hashtag enough said.
Who hasn’t wanted to play God at one point or another in their life? The Sims allows for this while simultaneously teaching players that you need to balance all your various needs effectively (whether they be health, social, career, etc.) to be happy at life. Which would be useful if players actually stopped playing the game at some point and opted instead for the real-life version of this ‘simulating life’ game. You know, like actual life.
Other essential life lessons drawn from The Sims include discovering that: a short stint on the treadmill makes you super healthy, kissing someone heaps of times will result in a baby and when you take a shower, your body will morph into some kind of weird pixelated matter. Just as I suspected.
Oh, and if you don’t like someone in the real world? There’s nothing more satisfying than creating a doppleganger Sim, then placing them in a pool with no ladder until they drown or refusing to feed them ‘til they starve to death. Mwahahahaha. I mean, what? I don’t do that. *Cough.* *shifts eyes left to right uncomfortably*.