What Can You Learn From Gaming?

In my last post, I described how playing Quake 4 was wasting so much time. The playing was fine. It was challenging, fun and there was a reasonable story. It’s just that loading saved games when you’re killed by the opponent took so much time, the game got boring.

Well, I gave up on that and moved on to another game: Halo, Combat Evolved. They are like night and day in the loading saved games department. When you die in Halo, you immediately spawn back to life at the last automatic checkpoint that was made – and those are made frequently. Bottom line? Today and yesterday were a lot of fun.

That got me thinking. Some of us are very tenacious (read stubborn) and tend to keep trying to finish things until we do – no matter how much frustration, or irritation, or wasted time it takes. While that can lead to a certain feeling of accomplishment, you have to wonder if it’s really worth the effort and frustration. In the end, you are usually just left with a bad taste in your mouth about the activity itself.

There is another approach. Give activities a real chance, and if they are uninteresting, boring or other wise a seemingly waste of time, drop them and move on to something else. That’s not an original thought. I’ve heard of people doing it with books. They might read the first 2-5 chapters, and it the author hasn’t caught their imagination by then, they put the book down and move on to the next one.

I did the same with Quake 4. I played here and there during the day for about 3 days, and gave it a good try. It was just plain frustrating waiting for those saves to load, so I dropped it and started Halo. Now I know I can play a whole series of games and enjoy them, rather than doggedly try to finish them, just to finish them.

That’ s probably not a bad model for business either. If, after giving an activity a good, honest shot, you are just getting frustrated – move on to something else, or if it is something that has to get done, outsource it to someone else. Life is too short to waste time getting frustrated, when we could be having a lot of fun making progress towards our goals.

So yes, I think you can learn from gaming. What do you think?

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