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Can Skills in Video Games Be Transferred to Real Life?

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Video Games

Video Games continue to become more and more popular, with around a third of the world’s population playing them at least occasionally.  This growth has been helped by a range of factors, including the proliferation of smartphone games, the creation of casual and free-to-play formats, and the diversification of genres that help appeal to a wider audience.  At the same time, Video Games have become much more life-like. In many, the graphics have become more and more realistic, with games replicating real-world physics and environments to the point that they can look like video recordings of real life. But while the games themselves have begun to more accurately reflect real life, can the skills you hone battling digital dragons or outsmarting online video Game opponents translate into the same or similar success in the real world?

Driving Skills of Video Games

While you can’t find real-world equivalents of Crash Bandicoot or Super Mario Bros, you will find plenty of racing games that set out to replicate real-world driving. Simulation titles like iRacing and Gran Turismo boast incredibly accurate car physics and laser-scanned tracks that incorporate every tiny bump and change in camber. This has led to a fascinating crossover between the virtual and real worlds. Some of the top esports racers have transitioned successfully into professional motorsport. The crossover occurs in the opposite direction too as many professional race car drivers, including Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen, are known to compete in these same Video Game. Driving simulator Video Games don’t just help drivers. Formula 1 teams use advanced racing simulators that are essentially beefed-up versions of Video Games. Drivers use these simulators to practice race strategies, learn new tracks, and even help engineers find optimal car setups for upcoming races.  Thanks to these games, drivers can directly translate skills picked up behind the virtual wheel to success on the real racetrack.

Poker Skills

Poker, like several other card games, is another example of where the skills used to play online Video Games are the same ones required to compete in live games. However, unlike racing games, where the skills are almost exactly the same, there are some differences between digital and real-world poker.  Over the last few decades, online poker platforms have exploded in popularity, attracting adventure-seeking card players, many whom dream of competing in live tournaments against other talented poker players.  There are a few key differences between online and live poker games, the most notable being the human element that is less of a factor in online formats.  However, despite this, the core skills required to play online poker, including understanding probability, pot odds, and bluffing strategies, are just as important in a live poker setting.  It is for this reason that many successful online poker players have transitioned to live tournaments quite seamlessly. The path is so common that leading online card rooms often provide direct qualification routes for players to earn themselves a spot in a tournament. A popular example is PokerStars Power Path which gives online players a way to bag a place in major tournaments like the European Poker Tour by competing in qualifying online events. The connection between online Video Games and live poker is so strong, that it’s a textbook case study on how skills can be transferred between the digital and physical worlds.

Transferable Skills of Video Games

There are some Video Games where direct skills aren’t transferable. That’s either because playing basketball in real life and in NBA 2K are very different, or because you can’t perform magic spells like you find in Hogwarts Legacy.  Yet, there are still benefits to playing games that show up in real life. That’s because skills that many games require, such as quick reflexes, sharp memory, and exceptional hand-eye coordination are useful in other walks of life, from performing well in sports to excelling at tasks requiring precise motor skills. Additionally, many online games necessitate strong communication and teamwork skills. Players need to develop and execute strategies with their teammates, adapt to changing situations, and communicate effectively to achieve their goals. You’ll see these well-oiled machines carving their way through online multiplayer games thanks to their advanced tactics and strong communication allow them to perform better than the sum of their parts. These communication and collaboration skills are highly valued in many workplaces, making gamers strong potential candidates for team-oriented jobs.

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