Friday, July 09, 2010


I recently overheard some people talk about the useful things they learned at college (uni), and that made me think. I'm an IT professional, but I can honestly say I've only learned one thing through higher education that I was able to use in the workplace. In my first Assembly class, the instructor informed us that with mainframe systems the enter and return keys have separate functions. Sometime later at an off-hours dead-end computer operator job, my trainer told me the same thing and I was able to proudly and honestly say that I already knew that. $40k+ in student loans - totally worth it.

But if you really want to learn some useful skills and/or life lessons, then clearly you need to go to a more obvious and respectable source - video games. Here is what they've taught me over the years in no particular order.
  • Random killing is fun and you will receive no come-uppance whatsoever. (Wasteland)
  • If you kill someone because they are annoying and in your way (which is why they don't fall under the random kill scenario above) and the local guards (police) start chasing you, you can always leave the room and re-enter and all will be forgiven. (Ultima V)
  • It's okay to drive head-on into a school bus at 230 mph (about 370 kph for you Klingons Canadians) behind the wheel of your million dollar ride as long as you're willing to pay the ultimate price - namely, starting your trip over from the beginning. (Need for Speed)
  • Seahorses are beautiful creatures of nature and to harm one is a sin which will adversely affect your life. Squid, on the other hand, are fucking evil and should be destroyed on sight. (Ultima IV)
  • You can never have too many backpacks, even though they often cost more than precious gems. They're both affordable and necessary due to all the time you'll spend looting corpses. (Dragon Age)
  • The most powerful economic force in the universe is fish. (Utopia)
Yes, I have been playing video games since before you were born. Admit your jealousy and move along.


Kira said...

"You can have sex with prostitutes, pay for it, and then kill them to get your money back." Grand Theft Auto.

Jay said...

Personally, I think I can do some of these things in real life and get away with them too. Especially the killing of hookers that Kira mentioned.

Whitemist said...

I think I was playing "Trek" on main frames before you...but you got me on sheer number of games, i became disinterested.

Avitable said...

If you jump on turtles, you can shoot their shells all over the place.

SJ said...

I lose. I only played Alphabet Invaders on a green and black monitor but that was an actual computer.

Maundering mutterer said...

Ha! Good one. I think I should start gaming. I've obviously got a lot to learn!

Prata said... many life lessons from gaming...I can't even begin to enumerate. I love games.

Captain Dumbass said...

Too bad life doesn't come with cheat codes.

Ricardo said...

I play video games and have issue with it. Go play and prosper!

Robin said...

In college I learned not to date frat guys (which I did several times) and not to drink the red punch.

Monogram Queen said...

I really needed to know that! :)
Sorry I have been MIA

Oh and no I didn't parasail BUT there was NO ONE parasailing at all - so technically I am still badass ha!

Monogram Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grant said...

Kira - but Japanese video games teach us that you can rape for free, and the women enjoy it.

Jay - I'm sure video games were secretly developed to teach us real life coping skills.

Whitemist - oh, yeah? Well, I played Star Trek using rocks in the 1800's. Top that! :p

Avitable - I tried that with chipmunks, but my shoes just got sticky.

SJ - alphabet invaders? Sounds like one of those obnoxious learning games.

Maundering mutterer - one wonders how you made it this far in life without gaming.

Prata - I recommend Dragon Age: Origins, even though it is short on bunny.

Captain Dumbass - but at least my car has a reset button. I assume that's what the red thing on the dash does.

Ricardo - video games make life better.

Robin - you should have played more video games in college.

Monogram Queen - happy to be of public service.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

The most useful thing I learned in college is that to get the ketchup out of the glass Heinz bottle, you tip the bottle at a 45-degree angle and whale on the "57".

Yep, $16,000 for that little tidbit.

Grant said...

Coal Miner's Granddaughter - I had to learn that lesson on the mean streets.