I’m a gamer – and since 1.2 billion people are playing video games in one way or another – I’m pretty sure you are, too.
But playing video games doesn’t have to be a fruitless hobby. In fact, some video games can actually help you learn new things and improve certain life skills.
Sure, they will never truly compete with conventional education methods – but if you’re going to play a game, you might as well learn something in the process, right?
To help you do that, here are seven video games that will teach you something new.
1. Age of Empires
If you want to brush up on your history, the Age of Empires franchise is one way you could go about it.
Depending on which version of the game you opt for, you can fight with or against the armies of Napoleon Bonaparte, the Inca, and pretty much every major civilization in between.
As the games progress, you get insights into the historical context of each civilization, as well as how they managed their armies.
2. Pokemon Go
Since its release, Pokemon Go has become a video gaming phenomenon.
But it’s not just an augmented reality game based on old school creatures close to the hearts of Millennials. It’s a game that encourages you to get out of your comfort zone, explore, and be social
In my recent article, ‘5 Reasons Pokémon Go Is Crushing It and What You Can Learn From Its Success’, I detailed how I personally met new people in my local area by playing Pokemon Go. Not to mention, there are countless social success stories inspired by Pokemon Go scattered across the web.
3. Assassin's Creed
If the Age of Empires didn’t give you a big enough history fix, the Assassin’s Creed franchise should do the trick.
Each Assasin’s Creed game takes place during a pivotal historical place and time, from Paris during the French Revolution to Istanbul following the Ottoman’s conquest.
As you climb walls, take out targets, and solve mysteries, you’ll notice that the game brings about plenty of historical information regarding individuals, events, and locations.
4. World of Warcraft
This insanely popular Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) game can teach you the value of a dollar (well, a gold coin, actually).
The golden currency used within the game governs pretty much everything your character can do.
Want some shiny new armour? Well tough, you’ll have to save up for it by trading, exploring, or completing quests.
Also, because trading can be done between players from around the world, bartering is another useful skill that WoW teaches.
5. Brain Training
When Nintendo released Brain Training on the Nintendo DS, the world went a little crazy for it.
It uses an array of brain stimulating puzzles and activities to help improve memory and keep your brain sharp.
It seems to work so well, in fact, that a scientific study has been launched to test just how much of an impact Brain Training has on people’s brains.
Minecraft is all about building things. What you build can be incredibly simple, or insanely complex.
The open world game lets you mine for resources and build structures in any way you like, using blocks. You’ll start with a simple house of dirt, but you’ll soon be constructing entire cities that look like they’re from the future.
It’s a charming and approachable game, and yet it can nurture your inner engineer to no end.
7. Wii Fit
The Wii was (and still is) a unique games console, and Wii Fit is its most unique game.
It comes with a balance board that can sense even the slightest body movement. You stand on it and follow on-screen instructions which guide you through 40 exercise-based activities like hula hooping, balance games, aerobics, and stretch training.
Not only can Wii Fit help you lose weight, it will also teach you exercises that can be done anywhere, as well as how to improve your balance.
I love video games as much as the next Millennial – mindless zombie shoot-em-ups included – but it’s sometimes nice to kick back with a game that will benefit you long after you power down your gaming device.
Know any other video games that can convey a lesson or two? Tell us about them in the comments section below!
About the Author
Kaya Ismail is a wordsmith and founder of Employ the Internet. He is a seasoned content marketer with a love for video games and coffee.