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Xhumation avatar 9:53 AM on 04.26.2009  (server time)
Those about to die: Lessons Learned

"Everything chances, nothing stay the same. Every friend betrays me, sooner or later, and every enemy becomes a lover or a friend, but that's the one thing that doesn't change: I don't ever give up, I can't give up"
- Neil Gaiman/Batman

Videogames can be a powerful medium. The narrative structure and gameplay often form a very interesting construction that’s without a doubt larger than the sum of it’s parts. In my case I believe videogames not only entertained me but they also thought me some of the most important lessons of my lifetime.

The day I first played the original Super Mario Brothers I was 4 years old and when the friendly Italian plumber fell into a pit for the first time my younger self became sad and discouraged and didn’t want to play anymore until my father approached me and told me that that particular death wasn't permanent and that I could have another go at it .

“But he’s just going to die again”

That was my answer. Why keep going when he was just going to die again and again in a vicious circle of abuse? Looking back that feeling was probably more frustration that sadness and picking up the controller a week later (it took me a week to get over the fact that Mario died) was a redeeming experience and one of the most powerful experiences of my life because it thought me tolerance to frustration. In real life things rarely go the way we want them to, but even when the world becomes ridiculously hard we have to get up and try again. That’s a powerful lesson that I learned from a few pixels and a controller. The Death of Nintendo’s mascot showed me how to live my life in a weird and unusual way.

This guy is a great teacher

That was just the first incident of many, like I mentioned in a previous C-blog the fight with “The End” in MGS3 thought me that “the chase is better than the catch”, an important gaming lesson that can also be applied to my experiences in dating and other aspects of interpersonal relationships. Someone could have just told me this but it wouldn’t have had the same impact because I killed The End, it’s something that was learned from personal experience therefore a lot more powerful than something that was experienced and someone else and then just told to me.

Not every lesson I've learned has been a good one

I’m curious. What are the lessons you’ve learned from gaming? Has it influenced your life in any way shape or form?

And remember in videogames and in real life: Never let the game be over

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