#1 Edited by ISuperGamerI (1880 posts) -

So I've never really gotten into the Assassin's Creed franchise (mostly because the original turned me off, cause the quests were repetitious), but I'm playing AC2 and it's not too bad (even though the graphics are out of date). I'm kind of obsessed with Italy, so I like the fact that I'm learning a little Italian as I play haha :P I know a few words so far, and I'm only on the 3rd act.

The question is whether or not video games teach you anything? For instance, do they teach you to do something you haven't done before, etc etc.

#2 Posted by schreiberty (204 posts) -

Yea, i didnt know how to skate or play guitar, then i played Tony Hawk while playing Guitar hero and now i can play guitar while skating.

#3 Posted by TyCobb (1945 posts) -

Grand Theft Auto taught me to kill the hooker afterwards to get my money back. Thanks GTA!! :D

#4 Edited by Video_Game_King (35995 posts) -

As somebody who has tried using video games to learn things, I can say "NOT AT ALL".

#5 Edited by fisk0 (3849 posts) -

Gloom taught me to stay alert and watch out for aggro skinheads, a lesson I've taken to heart, and I believe it's kept me alive throughout all these years.

#6 Posted by Blu3V3nom07 (4154 posts) -

Horses can't survive running off a cliff.

#7 Edited by Pepsiman (2459 posts) -

Serious answer incoming(!): the Disaster Report series for the PS2 and PSP are adventure games that center around surviving various disaster scenarios using basically just your wits and whatever's still usable in the wreckage. The first game, for instance, revolves around a earthquake-stricken artificial island, meaning that a lot of your central survival techniques revolve around figuring out how to get clean water and food, as well as knowing how to deal with aftershocks. The second game, Raw Danger, meanwhile, being about a wintertime flood (the series takes place in Japan, where a scenario like this is actually pretty plausible), is more about learning how to find and make heat sources, stay dry (changing outfits to avoid getting cold is a central mechanic), and stave off the cold while remaining mobile and staying outdoors. The third game, which only came out in Japan, goes back to the earthquake motif, but also features other types of hazards not originally covered in the first game, most notably ever-terrifying fire whirls. It also goes into greater depth about human psychology during disaster situations (eg: what to expect from people under extreme stress, how to maintain social order, etc.) and also discusses some other miscellaneous subjects like using cell phones during disasters (ie: the key is text messaging!).

The games didn't originally start off being deliberately educational but increasingly became that as a result of the development team's natural inclination to stay realistic. There are a few game-y mechanics here and there that are ultimately there to benefit the games' ebb and flow, but I know I've definitely learned a lot about basic survival in disaster situations because of those games. As a former and future Japanese resident, that sort of knowledge certainly doesn't hurt to have. By the third game, the developers were aware that people were really starting to learn things from the series, so they went out of their way to provide a bunch of detailed tool tips elaborating on how to tackle various in-game situations in the real world. I know that there are also definitely accounts of people who had played the games in Japan that managed to survive the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami explicitly because of what the series had taught them, which I'd say is as good of an argument as any for the value of the series beyond the quality of the base gameplay mechanics.

#8 Posted by Mrsignerman44 (1100 posts) -

I'm certain I've learned something from a videogame somewhere.

#9 Edited by falserelic (5326 posts) -

The hitman series tought me how to get away with murder..LOL!

#10 Posted by TechHits (1367 posts) -

They teach you how to be better at other video games.

I'm gonna go ahead and say that other than "education games", video games don't teach you anything other than perhaps some random trivia.

#11 Posted by Arabes (338 posts) -

Video games have taught me loads of stuff. The civ series taught me about the progression of society, the importance of specific discoveries, what gun powder is made of and what Angkor Wat is (which I then went to see, it's fucking cool). Jagged Alliance v1.13 taught me about the many many many many guns in the world (if you've played it, you'll know what I mean). SMAC introduced me to hard sci-fi concepts that kindled an interest in astrophysics, quantum theory and zero g manufacturing. Mario taught me to always take the mushrooms before they get away and there is never an extra life if you jump in the hole (despite what my brother said when he wanted a go). Games can teach you loads of theoretical shit. They don't teach you do anything though.

#12 Edited by Rowr (5478 posts) -

I learned to spell and type, as well as expand my vocabulary far ahead of what it should of been for my age by playing early sierra adventure games.

Probably helped with lateral thinking and problem solving also.

#13 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5229 posts) -

I learned how to be a master assassin. I thought everyone knew that's the sole purpose of video games.

#14 Posted by BBAlpert (1369 posts) -

I wouldn't know shit about geography had it not been for the Civilization, Total War, and Europa Universalis games. Now I actually have a relatively decent concept of where countries are.

One other thing I learned from those games (more from TW and EU than Civ) is that Milan is never to be trusted. Ever.

#15 Posted by Village_Guy (2492 posts) -

I learned the majority of the English I know from video games, since the English classes in school were poor at best.

#16 Posted by BBAlpert (1369 posts) -

One other small thing I learned from the Total War games is that squares are super-effective against horses. Or at least, horses are super ineffective at trying to attack squares.

#17 Posted by believer258 (11632 posts) -

I don't know about teaching you stuff in the school-ish way, i.e. learning facts about history, math, etc., but they can help you to think and be resourceful at least a little bit. Generally speaking, in video games you have to learn a ruleset and then implement that ruleset to get through the situations that the game throws at you.

Something like Crusader Kings 2 could probably teach you some about history and maybe geography, but games like that are few and far between. Otherwise, you might learn a few random facts here and there but nothing like picking up a book and critically thinking about what you've read, or doing an advanced math problem, or learning and using a set of real-life skills.

#18 Edited by Clonedzero (4091 posts) -

I got much more familiar with the world flags while playing X-Com: Enemy Unknown. I'd get a new soldier from a country who's flag i didnt recognize so i'd google it. I didn't realize i knew so few flags until i played that game.

#19 Posted by armaan8014 (5329 posts) -

yes, history and stuff :P

#20 Posted by MentalDisruption (1618 posts) -

Yep. I became a much better reader and had a good vocabulary as a kid simply because voice acting in games wasn't a thing while I was still at that learning to read age.

#21 Posted by AlexW00d (6182 posts) -

Quite a bit actually, both directly and indirectly. But this has mostly been from somewhat niche and obscure games; you aren't going to learn too much from most games on the average gamer's shelf.

#22 Edited by Slag (4001 posts) -
#23 Posted by MedalOfMode (294 posts) -

Yes it teaches something but not too much.

And don't learn the History with games. They are put just inspirations not one by one.

#24 Posted by davidwitten22 (1708 posts) -

Roller Coaster Tycoon taught me the word "queue".

That actually helped me on a test once.

#25 Posted by RayCarter (156 posts) -

Would love to think that I've learnt something by putting couple of odd hours into games per day.

Would not have known about the Sengoku or Three Kingdoms Period had it not been for Samurai Warriors and Dynasty Warriors respectively. In fact, I wrote a final essay about one stage in Samurai Warriors, and compared it to the actual battle it was trying to emulate XP [Sekigahara fyi].

#26 Posted by Kierkegaard (579 posts) -

Age of Empires taught me a bunch of history. Think my vocab increased from playing Monkey Island and Kings Quest and Space Quest. That old 2-d tank game taught me that napalm is fucking evil. Learned some important leadership lessons from playing Ratchet and Clank: Up Yours Arsenal online. Games are pretty cool.

#27 Edited by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

Hand and eye coordination, because I'm visually impaired. The motion controls on the wii helped me a little bit on preparing on how to drive.

#28 Edited by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

My little sister learned left and right from Star Fox 64. Also, how to do a barrel roll.

#29 Posted by joshwent (2112 posts) -

@tireyo: If you see something sparkly in front of your car, hit it. There's probably a red shell inside or something.

Playing shooters, I'd say I learned that I should probably never try and shoot somebody. Because I suck at shooters.

#30 Posted by Hunter5024 (5541 posts) -

I can't think of anything specifically, but I'm sure I've learned stuff from games. You can learn from everything.

#31 Posted by mlarrabee (2885 posts) -
#32 Edited by Tireyo (6409 posts) -

@joshwent: I'd rather slip on a banana. It would be cool to go round and round! =-P

#33 Posted by ISuperGamerI (1880 posts) -

Roller Coaster Tycoon taught me the word "queue".

That actually helped me on a test once.

I almost forgot about this. I've played a lot of games (even WoW) that have taught me words that I didn't know before - and on many occasions they helped me on tests no joke haha

#34 Edited by ISuperGamerI (1880 posts) -

The hitman series tought me how to get away with murder..LOL!

That scene was actually hilarious in the game. I was like "just like that, you can throw somebody out the window?"