Generally, people learn more about themselves by evaluating specifics on how they act during certain events. For me, the event is definitely gaming. I’ve found that I have oftentimes been ahead of the game when it comes to understanding who I am as a person. I think gaming has taught me a tremendous amount about myself.
I’ve found when I am playing a game I take enormous amounts of risks within the game. For example, I recently played through Jak and Daxter again via the PS3 HD Collection. In one scene, there is a spiraling set of platforms going up and deadly liquid rising beneath your feet. Naturally, I bolted for the platforms to make my escape. It is an extremely simple task; something any average gamer could do first try. I noticed it was taking me more than the assumed average, because I was rushing and taking ridiculous risks that were plausible separately, but back to back I was bound to fail every time. After I noticed how I was instinctively playing the game, I decided to cut back on the risk and focus on survival. I succeeded first try. Honestly, I’ve taken risks in real life as well. Nothing too dramatic, but I have since noticed that I will do silly or typically embarrassing things before other people, because I’m willing to take the risk. I’ve also socially taken risks and given successful advice about risk-taking. Now that I understand I am a “risky” person, I have realized I’ve done it a lot in my lifetime.
Another thing I’ve noticed about myself via gaming is my generosity. Fallout 3 was a phenomenal experience I think us Open-World RPG fans will remember forever. Among the beasts and treasures of the wasteland, you would find certain NPCs who would ignite several different kinds of tasks. I remember one of these tasks clearly. An NPC was dying of thirst and begging for clean water to drink, since the majority of the water in game is toxic. I, without a second though, handed the man ALL of my clean water thinking “I’ll be fine, since I’m sure I’ll find much more in my travels.” After playing several more hours in the game, I came across a similar NPC, begging for water. Once again, I gave him all of it. No second thoughts. One day my brother was watching me play and I came across the first NPC, who was still begging for water. Upon handing him my water for the third time, my brother asked me “What do you get for doing that”? I thought for a minute and responded with a simple “Not sure, didn’t really think about that.” That is when I realized this trait. I understand the value of a dollar, but I also understand the value of helping someone in need and hold the latter on a much higher pedestal. It reflects in my multiplayer gaming too, for example, I like to be the cleric in a group of RPG heroes, the one who is there make sure my friends make it out okay. I usually choose a support type class in FPS games. It’s not just in games either. I’ve always been the kind of guy who feels guilty not helping those in need, since I know I have it pretty good compared to a lot of people. I donate to charity frequently.
These two things are a couple of examples of what I mean. Next time you’re doing something you love, ask yourself, “Where can I see the reflection of my actions in my everyday life”? It’s interesting to speculate your strengths and weaknesses by evaluating how you do something you love. It’s obviously not just gaming either, it applies to Music, Writing, Reading, Exercising, Filmmaking, Cooking, Driving, pretty much anything you can think of!