You Learn Something New Every Play: RPGs

Not everyone can be a pro at selecting "Attack" 20 times in a row—it takes practice!

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Games have no shortage of things to teach us, from law and medicine to how best to stack boxes as they fall from the sky. No matter the game, every time you boot up, there’s something you can take away—you learn something new every play!

I’ve been thinking about it a lot, lately. If there’s one game genre that’s left a lasting imprint on my life, it’s definitely RPGs; classic JRPGs like Dragon Warrior and Final Fantasy in specific.

Now, I hear you over there on the other side of the computer. “I can only imagine what Jeddy learned from RPGs! There are so many stories being told; so many A buttons being pressed repeatedly.”

The truth is, it’s not the stories that have stuck with me as much as the habits and strategies. Never use items! Save up until you can buy the best equipment in town! Don’t stay at the inn until you’re out of MP! Fish are weak against lightning!

Final-Fantasy-ElecFishWell, usually…

Granted, some of these strategies don’t really apply to real life. I mean, fresh water doesn’t really conduct electricity that well—and honestly, most things are weak against lightning. But skills like budget management, cost/benefit analysis, and knowing which jars and shelves probably have treasure in them are all useful in everyday living.

Is it better to buy weak armor and a weak weapon, or to buy one item that’s stronger and skip the other until you can afford the best of both? With the MP you have, is it better to kill things faster using spells, or to use physical attacks and save up for healing? The same strategies all apply in real life, too. Should you save up for a big trip, or just enjoy yourself on a smaller scale but more often? Do you keep grinding until you get at least five years of experience, or do you defeat the boss now and beat the game?

River-City-Ransom-Merves-Burger-Joint-SmileDo you just get the Merv Fries or do you pay up for the Spicy Chili?

Not every game lets you hold 99 of every item you can find—from EarthBound to Borderlands, item management often becomes an art. The same can be said about deciding when it’s time to get rid of things in your closet. Or, maybe you’re trying to decide on a new car: Check the stats and the price before you buy, and it might be worth checking in another town to see if they’re selling the same thing for less!

Really, the list goes on. When you’ve been doing these things in games for most of your life, the decisions (and methods for coming to them) all become quicker, easier, and more accurate. Who would have thought that all those years of grinding in-game would actually pay off in real life?

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About the Contributor

Since 2007

Alex "Jeddy" Jedraszczak is presiding Editor-in-Chief at GameCola, not only editing content but often writing it as well. On top of all this GameCola work, he also develops indie games.


  1. Making one think is good.
    Another example you can toss on the pile there would be for Digimon World DS:
    Should I return my digimon to a baby form now so I can work on getting it into a form I want sooner, or should I wait until my level is maxed so it’ll have better stats? Or should I only degenerate it to a rookie form and take one of the other evolutionary paths so it can gain their skills, or even just to gain their data for my digimon encyclopedia?

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