Video games: Essential to your apocalypse training regimen?
So far Kennedy and I have posited reality TV, an exercise regimen, and imaginative planning as ways to “train” for the apocalypse. But playing video games? Really? Yes. Really.
Video games have been shown to have surprising societal benefits – they’ve been utilized by militaries and the aerospace industry to train pilots and soldiers, there’ve been studies using video games to train surgeons – some even believe that they can be used to reduce (rather than increase) social alienation. Untouched however, are the perspective benefits video games can provide with regards to post-apocalypse preparation.
Video games can help you to place yourself in the position of an apocalypse survivor – challenging your instincts, your imagination, and your reflexes. Don’t get too dependent though, video games give you more chances than reality ever will and, while video games can teach you to make decisions quickly, only reality can teach you that there are infinite possibilities.
As Kennedy knows from living with me, I’ve long been a fan of Age of Empires (grew up with it, you know). If any of you have ever played you’ll know that it’s a strategy game. It’s sort of like a murderous game of digital chess. While it’s a great game (and a lot of fun for recreating battles studied in History and International Relations classes) the play can be a little slow; it’s about long term planning, developing a civilization and your forces to dominate others. And let’s face it – that’s what we’re doing, isn’t it? Planning ahead. Strategizing.
Such games can be a great tool for just that – planning defensive and offensive strategies for the post-apocalypse. They can inspire you to prep and also be a form of prepping. You can bet that rivalries and challenges will crop up and that, in most cases, your little band of survivors will have to compete against others for scarce resources. Strategy games are a great solution for testing prospective strategies before they matter.
More modern games (think first person shooter) are great for testing your reflexes. I am personally excited for Sony’s upcoming The Last of Us which will actually feature a post-apocalyptoc scenario for players to walk through an test their skills. As I said, this kind of game is best suited to testing your reflexes – just like in a real apocalypse situation you’ll have to make intelligent, strategic decisions on the fly in order to preserve your life and the lives of those traveling with you.
The point is that in preparing for TEOTWAWKI one must look at everything as a form of training. So if you’re a prepper and your kids occasionally want to spend a few hours playing XBOX or PlayStation instead of building cob overs LET THEM – it’s just another skill set.
Let us know: have any video games helped you prep? Inspired you to prep? Which ones?