Why I Credit Video Games For Preparing Me To Raise 3 Kids At Once

In all seriousness.

by Jonathan Brill
Originally Published: 

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What skills did you hone while gaming that now help you as a parent?

One of the more interesting things about playing a good, immersive, video game is the simulation of being under pressure, overstimulated, and yet still having to make sound, technical assessments of risk in real time. For good games, this is basically what you’re doing over and over.

As a parent, this is a daily occurrence. Situations come up, there’s no playbook, you’re overtired or underfed or overworked, and you just have to make a call and have some level of confidence that if it blows up you’ll get to put another quarter in.


Simple things, like being able to put 3 kids to bed at once, or making breakfast and lunch while helping a kid get their hair untangled or their jacket unzipped — all under time pressure and with a little crying or screaming for good measure. That kind of thing doesn’t happen every day. Some days it’s bliss, and everything falls into place like the tumblers of a lock. But every now and again it’s chaos, and hundreds of hours of slaying orcs while healing or shooting zombies while driving and thinking about the next move helped me learn to slow down my breathing and think under pressure.

I don’t know that everybody would get the same things out of gaming that I did, or that they’d need to. But right now video games are the closest thing we have to simulations, and forcing yourself to confront things that are a stretch for you in a sim will prepare you for anything, even getting all 3 kids down for nap at the same time.

Jonathan Brill is a writer whose work has been published by Forbes, Time, and the Huffington Post. You can read more from Quora here:

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