Media tends to portray video games as a way to instantly learn any skill, with no muscle memory or mass required. This erroneous belief tends to fuel the debates surrounding violent video games while providing comic relief in movies and TV shows. But technology is evolving, and more and more technologies use video game controllers as interfaces, while video game controllers are beginning to mimic real life motions. So is there some truth to this notion of video games teaching you new skills and abilities? In this [potential] series, I look through my own life and stories from the news, as well as what you, fellow TAY friends, tell me in the comments, in order to piece together a better picture of the things we can learn from video games outside of moral implications and life lessons.
As the trope would suggest, a lot of the abilities on display in video games are centered around fighting abilities. My capacity for violence is astonishing to some, so let's start with something a little less deadly: fishing! Living in Texas, it seems that if you don't hunt, you fish, and if you don't fish, you haven't lived. But I didn't learn to fish from my father like most stereotypical people in the Lone Star State. I learned to fish from Link.
Come on, what else did you expect from me? I promise the next article won't involve Zelda.
But it's true. The way fishing was set up in Twilight Princess was identical to the way Captain Bob (the boat captain of my first real life fishing trip) quickly showed me before driving us off to the swamps of Louisiana. What's more, because of my time in the Fishing Hole, I was already really good. Bob called me a natural, but he didn't know that I was a gamer. In fact, the "popping" mechanic really does attract certain kinds of deep-water fish, like the two red snappers I caught that day.
It's very clear to me that the motion controls on the Wii were what allowed the fishing to translate from the virtual world to real life. While incredibly imprecise and downright annoying for most motions, the controls for the fishing game were identical to holding a rod n' reel, mainly because fishing is rather imprecise when you first start anyways. If any of you are fishermen and played Ocarina instead of Twilight Princess before your first trip, please let me know how the experience went and if the game affected your catching in any way. And of course, tell me any skills or activities you've successfully learned or mimicked from video games!