Better Safety Through Stealth Games

emily-masked

I often credit video games with my sometimes shrewd analysis of real world activities. I may not be the most brilliant person in the world, but I have a decent amount of common sense, and I am more than grateful for that. I feel like games have only ever helped me in that regard. Through all the games I’ve played, I’ve learned to approach different situations in sometimes bizarre, but effective, ways.

This week, as I’ve been playing through Dishonored 2, I realized something: it’s making me think about real world encounters more tactically.

Allow me to digress a bit.

I am very safety conscious. To a bit of a ridiculous degree.

I am a person who is always assessing my environment. When I get on a plane, I am counting how many rows in front or behind me the exit row is, and how many people would have to get to it before I safely could. When I’m in a large public place, my brain immediately pays attention to exits. I am always on the alert should anything go awry.

After an incident in the news a few years back, I figured out what I would do were someone to open fire at the gym. The approach to that situation varies wildly based on where you are and what you have access to.

I always carry a flashlight on my keychain should power go out unexpectedly. If I am going somewhere like Disneyland, I make sure I have a solar-powered, hand-crank flashlight clipped to my bag.

I keep an extra set of contacts in my purse as well as anything I might need in case of an emergency.

It would be an understatement to say I am big on safety.

I am not only big on safety for myself, but for those around me. I have trained our pup with specific commands should his leash ever break and he is loose. We live near a busy street and I don’t want to take any chances.

Back to Dishonored 2.

I don’t usually go in for stealth games. In video games, I love to rush in, guns blazing, and just go bonkers. This is more than a little ironic given how much I am not a fan of guns or violence in reality, but there you have it. I suppose when I’m shooting a ridiculous gun at an enemy that is half spider, half ant, it’s hard to take it seriously.

In Dishonored 2, I am finding the stealth to be less forgiving than its predecessor, which isn’t saying much because I was lousy at stealth in the first game, too. I have been approaching levels with far more caution in the sequel and because of that, I currently find myself thinking about if I had to be tactical in reality, how I would do it, and how I would go about the safest possible route somewhere.

This is fascinating to me.

Statistically, I will probably never (thankfully) encounter a violently negative situation. I am grateful for this.

But.

If something awful were ever to occur, I’d like to think that all my time playing stealth games (and games in general) would help me to quickly assess the safest possible route for myself and others. I like that games get me to think about productive things, safety being one of them.

Do you think games have ever benefit you in a real-world way? If so, how? I’m quite curious to know how others look at the practical benefit of games.

20 replies »

  1. History & Discovery
    Medal of Honor Frontline.
    The news reels, showed persons,& places from our history books.
    These types of games, give us some insight to the real world in history.
    I’ve asked myself, what else could I find out about this specific point in history. The location, as well as the construction of a building, or machine intrigues me.
    Games are so much more than just a game.
    Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice article. Are you sure you aren’t a secret agent?!

    The way you describe how you size up environments, looking for exits – I’ve read articles about how special forces types think like this! They walk into a bar looking for threats and blind spots, while most of us are just looking for our pals!

    To answer your question, unfortunately I don’t think games can teach us much about real life. They’re too separate from reality – whether you’re Super Mario, or Link, or a spy, or a historical figure, or playing God in Civilization. I’m not sure there are gaming transferable skills, but I’d love for someone to prove me wrong.

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    • Nick, I’d say no! In this day & age, one can never be too careful or observant of one’s surroundings. I too, make sure to notice the exits when in familiar & definitely in unfamiliar territory. For example, I take note of exits in movie theaters as a precaution. You never know what might happen. There’s nothing wrong with taking note of your surroundings, better safe than sorry!

      I disagree with you on your thoughts about games not teaching us nothing about real life. For example, Battlefield 1 is a unique depiction of WW1; it gives you an idea of the weaponry, both mechanical & chemical nature. A lot of this wasn’t in the history books; it was just mentioned briefly as a footnote. Also, another thing to note, is that horses were used in WW1. It wasn’t mentioned in great detail, imho! We agree to disagree on the video games not teaching much in regards to real life. Some games teach life lessons like how to get out of a chokehold or how to disable someone safely of a firearm. Just my two cents!

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      • I don’t doubt that Battlefield can tell you a lot about World War One. I also enjoyed Assassin’s Creed games for the history lessons in them.

        What I meant to say was in reply to Rebekah’s question: “Do you think games have ever benefit you in a real-world way?”

        And to that point, no, I don’t think games have a real world application.

        In fairness, a video game can’t teach you how to disable someone with a firearm any more than an action movie can, or your friend in the bar who claims he can do this. Google what to do when someone threatens you with a weapon – in real life – and see if anyone recommends trying to use techniques learned from a computer game.

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      • I still beg to differ on this one, though not necessarily some of the examples you’ve given here. I think seeing something and doing something are very different, so that I understand. However, games have definitely taught me to assess my environment and that transfers into real life for sure.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I also take note of the exits in movie theatres and I like to sit in the back so I can see everyone in case anyone does something weird. It’s better to be prepared than wishing you had been after the fact.

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    • Thank you! And I’m pretty sure I’m the furthest thing from a secret agent.

      Though that would be an interesting twist!

      I do have to disagree on the idea that games can’t teach us anything. I think, if nothing else, they improve hand/eye coordination. I also think they heighten quick analysis of situations and a bevy of other benefits. There is a wonderfully smart lady named Jane McGonigal who wrote a book I loved called “Reality is Broken.” She talks about some very practical ways that games can have real world benefits. It’s definitely worth a read.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I like to think that games, no matter what type, help to enhance critical thinking and problem solving skills. With safety being one aspect, it’s always a benefit to be able to think quickly and have good awareness of one’s surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good article Dishonored 2 is pretty great. I’ve also been a bit “loud” when it comes to playing any games that require stealth. But I find lately that I’ve been preferring this method if giving the option. In Uncharted 4 there were so many segments where you could take down every enemy via stealth and it completely changed my run-and-gun style of playing.

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    • Thank you!

      Ha! I hear you on being “loud” in the game, although my loudness is entirely unintentional!

      I think I tried to do stealth in Uncharted 4 but eventually just decided to take everyone out. Oops.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I’ll have to do a 2nd playthrough and stick to my more traditional style of carnage and mayhem :P

        That said, do you share your posts on any other websites? I work over at Creators .Co (we’re part of Movie Pilot and Now Loading) and this is the sort of content that makes for an interesting read. If you were open to the idea of posting your work on our sites in addition to also having your blog/site here, I’d be more than happy to help you get started. My e-mail and more info can be found on my page. (o^.^)b

        Liked by 1 person

      • I always have the best intentions and then get spotted and say “Screw it!” and just go bonkers. This time I’m really trying to be as stealthy as I can. We’ll see how long that lasts!

        Wow, thank you! I will definitely check it out! Thank you!

        Like

  5. Nothing wrong with being prepared. I think that’s simply the actions of a mind that is anticipating; one who is always thinking of ways to improve a situation or outcome. For as morbid as it sounds, it’s the most prepared who survive. And I’m limiting that simply to life or death situations lol. It applies to everything; grocery lines, traffic avoidance, etc.
    We’re in the same boat on this topic. Some random ones I’ve thought about/concluded defending against: dog attacks, trampling in a crowd, crash landings on planes, explosions (an obvious one lol… but that one I wasn’t prepared for, so it makes sense that I think about it now), robberies with various weapons, and ones that you’ve listed as well.
    As they say in Mechwarrior, “Information is ammunition!” :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that information is ammunition! But only for self defense.

      Those are other great examples of situations to assess for sure. I do admit: I was once out walking our pup and another dog just ran out from nowhere and tried to attack him and I freaked out. Fortunately our pup is fast and was able to keep away from the VERY agitated dog who was trying to bite him. It made me rethink how I would handle a future situation were it to happen again. Scary stuff.

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