What Video Games Teach Us About Programming

What Video Games Teach Us About Programming

Gaming is a great way to relax, collaborate with others and improve your problem-solving skills. But make no mistake: it can also be a great way to learn programming.

In this article, I'm going to share what video games can teach us about programming and how to improve at it.

You Earn Experience Points (XP) By Repeating A Task.

When you're starting out a new game, all your skills are low. In order to improve any particular skill, you have to perform the task related to that skill often. The more you perform that task, the more experience points you earn, which in turn leads to improved skills.

  • If you want to level up in programming, code more.
  • If you want to level up in writing, write more.
  • If you want to level up in design, design more.

It's that simple.

8.png In the example of the video game above, your characters' skills improve when you perform that task enough.

  • Lung Capacity improves if you swim more.
  • Driving skill improves if you drive more.
  • Flying skill improves if you fly planes frequently.

Be Aware Of How You Spend Your Action Points (APs)

Action Points (APs) - The value that determines how many events can take place in a character's turn.

Many games require you to spend APs every time you do something. You only have a limited number of actions that you can do, and you have to choose wisely.
Once you're APs are over, you can't do anything else until they regenerate.
Even when programming or learning it, you only have limited actions that you can do in a day. You can't do everything. So, you have to prioritize which is important for you.
APs are like willpower. If you waste it on things that are not important, then it's a loss for you.
Use your APs to code, read documentations, listening to podcasts, and all the things that make you improve

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Join A Guild

A guild is an organized group of video game players that regularly play together in games.

Joining a guild when gaming has great benefits. It improves relationships, builds teamwork, and also gives the guild respect among other guilds.
In real life, programmers must join communities. You can get help when stuck with a problem, you can collaborate on projects and also your community members may even provide you with job opportunities.
There are many communities that you can find out there and join, but I suggest you start with Twitter first if, you're not active there. Twitter has an amazing supportive community for programmers.


Use Items To Get You Unstuck

Many games provide in-game items that players can use to help them with the task at hand. You can eat food items to gain health, read a book to gain wisdom, and sleep to regenerate.
The same is also true in programming, you can use items to get you unstuck.

  • You can ask questions on StackOverflow to get solutions.
  • You can practice code challenges on Codewars to improve your problem-solving skills.
  • You can read documentation to learn something you don't know.


Do Only One Task At Time

Most games require you to single-task rather than multi-task. You can only do one mission at a time and also some games you can only do one task then move onto the other.
In the game of The Sims, you can only carry out one task, and continue the next when the first one is finished.
Even in real life, we should do one thing and not multi-task. Multi-tasking divides your energy throughout multiple things unlike single-tasking focuses all of your energy on one thing.


I hope you found value in this article. Try the above for a week and see how your programming improves. Thanks, until next time.