6 Things That I Had Learnt From Playing Games

13 Comments Posted in Personal Development



I have recently started playing Defense Of The Ancient (Dota) and it is a real time strategy game. This is how the game works. There are 2 sides each with 5 players in the team. Each of the player will choose and control an individual hero and the main objective is to destroy the main tower of the opposition team.

If you want to win the game, here are some of the things that you will need to know or do

  • Your hero’s strength and weakness
  • Keep a balance between attack and defending
  • Teamwork and communication
  • Strategies and planning
  • Items to buy
  • Be observant and be aware of your surroundings

What You Can Learn From Dota

Your hero’s strength and weakness

Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.

~ Sun Tzu

In Dota, you will need to know what are the strengths of your hero, the things they are capable of doing and their weakness. You need this information so that you can play to your strength and minimize your weakness. Trying to pump skills that your hero is weak in will take too much effort and time and most of the time you will only receive mediocre results. If you are playing as a hero who has great strength and low mana pool for magic, it doesn’t really make sense to put in all the effort to turn him into a character who uses magic. It will be much more easier to train him in terms of strength where he can really excel.

In real life, you will need to find out your strength and play to it. Instead of trying to turn your weakness into your strength, why not minimize your weakness but spend most of your effort to work on your strength? This will help u to use the least amount of effort to attain the maximum result. It is a classical example of the 80/20 principle.

Know when to attack and when to defense

“Work, love and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being”

~ Orison Swett Marden

In an hour long game, there will be multiple times when you will take turns attacking and defending. However the team will lose if they only know how to attack and neglect about defending and vice versa. Dota is a game where you need to strike a balance in attacking and defending in order to win.

In our life, there are examples where we spend too much time in ether side and that can cause us our downfall. If you are always “defending” in life, that means you are playing too timid and staying too much in your own safety zone, you will lose out the chance to win. How about spending too much time in “attack”? If you are spending too much time on trying to achieve success in your career but you forget about your family and friends which are things that are also important, your success will be meaningless. You wouldn’t want to return back home with lots of money but without anyone to celebrate with.

Teamwork and communication

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

Because it is a 5 v 5 game, you need to have great teamwork and communication in order to win the game. You wouldn’t want to go out to attack while your team mate is trying to flee away, leaving you alone to face 5 opponent heroes at the same time(My teammate had scolded me for leaving him behind before). The lesson for this point is always let your team mates know what you want to do and also what you are thinking instead of assuming that they know what you are thinking.

There are too much time when we assumed that others knew our thoughts. This will lead us to lots of misunderstanding. If you are working in a team, you will need to hone your communication skills as it can help you to clear up lots of misunderstanding and get things done in the most efficient way. One way you can use to communicate better is to not to assume. Do not assume that others knew what you want, instead deliver the information in a clear and concise way to them. You can tell them to paraphrase what you had said to ensure that they had understood it.

Strategies and planning

“It pays to plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.”

~ Anonymous

If you do not plan ahead to attack in Dota, you will find your team mate confused and they will stay idle waiting for something to happen. That means that there is a high possibility that your team mates will be outnumbered when engaging the enemy as the attack will not be in sync. All these can be prevented by planning ahead, so that all 5 of you can attack at the same time.

You will need a plan if you want to have a successful attack and it is the same if you want successful results in your life. A good plan can help you to have a vision of what you want and it also act as a guide for you to follow.

Items to buy

A fool and his money are soon parted


There are lots of items in Dota but they are not meant for every hero. You do not really need some of those items and if you spend huge amount of money on those items, you are basically wasting your hard earned money.

There are times when we spend our money on things that we don’t really need and it sucks money out of our pocket. Those are liabilities. If we spend too much money on getting a cell phone, new car or branded goods every now and then, we will not have enough resources to buy assets. So what are assets? As what Robert Kiyosaki said, “Assets are things that are putting money into your pocket.” Assets such as properties, stocks, books and etc are what we should be accumulating as they are able to provide additional streams of income.

Be observant and be aware of your surroundings

The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger – but recognize the opportunity.
~ John F. Kennedy

One unwritten rule of the game is you must always pay attention to your mini map. The mini map shows you the whole picture of the game and you will need to check it out frequently to be aware of the positioning of your allies and enemies. If you pay attention to the mini map, you can also look out for opportunities to help gank (double team) an enemy’s hero. Which means that you will get more kills, money and experience.

First of all, I would like to test how observant you are and your awareness of your surroundings. Do you know which light is on the top of the traffic light? Is it the red or the green? I believe most of you have hesitated before answering even though you cross the road everyday. The answer is red. Did you get that right? If you answered correctly without any hesitation, congrats! Most people are not sure about the answer and you will be among the minority if you got that right.

In the real world, there are lots of opportunities that are waiting for us to grab it. All we need to do is to be aware of the opportunities around us. Living without any awareness of the surroundings means that we will miss out on chances that can be our “lucky break“. My favorite example of how awareness can help one to be rich is the mistake prone secretary who created the correction fluid which  turn out to be a million dollar product.

Start by consciously choosing to be aware of your surroundings until it becomes a habit. It helps if you stay curious and slow down your pace of life. Rushing from one place to another or working on one task after another without resting can cause our mind to work in a subconscious way, which means that you will not be aware of what is happening around you.

Parting Words

I really enjoy playing games on my PC or Xbox360 and I find that I can always learn something from it. Most people think that playing games are a waste of time but I hope this article can change their thoughts. By the way, did I mention that I saw a research that state people who play games have a higher possibility of achieving better results in their career? 😉


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13 Responses to “6 Things That I Had Learnt From Playing Games”

  1. vandealer says:

    I like this; I love the idea that even seemingly unproductive things such as playing video games are helping us in our lives, possibly without us even realising it 🙂

  2. this topic is relay nice.so I share my a little story,that is I am going to a huge teen gathering in the summer with parties activities and games. I only know one person whom i am gong with. How do i meet other people and make a great first impression?

  3. Vincent says:

    Hi Cash Back,

    I was into Counter-Strike too and team work and communication is really important in that game. Without it, we would just get fragged easily. 🙂

    Hi Human Resource Management,

    Thanks for your comment and I hope you get something out of this article. 🙂


  4. First time read any can create such lovely motivational post from game, you change the view of playing game, need to develop such view of learning from everything. Quotes are very inspiring in post loved your quotes more.

  5. Cash Back says:

    Yes there are many lessons to be learned through games, even some video games where you wouldn’t expect it. A while back I was really into Counter-Strike. To do well in that game you also had to hone your teamwork skills. You also learned things like planning, patience and communication. Without those things you would often lose.

  6. Vincent says:

    Hi Jean,

    Yeah. The Brazil vs USA match is a good example too. There are definitely things we can learn from playing games and now we can play games without guilt. ;p

    Hi Srinivas Rao,

    Personal development can be fun too and in this way, using video games to teach us valuable lessons in life.

    Hi Vic,

    Welcome to HealthMoneySuccess and it seems like it is the first time you make a comment over here. I’m glad that you like this article and I look forward to your future comments too. 🙂

    Hi Helen,

    Thanks for your opinion and I would try to come out with some articles on that topic.


  7. helen says:

    you put this article in an interesting way. It is said that playing more net games help build one’s brain. Yep, you will benefit from it.But the lessons we learn from games perhaps are not always constant.I am inclined to hold the opinion that net games are mostly for fun.Of course ,all your views in this article are definitely true. I especially agree with your comsuing one , being observant ,and striking a balance.I am not sure your age, are you still a college student? Reading people and tiny stuff consciously around you are both important.hope you can write something on how to grow faster from your experience or alike.

  8. Great reflection Vincent!
    It’s always great to get lessons from everything we do. And thanks for sharing them to the world.

  9. Srinivas Rao says:

    Hey Vincent,

    I enjoy a few games myself, mainly sports games. But you’ve definitely drawn some interesting life analogies from playing video games. Never would have thought there would be personal development lessons in video games.

  10. used tires says:

    Strategy games and rpgs are always a good time. I think you really hit on the topic of staying true to yourself. You cannot be perfect, and no one is great at everything. Yet everyone has areas that they are better at. I think it’s important to keep your weakness on tab though, work on them a little bit, especially if is an important skill. I am horrible at math, but I work on it because it is a valuable skill… although I am certainly not trying to make it as an engineer… I would not make it. When you spoke of attacking and defending, it actually reminded me of soccer. If you watched the fifa tournament, you must have seen the Brazil Vs. US game. Brazil is an attacker, that is what they are wholly focused on doing most of the time, although slipping up on their defenses costs them quite a bit. The US scored 2 relatively easy goals on them first half. I like your take on video games, they are more than meets the eye. Valuable lessons can be taken from them!
    till then,

  11. Vincent says:


    There are lots of lessons out there for us and all we need to do is to actually bother to open our eyes and find it. 🙂

    @Car insurance guy

    Yeah! I feel that way too. 🙂


  12. Great post! Who says you can’t learn something while enjoying yourself?

  13. Excellent article and lessons learnt, Vincent! It is true that if we would just be more observant and open-minded, we can always learn something from our everyday activities.

    Thanks for sharing!