How video games make me better

When I am not doing science and related tasks like writing, I am typically ‘gaming’. Now, I may have lost some of you with that first sentence but stick with me. 

When I was a freshman in college, I brought my Xbox with me and set it up in my dorm room. Hours after moving in, a girl moving in next door stopped by the introduce herself. After what I presumed was an awkward social interaction typical for first-year students, my Xbox caught her eye and she immediately said, “Oh… you play video games? We can’t be friends”.

*awkward laugh*

She was serious. I never talked to her again.

Putting aside some clearly obvious benefits to gaming, I think being a gamer has helped me in numerous ways.

It's not all about Beerio Kart. Check out http://www.thedrunkenmoogle.com/ if you disagree.

It's not all about Beerio Kart. Check out http://www.thedrunkenmoogle.com/ if you disagree.

Being a gamer, I am very achievement oriented (or obsessive but hey let's not argue semantics). I need to collect all the little knickknack collectibles and play games on the highest difficulty setting possible sometimes at the expense of my enjoyment. Now, this may point to a much more serious personality flaw but I think this approach of rewarding small tasks to encourage behavior is big.

I saw this recent post on Nothing in biology makes sense. Although I did not attend #Evol2013, I think rewarding people in a seemingly mundane way can be powerful.

I know it will work on me.

Can someone make merit badges for completed experiments and writing my dissertation? Much appreciated.