Pick up real life skills from these 7 games

games that teach you real life skills dreams make games

Who says video games can’t be educational? You’d be surprised how many real-life skills you can pick up from playing video games – and we’re not just talking about becoming a fledgling diplomat when it comes to negotiating who gets first dibs on the console after dinner.

Whether it’s building your own games, picking up the basics of economics, or learning to play the guitar, video games pretty much have you covered no matter what field you’re interested in.

games that teach you real life skills dreams game logo

Who says video games can’t be educational? You’d be surprised how many real-life skills you can pick up from playing video games – and we’re not just talking about becoming a fledgling diplomat when it comes to negotiating who gets first dibs on the console after dinner.

Whether it’s building your own games, picking up the basics of economics, or learning to play the guitar, video games pretty much have you covered no matter what field you’re interested in.

And who knows… some of these skills could well be the first step you take on the path to a future career.

1. Town planning

Learn it in: Animal Crossing

games that teach you real life skills animal crossing new horizons

In New Horizons, you go a step beyond being a simple mayor or campsite manager by actually designing the layout of your island, from its physical shape to the location of its major facilities. That means making sure everything is both accessible and presentable (because come on, your island is destined to be the best-looking island ever). You’ll also learn a lot about managing unexpected financial ruin at the hands of conniving raccoons, and that’s sure to come in handy.

Shop Animal Crossing: New Horizons here

2. Game design

Learn it in: Dreams

games that teach you real life skills dreams ps4

Dreams on PS4 is all about building whatever you can imagine from the ground up, whether it’s a fully-fledged video game or a photorealistic sculpture of your breakfast. You can create a complete game from start to finish in Dreams, right down to the soundtrack (heck, one band even pulled off a live gig using virtual instruments), which means your dreams of being a game designer are closer than ever.

Shop Dreams here

3. Cooking

Learn it in: Kingdom Hearts 3

games that teach you real life skills kingdom hearts 3

If, like us, you barely know the difference between crème fraîche and crème pâtissière, a few fancy cooking lessons probably wouldn’t go amiss. Fortunately, there are plenty of games for that too. And while you probably wouldn’t expect Kingdom Hearts 3 to be the place to learn the finer points of 5 star cuisine, it’ll take you from cracking eggs to flambéing before you know it. Alternatively, Cooking Mama might provide you with a slightly more rounded culinary education.

Shop Kingdom Hearts 3 here

4. Driving a car

Learn it in: Forza Horizon 4

games that teach you real life skills forza horizon 4

Forget stressful driving lessons in which your parents frantically cling to every available surface in the car and shriek that you’re going to kill them. Learn how to drive in a game (heck, you can even get a realistic steering wheel or a set of pedals if you want to get full immersion) and not only will you not kill anyone, you’ll also get the basics down for driving in all kinds of weather too. Maybe a few real-life driving lessons are a good idea before you take your test, though.

Shop Forza Horizon 4 here

5. Economics

Learn it in: Oxygen Not Included

games that teach you real life skills oxygen not included

Plenty of resource management games will give you a decent grounding in the basics of running a miniature economy – don’t spend more than you can afford, make sure you don’t run out of important things like clean water, and so on – but Oxygen Not Included is a particularly good one, because just like in real life, anything can and will go wrong. You also have to pay attention to things like keeping your Duplicants clean and regularly exposed to fine art, which is pretty important in real life too.

Shop digital credit here

6. Interior design

Learn it in: The Sims

games that teach you real life skills the sims 4

Actually, let’s throw basic architecture in there too. Whether you like to build rustic shacks or twenty-bedroom mansions, run-down cafes or glittering department stores complete with a bowling alley and rooftop art gallery, the Sims caters for it all. There’s a lot more to making a house look the part than throwing in a few fancy pouffes and pot plants.

Shop The Sims here

7. Playing guitar (or bass)

Learn it in: Rocksmith

games that teach you real life skills rocksmith

Your guitar or bass has been languishing in the corner for far too long. Plug it into your console, and start out gentle with simple melodies. You’ll gradually work your way up to increasingly complex chords and techniques, and you’ll be jamming along to the guitar solo in Bohemian Rhapsody before you know it.

Shop digital credit here

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