Things I learned while gaming

By Alexandre Ferroz

Things I learned while gaming

Hello everyone, my name is Alexandre Ferroz.  I've been gaming since I was 4 on my good and old megasystem and computer. Since then, I've never stopped playing one thing or another. Nowadays, I play poker professionally.

So this is my first real blog post, forgive me if this is not the ideal writing style, but I'm learning as I go. 

To start everything off, I want to talk about what I learned over my years gaming. It's a peculiar topic, but I have applied as much knowledge to gaming as I learned from it.  I'll try to skip the basic knowledge, like multitasking because everyone learn those things while gaming, I suppose.

The first thing that comes to mind is resilience. I remember playing games like Sonic or Mario and being unable to win.  I knew that there was a way to beat every single game, I just had to do it differently/better, learn from my experiences, and experiment. As I improved and moved into the next level, early levels would become easier and easier.

Tibia was a game that changed my life. Not only because it included a social aspect to the game, but also demanded that I interacted with others in order to play it. I even had to write to talk to NPCs! As much as this game is frowned upon, to me it was a huge turning point. You see, I was quite shy and friendless at the time and this game forced me to interact in-game to survive. That got me to learn much needed social skills, respect and even to understand important aspects of society and basic concepts of economy.

Most of the trades were player-to-player exclusive, so unless I could get a very lucky drop on a strong monster (which would demand a lot of resources and preparation), I had to negotiate. And players that had those items were hard to negotiate with! You had to be able to make a good long term offer to even get their attention. I did this through in game runes. You see, the runes you needed to battle were also player-made, you couldn't buy them on any shop and the only way to produce was to wait several minutes to create ONE. So if you could produce many of them, higher level players would often pay more and grant you much-needed protection. Not only was I faced with these new social interactions but, at that time I didn't speak a word of English. I'd play next to a thesaurus and use it to (try to) translate other people messages, since there wasn't any sort of google translator available. Funny thing is that I learned most of my English from that. 

At some point I discovered poker, strategy games and MOBAs. Poker was a second turning point in my life, but I'll probably talk about it on another post. Strategy and MOBAs were fantastic to apply math and everything I learned at school. I had to manage resources from the beginning and game-mechanics. However, at some point I was unable to beat others no matter what until I heard someone talk about efficiency in class. At the time, I couldn't make think much out of it but, as I was playing Command and Conquer, I realized that if I was to beat others I had to take every single advantage available. It wasn't about making one or two things very well, it was about squeezing every little advantage to it's maximum and "efficiency" was fundamental for me to push my advantage. I finally understood why people would rush this or that item on certain champions or rush this or that building on RTS games. 

Nowadays there are many sources of information to improve your gaming skills, but back then there wasn't. I just had to "fail, learn and try again" and repeat this process hundreds of times. Now you can google and find a guide without much effort. There is a lot of information (sometimes too much), but going back to the basics and the "whys/how" is huge learning experience not only in-game but outside.

I'm not sure if any of you had this experiences as well, but from now on I'll try to share my view on games, esports and learning in this blog. Hopefully help someone learn a thing or two and I am certainly expecting to learn a thing or two myself.


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