Video Game Lesson: How to Do Anything Better

‘Sentinel 3: Homeworld’ is a fantastic tower defense game available for Android. I’ve played many games in this genre, but it’s easily the best*. Now, as well as giving me the visceral satisfaction of destroying countless alien beasties with rockets, poison, bolts of electricity (and much more besides), its required strategy has taught me a few things, all of which are applicable for life in general, and also for specific projects. This was probably not the intention of the game’s creators, Origin8. But as unexpected bonuses go, it’s pretty spectacular. Here’s what I learnt:

  1. Have a strategy. This could be for speaking e.g. ‘Write a witty yet informative speech’. But it might also be the objective of a new business e.g. ‘Provide the best plumbing service in the North Norfolk area.’ Stick to it until it no longer serves your purpose, then rip it up and adapt it as necessary. 
  2. Do your research. What does your target audience need to know? Know your audience, and you’ll be much better prepared and won’t waste their time. There may be some special information you can learn to put you ahead of your competitors. (In the case of this game, my research meant I learnt which weapons were most effective against each category of monster.)
  3. Use your resources wisely. Don’t invest in something until you know you need to, but when the time comes, do so with conviction. Not spending any money is prudent, until you need to travel somewhere for a money-making opportunity, in which case you should splash the cash and enjoy it. Refusing to work for someone until you’re skilled enough is good practise until you reach the required level without recognising that you’re ready.
Outside Sentinel 3’s minute-by-minute experience, the game as a whole shows that you can take an existing format and put a good spin on it to deliver something original and exciting. Wait a minute, that’s another thing I’ve learnt! Oh they’re good. Well done Origin8, you’ve allowed me to both kill time and learn meaningful life lessons. I bet that wasn’t in the design document.

Or was it? Oh, they’ve done it again. 

*I mean this. And yes, I’ve finished ‘PixelJunk Monsters’, ‘Savage Moon’ and ‘Field Runners’. So back off.

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