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VIE+W | Can we make friendships and learn from gaming?

Some of the participants in the passed YE "Gamification exchanges" and YE "Employable youths", which took place in Costinesti, Romania in June wanted to share with us about their passion for video games. They want to break the stereotype that " videogames zombify people" as they actually helped them make friends and develop themselves.


The difference between gamers and gamers

by Ivan Ganichev

" During my free time I like to sit in front of the computer and explore new stories inside videogames (but not when I have stuff to do with school or work). And I really enjoy doing that. But what really pisses me off sometimes is when people say that videogames zombify people. This is totally wrong and such people should make the difference between gamers and gamers. On one hand, you really have the people that play like zombies and just want to get on the next level. These are usually kids or people with too much free time. And on the other hand, you have the gamers that play games with beautiful, touching and enlightening stories that can make you think about yourself as a person and your decisions, and to really show you how life works. Such gamers I respect and like to talk to. My first experience to cry on a game was on “Life Is Strange”. It’s a popular game in which you play as a photography student who can bend time in a specific way, and who meets for the first time with her best friend for 6 years. They have some fun time together, some things happen, and you take some choices and every choice you make changes the outcome of the game. At the end you are faced against the biggest decision a person can make – to sacrifice your number 1 person to save everything, or to sacrifice everything you know and love to save your best friend. And even though you can rewind time you can’t escape that choice.

What I like about the game is that it shows how in our lives you can’t always have win situation. Sometimes you have to sacrifice something to achieve something else.

And you can’t really run from it. You just got to make it either you like it or not.

And I really cried.

I don’t know why."


Virtual friendship in real time

by Ivaylo Petkov

"The bigger part of a student’s life takes place in school, and after school it is filled with homework, students tend to attend private lessons for the harder subjects so they don’t have enough time to appreciate the fun and awesome part of having a sport as a hobby. I can proudly say that I am not one of them. From a very young age I got fired up about videogames (online games) and haven’t stopped playing since. My friends and I always try to think about new strategies for us to win easier. Thanks to the online games I got to meet so many new people all around the world and thanks to our constant communication, my English improved and so did my skills in teamwork. For all the years I have been gaming, the most important lesson I’ve learned, is that you need to protect the others not only yourself. My favorite game is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (5v5 online FPS shooter).

I realized that I wanted more than virtual friends so together with some friends, we decided to start practicing volleyball. The teamwork skills from videogames were about to pay off. We fell in love with the beautiful sport although we are not that good it’s still fun to gather with friends and play outside the computer. Of course sometimes we aren’t on the same page and we scold each other but it’s normal for teens with real friendship to fall off sometimes. All my life I haven’t even thought about being this happy, having friends not only in the game of Counter-Strike but in the volleyball field as well. I remember one time we were playing against the champions and they were so much stronger than us but we held together as a team and of course we didn’t win but it was a good lesson to learn that we are there for each other. And in case you are wondering about our coach, he is the best, yes he might yell at us sometimes but it’s only for good because he wants us to get better and become the next champions."


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