Video games are constantly hounded by the media at large – specifically FOX News – as being a rather pointless pursuit that serves only to placate the easily amused, oversexed mind of many an adolescent boy. However, studies into video games have quite conclusively proven the benefits that playing games can have on a young mind in moderation, to heighten reaction times, situational awareness, and the capacity for cognitive reasoning among other things. In unexpected ways, video games have taught us a variety of things amid all that dragon slaying and gunfire. Sure, we all love a dumb game that’s simply fun, but some games by their sheer nature can’t help but actually impart some wisdom that actually has applications in real life.

Here are 10 video games that actually taught something useful.

 

 

10. Microsoft Flight Simulator – How To Fly A Plane

Granted, this one isn’t likely to come in use, but if you’re ever on a flight and the pilot dies, loses consciousness or otherwise falls ill, it might be useful if someone else onboard is able to pilot the plane. Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series is a thoroughly academic video game franchise, taking you through the very real ins and outs of piloting a commercial aircraft, such that if one sunk enough time into it, you might even be able to viably land an actual plane, though of course you’re still likely to have to overcome varying plane specifications, and your own terror.

Still, the game builds a very practical foundation whether you need to save a jet-liner full of passengers, or just want to get some know-how before you actually pilot your own light aircraft for real. As far as practical teaching goes, few games are as astute and studiously-designed as this.

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This article was first posted on December 28, 2012