Article: How Different Video Game Genres Can Teach Different Skills

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Studies show that there are many skills that we can learn from playing video games such as problem solving and cognitive skills. But can different types of video games teach different types of skills? There is certainly evidence to suggest so. Below are a few of the most popular genres of video games and the individual skills that they may be able to teach us.

First-person shooters

First-person shooters rely heavily on fast hand-eye coordination. However, this isn’t the only skill that these games can help you develop. Studies show that shooters are great for improving cognitive functions such as spatial focus, spatial reasoning and visual acuity. Such skills aren’t just relevant to shooting a gun, but various tasks that require cognitive functions like driving or playing sports. These games can also help to improve reaction skills – especially when you’re playing at high level. 

Strategy games

Strategy games are less about fast reaction and more about forward planning. They are great games for building decision making skills – these games force you to make difficult decisions that can impact what may happen later. Such decision-making skills can be just as important in real life. On top of improving decision making, strategy games can also be very educational. For example, a political game can teach you a lot about politics, while a historical game can teach you a lot about history. Some games aim to be more accurate than others when it comes to things like politics, history or geography.


Role-playing games can similarly teach forward-planning and decision-making skills. In many games, the decisions your character makes can affect how the game pans out later. In some respects, these games are better at teaching decision-making on a personal level. There’s also a lot of patience required in these games too as you build up your characters skills and collect currency to spend on items. If you don’t have patience, you can often end up unprepared for the challenges ahead in these games. 

Driving simulators

Driving simulators largely help to test our cognitive skills. Evidence suggests that they may also help us to build real-world driving skills. While being able to take the apex on a corner may not be too useful for regular driving, driving games can teach other skills like processing speed and keeping an eye on other drivers. Certain driving games can also teach us a lot about cars in general and the mechanics of them – which can come in use if you’re a car owner.

Sandbox games

Sandbox games include the likes of Minecraft and The Sims. These games often have no goal, but challenge us to set our own goals. They primarily focus on nurturing creativity and letting us explore our imagination. In games like Minecraft, there can often be a level of artistic skill required to build things. Being able to use these games as a creative canvas can encourage some players to develop artistic endeavours outside of gaming.