Today I beat the Fire Bellowback in the Sigma vault in Horizon Zero Dawn. The boss’s weapon: stressful mash-button panic that makes me rage-quit a game and not pick it up for months, if at all. This time, I emerged victorious.

Games 🎮 can teach you life lessons. Hades, a game you have to try right now if you haven’t, (seriously, stop reading, buy and download it, and come back after you’ve died several times) is a masterpiece lesson in never giving up. I don’t think I would beat the Fireback if it wasn’t for the daddy issues in Hades (If you play it you’ll understand).

Facing fears is a lesson no game taught me better than Subnautica (turns out I have a phobia of being under seawater). A game about accepting death? Try What Remains of Edith Finch. Regrets and leaving a better world behind you for those you learn to care about? Try RDR2. In my opinion, the game succeeded where many movies failed.

That’s not to say there aren’t some terrible games out there (actually, I’m not a big fan of HZD, I think it has many issues), but even the bad ones can have some gold nuggets with things to teach you to become a better version of yourself.

When I was a teenager, my parents told me I’ll “grow out” of playing games when I’m older. I’m glad that’s one of the items on the “you won’t do or be X when your older” list, for sure. I don’t think I’ll ever stop playing games or cherish what they have to offer.