Do engineers play video games?

Do engineers play video games? Of course! All types of engineers play video games. Especially young engineers who grew up with gaming consoles.

I find video games today play a role in almost every engineer’s life in some form. Video games offer:

  • Challenging problem-solving.
  • A lens into alternative realities. Like sci-fi books, they inspire engineers to invent new things.
  • Provide a pulse on the latest technologies.
  • Amazing entertainment. Especially these days, with how advanced games have become even on your phone.

That said, engineers are normal people but with more “nerd” like tendencies. So, we naturally gravitate towards video games.

An engineer’s urge to play normally goes down over the years though. This is due to new responsibilities and interests. But, the passion for video games always remains.

I’m a gamer for life

nintendo-super-mario-brothers-game-play
Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers (Photo Credit: Tony Bennett)

I’ve been a gamer for as long as I can remember. I started with the original Nintendo console.

I played Mario and Duck Hunt religiously. From the first time I picked up the rectangular Nintendo controller, I was hooked.

Later, I advanced to Mario 64 and Final Fantasy 7. Then I moved onto games like the ‘The Last of Us’.

So, I have a huge love for video games. But, my gaming habits have certainly changed over the years.

I know most long-time gamers share a similar story. And if you’re like me and an engineer, you grew up with at least one of the following consoles:
Video Game Console NameConsole Release Date
Atari 26001977
Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)1985
Sega Genesis1988
Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)1991
PlayStation1994
Nintendo 641996
Dreamcast1999
PlayStation 22000
Xbox2001

Playing video games as a long-time engineer

I’ll admit, I don’t play today as much as I used to. Here are the reasons why:

1) Time limitations: I’m juggling many things today. I don’t have much time to play video games. Or, for that matter, do many things that most people would view as entertainment.

That said, when I do take breaks, I go on nice vacations.

2) Other interests: these days I like to build things. I don’t want to only consume what others have built.

Plus, when I do play video games, I’m more stimulated to go build things. This makes playing even more difficult.

3) Wasted time: the feeling I’m wasting my time creeps in the back of my mind. Why am I driving around in a virtual world chasing virtual criminals?

I understand game developers program games to keep us hooked. It’s the perfect drug.

Then again, what if we’re living in a simulation today? Consumerism has woven itself into today’s everyday life. It hooks many people like video games do.

In short, I view each of my actions as an opportunity cost these days. I weigh out the cost-benefit.

As a kid, life was much more simple. I pushed in my game cartridge in my N64 and played GoldenEye all night without a second thought. My focus was only on blasting bad guys.

Can you be a gamer AND a great engineer?

I define a great engineer as someone who leads and solves complex problems. Or, an engineer who starts their own successful tech-driven business.

A gamer is then someone who plays a lot. Maybe several hours every day.

Clearly, both are very demanding pursuits. I can’t see how you could juggle both effectively.

But, if you play just on weekends I can see it working out. Instead of watching TV or going out, you play video games.

Keep in mind, you can be an avid gamer as an engineer. You just need to be okay with collecting paychecks as a regular employee.

I know people who start playing once they get home until midnight. Typically, they don’t have a family though.

All in all, adult life throws you curveballs.

Future of video games for me

virtual reality 3d gear
Photo Credit: Stéphane Bernard

Despite playing less and less today, I’m still fascinated with video games. If you love video games, today is the best time to be alive.

Yes I know, the future will be even cooler.

But my point is, the advancements in the gaming industry today are mind-blowing.

Below is a list of things I’m excited about. And yes, I’ll somehow find a way to work them into my schedule.

Nintendo Switch: Nintendo games are not only nostalgic, but they’re pure fun.

Nintendo developers get it. I swear, they have secret training on how to make fun games.

What’s more, you can get in great exercise while you play amazing games on the Switch.

This is something I’ve been looking into since I love both exercise and gaming. Thus, kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

VR: VR will soon bleed into the engineering world to an even greater degree. That in itself would be a watered-down level of gaming.

For example, exploring old engineering projects from inside your office.

That aside, the technology is growing fast. I’m excited to see the future of gaming in a 3D world.

PS5 and Xbox Series X: I have my eyes glued on these next-gen consoles. Even though I don’t play much, I still love to follow the tech.

The evolution of gaming with these consoles is amazing. Even more, the games are looking more lifelike and are more immersing.

The shift in the types of games I play

I still love all types of video games. But, only certain games fit my lifestyle today when I do pick up a controller.

Linear versus open-world games

Open-world games are so lifelike these days. You have the freedom to do what your heart desires.

But, when you have a busy schedule it’s the last thing you want. I wouldn’t touch these games with a 10-foot pole today.

I don’t want to search for 4 to 5 hours for a key only to open a castle door. Uhhhh, no!

Those 4 to 5 hours I could be spending time with my family, working, and exercising.

So, give me a great 2D game, and I’m good. No wasted time with exploration. Just pure action from the time I pick up the controller.

I still greatly appreciate open-world games. It’s amazing how much freedom developers have given players. But, it’s not my cup of tea anymore.

Multiplayer games

I loved playing multiplayer games as a kid. Talking shit to friends as you killed them over and over again in games like GoldenEye. Or racing endlessly all night in Mario Kart race tracks.

Now today, I’m even more competitive. So, placing the smackdown on friends is still pure enjoyment.

Plus, what better way to connect with friends given how busy adult life today is. With online play, it’s easier than ever to play with anyone anywhere.

Grinding in games to level up

Every great gamer knows about grinding. It’s when you play the same level or mission over and over again to level up.

As a kid, I loved grinding to level up my characters. I remember playing Final Fantasy 7 as a kid for endless hours.

I traveled the open world to find areas where the monsters gave me the most experience. Then, I played the same monsters over and over again. Talk about repetitive.

I wanted so badly to max out each of my characters. It wasn’t even necessary for beating the games.

Today, grinding would be pure insanity to me. I would go as far as saying it would be torturous.

There’s something about childhood innocence that’s so beloved in hindsight.

Video game selection

When I was a kid, there were only a select few games to choose from. And back then, the cost of most games was $59.99. That wasn’t cheap, for my family back then, at least.

Now, these days thousands upon thousands of games exist. On top of regular developers, we have indie game developers cranking out games too.

It’s a gamers paradise today. And if you’re an engineer, you probably make great or decent money. So, engineers can buy any game they like.

In other words, gamers today are spoiled. I’d go as far as to say gamers are overwhelmed.

In my case, I have more unopened games sitting on my shelf than opened games. As a kid, since I only bought one game at a time, I played that game to death. I played it every day for months on end.

Today, it’s the complete opposite. How times have changed…

“Do engineers play video games?” wrap up

Video games are a great form of entertainment. And, an escape from the stresses of adult life.

For this reason, I see more and more engineers playing video games.

But, typically, the more entrenched you get in adult life, the less you’ll play. The itch will always remain though, from everything I see.

Plus, video games are a great ice breaker in most engineering workplaces. Most people love to talk about their gaming experiences.

What type of video games do you play? Do you find many people in your workplace play video games?


Featured Image Photo Credit: Tony Bennett (image cropped)

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