How Video Games Helped Me Travel Better

How Video Games Helped Me Travel Better

Want to know how you can use your awesome video gaming skills for your travels? Yun Qing tells us how thrashing your opponents in video games can in fact turn you into a mapping-mastermind!

Scary video games

When I was growing up, I loved video games. I was envious of boys whose parents bought them game consoles. My dad didn’t believe in letting girls play video games.

To work my way around this, I played video games on the PC. My dad still complained but at least I had something to play with.

While in high school, I enjoyed playing Taiwanese RPGs (role paying games). Later on, I became obsessed with MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) with its cutesy characters.

After I started work, I played a lot more video games on the PC thanks to my colleagues introducing me to Steam.

Playing for the story

Most of the time, the games I play don’t require a lot of skills. I usually cheat by checkout play-throughs. For me, the best part about video games is the story.

I mindlessly level up as I immerse myself in the virtual environment. It is really great being the hero and accomplishing all those feats without leaving your chair.

I didn’t realise how video games helped with travelling until some years ago. I discovered that video games had given me an indispensible skill for travelling:

I became good at reading maps and visualising directions.

How video games helped build my sense of direction

How video games help me build my sense of direction

For me, the video games I played usually need my character to explore different locations. Sometimes there are maps for reference, such as this map system in Bioshock Infinite which is a favourite game of mine because of its story line. Other times, there would be fan-made maps for n00bs like me to use.

What is great about video games is that you don’t only get to explore a location in-game, but you can sometimes zoom out to see where you are in the bigger picture.

Through these virtual environments, I’ve also started visualising space better. For example, if you ask me for directions to my house, my brain brings up a mental map (like in video games) and I can retrace my steps on this map and give good directions.

Of course, this skill doesn’t really work when I’m plonked into a new city. Since there is no compass hanging on the upper right hand side of my vision (like in video games), I often end up in exactly the opposite direction of where I should go.

These days, I haven’t been playing video games much since my PC isn’t really made for the more advanced games. Still, I miss the days when I helped my in-game character fulfill his/her/its destiny and finish the story.


Contributed by YQ travelling.

About Author

Liau Yun Qing
Liau Yun Qing

Liau Yun Qing is a writer, explorer and glutton. She finished her 4.5-month round the world trip in August 2013 and is now getting reacquainted with normal life. Follow her travel blog and instagram


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