By Jerry (Staff)

It’s no surprise that the character trait of resiliency and its development in ourselves, our families and our teams is critical to expanding God’s kingdom. I recently came across a TED talk by Jane McGonigal that began with the 5 top regrets that hospice workers heard from those literally on their deathbeds.

  1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
  2. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  3. I wish I had let myself be happier.
  4. I wish I had the courage to express my true self.
  5. I wish I’d lived a life true to my dreams instead of what others expected of me.

McGonigal then shared her journey of how a traumatic brain injury led her to explore the healing value of gaming, even video gaming, in her recovery. Fascinating point of view. And then connects those values to the regrets.

She mentions 4 areas of resilience: Physical, mental, emotional, and social. Then a simple exercise with the audience for each type.

(Oh, Warning: TED does not mean Theological Education & Development.)

After watching the video, I vowed to not tease my brother-in-law about his love for Settlers of Catan. Since a natural question that comes from the presentation is what video games would be age and value appropriate, I’ve asked some of the younger staff (which is everyone) for recommendations.

Naturally, any activity can be abused and gaming can easily turn unhealthy. My apologies to those who cannot get online to view the 19-minute talk.

Here are just a few games that foster playing together or problem-solving (a critical skill for resiliency). Like hot fudge sundaes and cheesecake, one can overindulge in playing games. One needs to do their homework and be discerning in the selection and time spent gaming. Nor does one have to go with the latest and fastest. Finding older consoles and games on sites like eBay and craigslist can be economically fruitful. A teen rating means there can be some language and some blood. Be sure to watch the video before you freak out on the idea that video gaming can have a positive purpose.

Here’s a list my ‘Gamer’ contact suggested:

  • (Teen) Fortnite – This is arguably one of the most popular games in gaming history. You can read reviews I’m sure on the age appropriateness, but I know it’s widely accepted by parents. Some shooting.
  • Rocket League – It’s like soccer but you play with cars. This is one of my favorites to play and to play with friends. Would highly recommend and absolutely no question on its age appropriateness.
  • Sports games – I’ve always enjoyed sports games and they are really good games for siblings to play together. FIFA, NHL, Madden, etc.
  • Forza Horizons 3 – This is a fun “open-world” racing game. You can choose to do specific missions or just drive fast cars around. Family friendly and just a good way to shut off your brain to cruise.
  • The Witness – This is a third-person puzzle game. Very challenging, but makes you use your brain which I enjoy. Had a lot of fun playing this game. Definitely not easy enough for younger kids.
  • (Teen) Jurassic World Evolution – This is a world-creator, simulation game. You get to create your own Jurassic theme park and add all the dinosaurs and attractions you want. Similar to Railroad Tycoon and Theme Park Tycoon, you build up the park. And as you would expect, control of the dinosaurs will go sideways and they dine on homo sapiens now and then.
  • Anything with Mario or Nancy Drew in its title

REMEMBER: This is not to replace board games! Watch the video.

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