Why SC2 is good for you

Starcraft 2 is a Real Time Strategy game. I want to share some crazy ideias but maybe not so crazy at all in the and about how i think this game can help you as a software developer. :-)

I`ve played this game for a year and i saw some improvements in my life related to some skills like multitasking, problem management and several other things, i also saw other people getting better in same things and those people had similar experiences like me.

This are the 7 things IMHO the game make you pracitce/learn/develop/train/do:
  • System Thinking / Patterns / Readings
  • Improve your Response Time / Multi-tasking
  • Work on presure and Problem management
  • Focus on Learning / Education
  • Practice Discipline / Driven
  • Gain Confidence / Positive System Cycle
  • Practice Team Work / Friendship / Fun

System Thinking / Patterns / Readings

The game is all about systems, you have 3 races, so each race have good and bad things, have weakness and strengths. You have the nontion of COUNTER attack, like one unit kill you but then another unit will your first unit(counter).The map favor one or another strategy and favor some races and some styles of play(agressive, defensive, economic, upgrades, cheese, rush, etc..). Plus you need be worry about economy, time, upgrades, harass, so there are several variables and dimentions you need to take in account. Because of the system thinking nature here you endup with patterns, builds(specific building oerders to have, army, money, tech or attack and all this are pre-optimized) so you need to know all structures from all races all unities form all races than you caa know the counters and the patterns, some builds works better in some maps than others and you have a different build for a different race that you face, all this makes a scenerio for a reading, you need to read the game, this is freaking awesome because you want to know what they are buiding. You got that in several places outside sc2 like chess, like sports, them you have the tern i read you, once you read the other guy you know what he is doing you can really beat him.

Improve your Response Time / Multi-tasking

Since is an RTS(Real time strategy) response time is critical to win and to get better on the game, you need take actions quikly based on scout(see what the otehr guy is building, what he is doing, what units they have, what is the army composition, what tech he has, what kinda of economy he has, is he about attack?, upgrades?, late game, etc...) so you also want to control de map to see your enemy is comming, this is crutial, information is crutial and them you need react fast, change you build, focus on economy or attack or defend, this is critial time to response. This is very related to multi-tasking as weel becase the game demand you be doing several things in parallel some times 10x in parallel, so this one big push to improve your multi-task skills.

Work on presure and Problem management

You need be alaways watching several threads like: economy(build workers, take gaz), upgrades, army(build army to attack), attack, defend, build while they are attacking you is critical, if you stop building you are doomed, you cant stop teching up , macroing(economy), no matter if yo uattacking or defending. This is great because make you be aware about problem sooner, and even more important make you be ok with problems. This is important, you cant get crazy just because you have someone attacking, so you get used to it, and becomes natural, normal, and this is create because develop your resistence, your mind, your mental strength, for your real life you could endup getting more patience, more srtong problem management / resistence.

Focus on Learning / Education

You cant get better just playing, impossible. You need study, learn and practice, so you need read strategy sites, builds, you need watch streams of other players playing(like a codiong dojo), you need download they replays and watch. So the game demands study and educate your-self in a very systemic and consistent way. You have the concepts of leagues and seasons, like TV shows, so you play for 3 month for each season and you have leagues that are kind of your level you have: Bronze(where you start), Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Gran Master(only 200 per region). I took 10 months to go from bronze to silver, and that was a great experience, when i got silver i felt rewarded, like i was promoted in work, getting more money :-) Thats mastery! Get the satisfaction just for the sake of getting better. After each game loosing or winning you need watch the replay to learn what you did why went ok way went bad, so you are doing a kinda of a retrospective, analysing you work all the time and learning, so you got continnus learing(lean) you got continnuous improvement always thinkign about your game and getting better.

Practice Discipline / Driven

Well thats pretty obvious if you read and got the previous points. You need dicipline to keep practicing, keep learning, keep playing and trying new things, trying the same build over and over, even loosing, keep watching the replays. And dont loose HOPE after loose, loose, loose, loose, loose. In this game you gona loose, and you gonna loose a lot, so you cant let this let you donw. You need be stronger and keep pushing, dont let it done. IF this are not good principles and things to apply to your life and carrer i deeply dont know what it is. So in order to get better the game make you be focused and you really want get better so this create a systemic cycle(very addictived i say :-) ).

Gain Confidence / Positive System Cycle

As you play you end-up getting better if you do it in a deliberate way(learning, practive, build order, study, no-cheese,no-rush, replays, etc...) and them this help to show you can do hard tings, get better here and beat other guys is hard, its a challendge a lot of times, once you start winning or your winning rate is more decent you end up trusting more on your-self this could be a powerfull weapon to inject confidence in your blood. So this stablish a harverster-reward cycle thats really good, when you need change things on complex systems like companies, teams, your carrer, your life lots of times, you do need systemic changes you need several good cycles of things to make something really change, so i belive this game promote this and show a metaphor and a way to go on continnous improvement, mastery, confidence injection, and patience. The game really teach you how patience people who dont stop doing the right things get a reward in the end.

Practice Team Work / Friendship / Fun

The game is also multiplayer, x1(one-player-against-another) and (x2,x3,x4) are totaly different worlds, different rules, different strategies, often people play this game using team speak and they are talking to each other organizing they-self(like a self organized teams) and they are working a a team to beat the opponet, so teamwork, coordination, everyboddy helpping each other, sharring resorces, since you can give gaz and minerals to players on your team, so this a precious leasson of sharing not only knolodge but also colletive ownership. Is really funny and i mean lots of fun, the game game you play 4h like was 10 minutes.


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