Playing games: Student develops life skills through online gaming

Though junior Preston Ruley has been playing games like Mario Sunshine on the Nintendo GameCube since he was six, he has recently begun playing massively multiplayer online (MMO) games.

“I started playing League of Legends in January 2021,” Preston said. “A couple of my friends, who had been playing the game for a while, introduced me to it.”

Preston believes League of Legends is appealing and addictive because of the multitude of scenarios it is able to play out.

 “I think my favorite aspect of League of Legends is that it is always different,” Preston said. “Games that have a lot of variety and don’t get stale can be addictive. There are 156 champions now and each team is composed of five players so there may be a limit to playing specific champions and specific roles, but there are some exotic picks which is what I usually do when I play.”

Though Preston enjoys League of Legends, he believes some things should be changed to provide better gameplay.

“The ranking system is the biggest drawback,” Preston said. “Some people gain achievements from someone else who did really well and carried them through,” Preston said. “When a player starts the game, it puts them in bronze two and since it puts a lot of people who do mediocre in their first placements, there is just such a large number of people that it is hard to get out of bronze.”

Preston finds his experiences from other games advantageous when playing League of Legends. 

“I think I’m a lot better at anticipating what other players are going to do than some players,” Preston said. “I can see a repeated outcome or pattern from playing other games.”

Preston shares how League of Legends has helped Preston improve skills that he is then able to apply to other areas of his life.

“I’d like to say that League of Legends has helped me with a lot of micromanaging,” Preston said. “ In some other games I don’t really pay attention to because I don’t have to,” 

Though he has gained experience from other games, he still struggles from the change of a controller to the PC. 

“I’m not really skilled at the mechanical part of game play like other people are because I only started playing on the PC last year during the summer,” Preston said. “I play using a controller because it is a lot easier than using the keyboard and mouse.”

Preston recognizes how the characters in League of Legends can affect whether a player wins or loses in the long run based on their stats at the beginning of the game.

“In League of Legends, every character has different stats, whether it’s armour, magic, resistance, base damage and scalings or most importantly health,” Preston said. “Players have to know every character in general so they know if they will scale and get ahead later in the game or if they’ll fall off in five minutes.” 

Preston has never had to really spend a lot of time concentrating on these aspects until he played League of Legends.

“I feel like realizing if you win early or lose late is really important,” Preston said. “It is something I’d never have to do with other games as much because I’ve never played a game where it goes on and you get stronger throughout the 30 minutes of it.”

He was taking Mr. Cohn’s classes for a while before the E-Sports club was started.

“I’ve taken Mr. Cohn’s classes for two years now, because I was in computer science last year and now I’m in AP computer science,” Preston said. “Mr. Cohn has been talking to us about playing or starting the E-Sports club which is why I was going to join originally. A couple of my friends are thinking about it but right now it’s only me and two others.”