Can Playing an Online Hunting Game Help You in Becoming a Better Hunter in Real Life?
Video Games are always at the center of some controversy, and the idea that people can better themselves by playing them is a touchy subject. The whole hand eye coordination improvement is still be touted as a myth, and there are sections of the entire population that think video games rot the mind. Whatever love or hate you feel about videogames, hunting games should be put in a separate category. Just like trivia based video games should partly be considered educational games, hunting games should be consider part training.
Old Hunters Still Make Rookie Mistakes
And because of this they don’t always come away successful in a hunt. There is no big time hunting school you can go to that will teach you the ins and outs. Most traditional hunters learn from methods passed down through the family, whether it is father and son, mother and daughter etc.-meaning that whatever habits their mentors teach them, they are more likely to pick up. This includes bad habits, like not wearing scented clothing. Yes, there are still hunters that don’t believe in masking their scent while out. Of course it is optional, yet being able to maximize a hunt depends heavily on your willingness to adapt to the environment.
Now look at video games from the eyes of a person that just starting hunting. They know very little, and only know what they’re being taught. Hunting video games have gone far beyond the Duck Hunt saga and have become complex games that take into account real world tracking skills. Cabela’s hunting series are king in this department, with realism being a big factor in why the sell so many copies. In any of the recent Cabela games, if the wind is blowing in the direction of the animal you’re hunting, they are more likely to run away if you haven’t masked your scent. It’s a simple yet effective lesson that a young hunter might not be able to learn other than from a video game.
Each year the Cabela series gets more realistic, leading to more players learning from the game and adapting to the hunt in real life. Shot placements make a difference, gun and ammo type are accounted for and there are even group hunts available with multiplayer. In the multiplayer version of the Cabela series, learning to hunt with teammates is a vital part of the real world hunting experience.
Videogames Help, But They Don’t Make The Hunter
A person that loves hunting games won’t necessarily make a great hunter. In fact a video game player that has never picked up a gun before, never killed an animal and hates the outdoors will most likely hate hunting period. He is just a gamer that likes to shoot animated characters on a television or computer screen-and they’re nothing wrong with that. It’s just important to understand exactly what a hunting videogame can do. Players that haven’t shown actual real world interest in hunting won’t all of a sudden become great hunters by playing the Cabela series. That’s not how it works, and is like saying playing Gran Turismo will make you a great driver.
Why America’s Army Is Different Than The Cabela Series
Cabela’s line of games can be considered training, even if it is not categorized as such. But America’s Army was an actual training video game for Americans interested in joining the Army. It was published by the U.S. Army in 2002 and is an award winning U.S. Army recruiting tool. There is a major difference between how America’s Army is marketed compared to the Cabela series, even though both have similar training techniques. The big difference is more players are likely to join the Army compared to Cabela players deciding to hunt for the first time.
Cabela is happy being more of an entertainment medium. That doesn’t take away from its foundation as a learning tool for young hunters, who can especially grow their knowledge during the non-hunting seasons by playing the game. With the new social aspects implemented in the game, Cabela is approaching America’s Army version of their own kind of recruiting, although the effectiveness won’t be on the same scale. No matter how you look at it, both games are a great resource for what they offer.
Can Video Games Stunt The Growth Of A Young Hunter?
Oddly enough, yes. Hunting requires a lot of patience and is a thinking man’s game. Although Cabela has based its video games on realism, there is still a balance in there that keeps things from getting too boring. Young hunters have to get used to the waiting game that they’ll never, ever witness in a video game. Some hunters may go an entire season with only a few kills, while others will just have a field day. There are no guarantees with hunting, and that’s something that no videogame will ever be able to adequately represent. Well, not without angering their fan base that paid full price for the game.
Hunting video games are no more harmful to a young hunter than YouTube hunting videos are. Bring able to see a skilled hunter make an award winning shot in less than 3 minutes is not hunting. A young hunter that shows signs of impatience will never be a good hunter, and the tendencies to get to the ‘good stuff’ will only be amplified with the use of video games and videos. Older hunters may be able to figure out this behavior before it festers into something that keeps their students from enjoying actual hunting. Or they may simply live and let live, and realize some people can’t be taught patience!
Use Video Games As A Tool
For older hunters that have taken on the role of teaching young would-be hunters, the gift of a hunting video game may be a great ice breaker. And within a few weeks of playing, your student may end up teaching you things that you never knew about hunting! Just remember, Cabela is king, and you can’t go wrong with that series.