Sam, thank you for sharing your perspective. I'm 36, on the older end of the Millennial generation. My age has afforded me the great benefit of straddling the transition from analog to digital. I grew up with bunny ears, grandmothers that couldn't figure out the newfangled VCR, an OG Nintendo, and answering machines. In my teens, we had a computer in the home, AOL instant messenger, Nintendo 64, and flip phones. In college I got a laptop, high-speed internet, a Playstation 3, and Facebook first went online. I grew up going to gun ranges and also playing first person shooters (FPS). I played soccer competitively for 12 years alongside FIFA on my gaming consoles. I backpacked Europe for two months and played Civilization on my computer. The digital experiences fed my curiosity and enhanced my competency in their 'real-world' counterparts. There was a positive feedback loop between the two that elevated my experiences and interest. For example, from my own experiences: FPS games reinforced how to sight down the irons and the importance of holding your breath while firing a rifle. FIFA games provide a birds-eye view of the playing pitch and help develop both strategic and tactical skills in play. Civilization made me more aware of the many cultures that have risen, fallen, and still remain while sparking curiosity about historical figures, places, and wonders. Gaming gives people of all ages a taste of a new time or place, a different perspective, and/or access to places or things they may not be able to currently reach in the 'real world.' Gaming helps develop interests that can be fully explored in the 'real world' as you get older, have more resources, etc. I don't think Sam is saying that all you need is video games to become a car guy. Sam is sharing how gaming introduced him to a new world that he didn't know about before and couldn't access. Through gaming he has developed a passion and knowledge for the automobile that will likely encourage him to attend car shows, ask his parents for tickets to a motorsports event, or sign up for a shop class in school. Good for you, Sam. Keep gaming... just not all the time.
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