People say many negative things about games. They make you more violent, they make you less intelligent, and they're a waste of time. The thing is, many of us played games during our formative years, and as a thread over at SomethingAwful proves, we may have picked up more than we thought from our experiences. While the language over there may not be safe for work, I thought I'd pick out some highlights of what people learned gaming.
The word "preemptive" "Thank you Final Fantasy VII and your random
encounters. I feel like games are a good way to teach words because
their meanings are so readily understood from context.""Friends and family compliment me on my vocabulary and spelling all the
time, and I am 100% sure it can be attributed to my early addiction to
video games. How else would a 6 year old know what a morning star or
halberd is?"Getting the word "voracious" right on an English test "Luckily I had logged hundreds of hours on Everquest killing voracious brutes outside KC"The word "Pilfer" "I learned this word from Breath of Fire 3… my favorite RPG. Ever since, I've preferred this word to any of
its synonyms.""The entire Legacy of Kain series turned me into a logophile. Example: 'To what depths had our dynasty plummeted, if these ghouls were the
descendants of my high-born brother? Were they so debased as to recruit
fledglings from the desiccated corpses here interred?'""From Sim City I learned the difference between residential, commercial, and industrial"
Some of these things may seem basic now, but when you're a child, you can pick up some nice words and concepts from gaming. I thought the thread was a great read, and it made me think of all the little facts and tidbits I've picked up from playing games. I would say my early-life infatuation with RPGs definitely helped my vocabulary. Let me leave you with the fact that one forum goer had this to say: "I'd have to say that old-school, text-based RPGs really improved my overall vocabulary and reading a lot. I've never had lower than an A+ in English."
One more: "I learned so much history and background to all the civilizations featured in Age of Empires II and it's expansion by reading the facts they give you before you play. That game made history fun."