The best video game for you (depending on your college major)
College can be a difficult time for a young adult, and no decision is more stressful than having to choose your major. This is the field of study you’re going to be focused on for the next few years, and it determines what type of career you’re going to have. Even after you’ve chosen a major, learning and practicing everything to be successful in your field can be a daunting task, but video games can help you prepare for your future.
Here are our recommendations for some video games to check out, depending on your major of choice:
#1 Fine Arts—Journey
Exploration of nature, design, and what it means just to exist is what Thatgamecompany specializes in, and Journey is the game in their catalog that teaches you things that you need to learn for your Fine Arts major. Visually the game is stunning, even though most of it takes place in the middle of a desert. The serene and majestic feel of the game is enough to inspire your creative side. For those specializing in music, Journey’s soundtrack offers a range of orchestral harmony and beauty that provides an emotional range fitting the game’s unspoken narrative. The game itself is a dynamic example of design and visual arts: the telling of a story through something other than dialogue.
Part of the fun of being an architecture major is being able to apply what you learn in the classroom during design studio courses, which is something you have to take nearly every semester. The studio courses are extremely time-consuming, but they’re a wonderful outlet to practice designing your masterpieces—after all, architects are creating art in their own right. To continuously exercise your craft and train your brain to find effective and creative ways to design, Minecraft is a great tool because the possibilities are endless: you have an essentially infinite supply of material and space, and you can create anything you want in any style you want. Fans recreated Westeros in Minecraft, for Notch’s sake!
#3 Pre-Med—Mortal Kombat X
What better game to learn about what happens to a human body when it’s hurt—time and time again—than Mortal Kombat X, fully equipped with X-ray vision. Granted, you won’t learn how to actually fix a shattered skull after it’s been kicked in, but at least you’ll see the force an impact can have on human bone. Besides, humans will eventually evolve into super-powered beings, so knowing what an ice attack does to the human body might come in handy someday.
#4 Aviation—Microsoft Flight Simulator X
Flying is an exhilarating experience, even more so when you're the actual pilot. If your dream is to see the world through the windows of a cockpit, Microsoft Flight Simulator X is for you—it’s been noted as one of the best flight simulator games to date. Though it is over eight years old, it still manages to impress with its additions of missions that have you accomplishing goals all around the world. Pilot Rod Machado even offers flying lessons!
#5 History—Wolfenstein: The New Order
History can be a daunting major to undertake. You have to learn a huge amount of details about different cultures and events that took place over a span of thousands of years, while also reading up on what other historians have speculated about all these time periods. One of the most extraordinary historical events is World War II, and to help you learn the most important details of that moment in history instead of reading textbooks you can just play Wolfenstein: The New Order. You can learn about the Nazi regiment and their use of bombs, stealth helicopters, and giant robots.
After all, it’s very important to learn how the Nazis won the Second World War.
#6 Psychology—The Sims
The study of the human psyche is a fascinating one. Discovering what triggers certain reactions and understanding the chemicals that make up the brain can help you understand the elements that contribute to an individual’s personality. While your family, friends, and co-workers can be your test subjects, one video game that is also a fantastic tool to study the how and why of the human condition is The Sims.
You’ll see characters accidentally drop their babies in fish tanks, and you’ll try to puzzle out why they would do such a thing. Also, why did your neighbor decide to take a shower outside in the sprinklers instead of inside their perfectly nice home? The Sims is also great practice to spot the signs of someone turning into Carrie at the next dinner function.
#7 Sociology—Mass Effect
Sociology is the study of the structure and development of societies and the similarities and differences between groups. The Mass Effect trilogy is a great way to see this in action. There are sociology papers just begging to be written about why the advanced telekinetic society of the Asari is so different from the rough Krogans. The lore of Mass Effect offers vast amounts of information on the societies of all these alien races living in one galaxy. In fact, one of the major decisions you have to make in Mass Effect 3 is finding a way for the Quarians and the Geth to coexist by following certain objectives. It's like a sociology research project in action! Just watch out for those Reapers.
#8 Business Management—RollerCoaster Tycoon
Running a business is a very stressful and complicated responsibility, so studying how to do so in school might not be enough. That’s where Rollercoaster Tycoon comes in, the management simulator where you create and control amusement parks. You’ll get to make important decisions like what type of roller coasters to create, how many haunted houses to have, and how much to charge for entry and food. The trick here is making sure you’re making a successful park that caters to the right type of audiences that will keep visiting and spending money. You’ll see what type of business manager you really are: the kind that works hard to bring smiles to fake people’s faces, or the type that chooses to trap visitors in a maze with no bathrooms.
#9 Journalism -- Outlast
Journalism is a very hard career to pursue, and no game showcases this better than the survival horror game Outlast. In an attempt to become the next Geraldo Rivera, Colorado investigative journalist Miles Upshur heads into the Mount Massive Asylum to uncover rumors of the mistreatment of patients in sadistic experiments. Soon Miles finds himself trapped and dealing with psycho cult members and beings of the not-quite-human variety. Outlast helps you really answer the question: how far are you willing to go for that story?
#10 Political Science—Civilization V
Majoring in political science signifies your interest in how nations and governments work and how they strive or fail. You study why countries function the way they do politically: from establishing theories to understanding international relations. Sid Meier’s Civilization V is then the perfect turn-based strategy game to dive into, as it puts you in the position of leadership of different nations to witness their growth over many decades. Building your civilization, handling diplomacy, battling in wars, and expanding your land are just some of the ways Civilization V teaches you just how fascinating political science can really be.
Do you have your own suggestions for games that are great fits for particular majors? Let us know in the comments!