A video-game guy knows he can't make a jump, so he teaches us life lessons instead.

Take it from this little video-game dude: You've gotta keep moving forward, even if it seems impossible.

For clarity's sake, I'm going to call this little guy "Chip." He's an enthusiastic fellow, and he's ready to take on the challenge in front of him.


In many ways, Chip's video game world resembles the real world, the one inhabited by you and me. Yes, even though it's entirely two-dimensional, we can learn a lot from Chip's journey.

Here are five takeaways that apply to us nonvirtual human beings:

1. Life is full of obstacles.

You may not have to take on blob creatures or face monkeys throwing fruit at your head like Chip does, but stuff will always get in your way. Chip has to jump over chasms, and occasionally there are chasms he cannot cross.

Ah yes, that familiar "the ground isn't where I thought it is" feeling. All GIFs via Pipoca VFX.

These holes in the ground in Chip's world are like staring into an endless abyss; they mean certain demise.

But in our world? In the real world? Those moments don't have to mean certain demise. We all sometimes find ourselves staring into what seems like an endless abyss. Whether at work or at home or in our relationships, we've all been there. We all know that feeling. That feeling is part of the human condition. It happens — and it's normal.

And unlike Chip, we can pull ourselves back out of them without having to restart at the beginning of a level.

2. You have to go forward.

Chip's video game world is side-scrolling. (Remember those?) In Chip's world, he can't go backward — he can only move from left to right, or what our minds perceive as "forward."

Welcome to life. Tough break; you can't go back. If you mess something up or something bad happens, you can't undo it. You can only move forward and try to do better in the future.

3. Sometimes life is hard, and that's OK.

In this game, even though Chip's been stuck on the edge of that cliff, staring into the endless abyss for so long that it's starting to snow, he makes the best of his situation.


He can't make the jump, but he doesn't give up; he changes his plans and tackles the circumstances differently than anticipated. He still makes progress while he works on a solution.

When life gets hard, don't let it get you down. Do what Chip does. Find a way to keep yourself safe and work on a solution.

4. We're in this together.

Sometimes you are not the person who is meant to overcome the challenge. I know, it goes against every feel-good movie you've ever seen — you're the hero of your story and you can do it! But as Chip demonstrates here, sometimes in order to succeed, you need to let others help you.

Championing others and supporting them in their positive efforts is a vital part of living a full life, no matter our circumstances.

5. Give kids the tools they need to understand the world around them, then step back and let them jump.

Hey, parents — this one is hard. Chip and his partner have been stuck on the edge of this cliff for so long now, he's gone grey. But he knows his daughter doesn't need to spend her life on one side of the cliff.

So he teaches his daughter the best he can how to survive in this side-scrolling, chasm-filled world and lets her jump. And he knows she can't take anyone with her.

Now it's her story. And she has to go forward, independent, and follow her own side-scrolling adventure.

For those of us who have kids, we know that eventually they have to grow up and face the world. We can't hold them back or protect them forever, and we definitely can't live their lives for them. We just have to do the best we can and hope our kids will land safely when they make their own way.

Sure, life is hard. Obstacles threaten to stop our progress. Sometimes these obstacles are bigger than we are alone. When we work together, though, we can find a solution and make progress toward it. This progress will benefit those who come after we are long gone.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and jump!

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

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