Byron Reeves makes a contrarian point in arguing that certain video games teach people how to embrace leadership roles:

People say it’s most important to be born a leader. You get nurtured, you get selected, you’ve probably showed leadership qualities early on in school, you’ve been involved in activities that developed something that naturally existed. In the games [researchers] felt that leadership was not so much an attribute of individuals who were doing the leading, but leadership was an attribute of the environments in which the people were acting.

When players are required to take on different roles in order for their team to win (i.e.-some are warriors, some are priests, etc.), they learn that success requires not only leadership, but also followership. This is just “teamwork” in a sense, but I think it’s more helpful to think about the distinctions between leadership and followership.

John Mayer isn’t great because we all want to be him (though a lot of us do want to be him), but because we recognize his immense talent and are willing to follow him in enjoying a beautiful experience.

We each have a role to play in every scenario. If video games can teach that, it’s a redeeming thing. Real life will always be better.