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What Benefits Have You Gained From Gaming/mapping??
Other than being employed in the gaming industry that is. I'm think more of personal / social / psychological / spiritual etc benefits. Things where you think "I'm glad I game/map/etc because it's made this/that better about me".

Sorta inspired by this because gaming obviously gets a fairly.....disparaging reputation for being a leisure activity with no tangible benefits and some apparent detriments (anti-social, encourages violence, physically unhealthy blah blah whatever). And I don't think that's fair. So go on then...
Deja Vu 
Directly, no--no benefits from gaming/mapping. Indirectly, it has been great because now I'm in a job that totally rocks with great people. So it's not that I got a job from it, but that now I'm in a job that has a really cool social environment.

Although I think mapping has made me better--and perhaps even good--at design and engineering. This is decidedly good, considering I had very little direction or skills beforehand. 
Gaming Was Good 
because it got me into mapping and game modification wich got me into various creative outlets wich kind of has led me away from gaming(at least as much as I used to)! 
Ya 
Mapping is definitely a solid creative outlet for me, along with drawing/writing, and if I ever find a suitable program, music.

Whether I get a job in the games industry or not, I will probably always map, if not for Quake then Doom3/UT2007/something else suitable. THere's just so many fucking cool environments and ideas that get stuck in your head, and mapping is a great way to share them. 
Heh 
A career, and a hobby that consumes a huge chunk of my free time.

I suppose it's probably the most important thing in my life other than my wife and family. 
W0o0t 
well, level design helped me to organize myself. i got to know alot of editors. read alot of manuals, etc. i learned to find needed info on the intarweb rather quickly.
also, i learned to move the ideas out of my head to the grid with minimal impact and improving them while building levels.
i learned to DELETE large pieces of my levels for the sake of quality.
i met difficulties in the social life cuz of level design in spare time.
i met alot of nice people who inspired me and who helped me to sort a lot of things out, as my english as my views on design and games in general.
hmm not sure what to add yet... 
I Learned That Sitting On Your Arse Makes You Fat 
And that's about it really. No benefits. 
Uhm. 
Ops at #TF?

ps. I hear Uri Geller learned how to bend spoons with his mind by mapping a LOT for Daikatana. From the future. 
 
I got to know like 40-50 ppl in real life and even more on-line. Some of them are even cool.
Thats from gaming.

Mapping is purely creative form of activity and it doesnt need any side benifits really.

Well... 
Mapping got me interested in the whole area of designing spaces, which then prompted me to start studying architecture at university because I thought I had better channel that interest into something "legitimate" that could lead to a job.

Now, with a couple of years of Architecture study under my belt I have found it still doesn't fit the hole and am desiring more than ever to do something game mapping related.

So mapping has caused me many problems, the main one now being that I have to spend the next few years mapping frantically to ever have the slightest chance of going pro since my entire portfolio is of unreleased quake1 maps. :( 
Yay 
It let me meet Vondur, and now I serve faithfully in his Dark Legions.

Mapping has been fun and all, and taught me much, but it fucked up my studies a bit, which sucks. 
W3rd. 
Myself...

I've gained a better appreciation of real-life architecture and aesthetics from playing a lot of games/levels, and particularly looking at them with a critical eye. When I see interesting buildings IRL, they catch my eye more and I find them more visually interesting than before gaming. And other things too - just the other day I saw some marshes with shimmering water and grimy plant life on top, and it reminded me of some stuff I've seen in games with shiny liquids with matt-textured stuff on top. Little things like that stand out more.

I gained a lot of interesting knowledge and experience doing stuff for the public, in the public eye, running the TEAMShambler sites. Particularly doing something as a service, trying to keep myself a little detached from it, and just do the best job I can of that service. And dealing with the conflicting interests and pressures of something public like that...

Similarly, I've learnt a fair bit about writing and analysing stuff, what works and what doesn't.

I've gained a fair bit socially from the online interactions - both just having fun and interesting chats with people, but also dealing with dickheads and stuff. I see other forums I go to where there's people who are much newer to online communities, and I can see they feel less comfortable. Getting a head start with online communication I think is a good idea in this day and age, as long as one doesn't lose track of RL communication.

I guess I might have gained some coordination and reflex improvement....but....well I have nothing that shows that. 
P.S. 
Lol @ Fric "ops in #tf"...

Cybear's answer is neat too! 
 
oh yeah, I improved my reaction big time from playing quake

now Im blocking punches and catching plates

once I jumped from a car that was about to hit me - got only a minor leg trauma 
 
I haven't done anything mapping/gaming-related for a couple of years now, i have no idea how i ended up posting here.

Mapping made me realize i had some artistic talent, which was important for my social/spiritual something probably.

It may also have contributed to ruining my studies. 
Camping In Quake 
Taught me patience, so I can more easily win money from old ladies on welfare at 3am in the poker room. 
Blah, where the fuck has pope's "Pushplay, stop gambling!" picture gone when you need it, eh?! 
Gaming 
RUINED MY LIFE 
Bler Here You Go 
http://www.jesselawrence.com/images/pushplay.jpg

I'd be cautious about clicking this at work. 
One More Milkshake 
As soon as Quake was released in 1995 I felt a strong urge to map for it.
Not for the need to show people my maps, but just the intention to create 3D environnements.
From that moment my life changed really, and I used every moment of spare time mapping my way.

Then I got connected to the net, and I met the Qmap society. I really got bounced away seeing all the great levels people were making.
Then I suddenly realized my mappings were rather poor, and I was glad to reach a forum where I could ask several questions about the Quake engine.

The good benefits were I had gained a medium to express my architectonical dreams in the most creative way.
The bad benefits were I was lost for several years in the real world, and was glad I could set school or social employment aside to finish this cascading experience. 
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