15 life lessons video games have taught my children *Updated* I got a freaking AWARD! And I'm passing it on.

Since this is National Video Game Month, I thought I'd make a list of invaluable and tricksy lessons that video games have taught my kids.

No. I'm kidding about the National Video Game Month. But not about the tricksy lessons:

1. If you die, just hit start over, or dig some health out of your backpack. Sometimes you can wander around the village until you find the store that sells life, it usually comes in a box with the American Red Cross symbol on it. The important thing to remember here is that death isn't permanent.

2. It's totally plausible for your three best friends to be an ape, a turtle and a talking mushroom. And you all drive cars in outer space. Which of course means that you know how to drive in real life. You decide to test this premise by starting your mom's car last Thursday  one day while she's still in the house getting ready for work.

3. Empty bottles, shiny bells, scraps of paper covered in elven writing, random skeleton keys and coins of unknown denomination? Potentially valuable. Hoard everything. Just in case.
4. Don't feel like listening to that helpful stranger who is trying to give you good advice? Just push the B button. Same goes for your mom.
5. It usually takes 5 tries before you beat the Boss. You'll die each time, but it's ok (see rule #1). And if it's too hard, just skip it. Your brother will do it for you.
6. "Do over" fixes everything. For serious.
7. Spending real money to pay for virtual items such as: couches, rugs, tables and new doorknobs? Totally worth it.
8. Spot an interesting lever, switch or doorknob? Go on, pull it, flip it or open it. There's probably candy inside. Or Satan. Still not sure? It'll be ok. (See rule #6).
9. Tired? Stressed? Want to curl up in the fetal postion and sleep for 14 hours? No worries, just save it. Come back to it tomorrow. Or whenever.
10. If you can swim underwater for an indefinite period of time in your game, it only follows that you can do the same irl, right? Swimming lessons? Screw that, dive right in!
11. Go ahead, shoot your best friend. It won't kill him because he's on your team! lolz!
12. Two words. Pants optional.
13. You will attract at least one mascot or apprentice during your gameplay. Treat them accordingly.
14. It's completely acceptable to walk into a total stranger's house and rummage through their belongings without speaking to them. They expect this behavior. And? You might find a map, or something shiny. (see rule #3).
15. Sometimes all you need to kill the bad guys is pointy stick. Or a gun made out of a dog.
Woof woof, motherf*cker.