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Can World of Warcraft Boost Your Career?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 42 comments

Various examples show that World of Warcraft and other games actually teach leadership skills that can be applied in the real-work environment, boosting performance.

Could playing games like World of Warcraft actually boost your career? According to Tucows chief executive Elliot Noss in an interview with Forbes, playing Blizzard's popular MMORPG six to seven hours a week over the last five years has trained him to become a better leader both in and outside the game. Apparently he gained the most knowledge from those who actually exhibited bad leadership by analyzing their failures.

"You have these events [in World of Warcraft] that are very leadership-driven," Noss said. "For example, when you're in a raid that's poorly led, it's really easy to see how valuable are skills like managing the social dynamic, making sure there was the right level of preparation, and making sure that there was a clear hierarchy in terms of who is performing what roles."

Naturally you'll hear numerous reports that gamers spend too much time in front of the TV or monitor, that they don't socialize on a physical level, their brains are re-wired or that they're physically weaker than the previous generation.

However John Hagel III, co-chairman of a tech-oriented strategy center for Deloitte, said that young employees--those who have experience in playing World of Warcraft-type games--are actually the highest-level performers because "they are constantly motivated to seek out the next challenge and grab on to performance metrics." That's good news considering all the negativity around gaming and its supposed long-term effects.

Hagel offered a perfect example of game-related success. Stephen Gillett became the chief information officer of Starbucks while still in his 20s. Gillett was--and may still be--a heavy World of Warcraft player. Hagel said that Gillett developed the ability to influence and persuade people through leadership--skills he learned through the MMORPG. This method of persuasion is much more effective than bossing everyone around.

With that said, does that mean employers may soon look for gaming skills when hiring new recruits? Will job hopefuls need to insert "guild leader" or "clan leader" in their resume? Hagel told Forbes that we haven't gotten to that point yet, but "maybe soon."

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  • 30 Hide
    ct1615 , July 22, 2010 6:59 PM
    world of warcraft helped my career!

    I challenged co-workers to duels,
    on group projects I would tell co-workers "im DPS, I don't heal!"
    asked female co-workers if they where "really a girl or just a dude pretending"
    and kept telling my boss at meetings "don't bring noobs I need more DKP to get leet gear!"

    I now have a LOT more time to play WoW!!!
  • 21 Hide
    kalogagatya , July 22, 2010 6:45 PM
    i think the question is: can world of warcraft BUST your career?
  • 18 Hide
    dan117 , July 22, 2010 6:47 PM
    "Can World of Warcraft Boost Your Career?"
    more like: Can MMOs Boost Your Career?
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    kalogagatya , July 22, 2010 6:45 PM
    i think the question is: can world of warcraft BUST your career?
  • 18 Hide
    dan117 , July 22, 2010 6:47 PM
    "Can World of Warcraft Boost Your Career?"
    more like: Can MMOs Boost Your Career?
  • 11 Hide
    borisof007 , July 22, 2010 6:50 PM
    Doesn't surprise me considering playing with high end raiding guilds is very similar to a real world job. It requires a high amount of focus, time, energy, concentration, leadership, and teamwork.

    Even applying to high end raiding guilds is very similar to building a resume on why you're qualified for the opening in a roster, much like why you would be qualified for an opening in a company.
  • 3 Hide
    pharge , July 22, 2010 6:53 PM
    NO! Unless I am working in the game/programing industry or I am a "formor" WoW gamer, otherwise I will not say it will hurt my career for sure.. but I am sure the benifit and down side kind of equal out.

    However if I am only a "light" (not extreme) WoW gamer, the stress relief can do something good on my work performence.

    Talking about leadership.... well... even in WoW not everybody get to lead... and most of the "leaders" in there are hardcore gamers... which... being hardcore itself may hurt the career already...

    It is great to learn the art of leadership... but playing WoW is not the only way... and appearently playing WoW is a more debatable way to learn leadership.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , July 22, 2010 6:54 PM
    I find my life to be the opposite of this. I'm a natural leader in RL and routinely take charge of many situations and can manage them effectively. The reason I play WoW is to escape from the leadership role in my actual life and leave that up to others in a virtual world.
  • 2 Hide
    maigo , July 22, 2010 6:54 PM
    They also teach you how to cook the books, troll and back stab co-workers. Yay internet!
  • 30 Hide
    ct1615 , July 22, 2010 6:59 PM
    world of warcraft helped my career!

    I challenged co-workers to duels,
    on group projects I would tell co-workers "im DPS, I don't heal!"
    asked female co-workers if they where "really a girl or just a dude pretending"
    and kept telling my boss at meetings "don't bring noobs I need more DKP to get leet gear!"

    I now have a LOT more time to play WoW!!!
  • 3 Hide
    adikos , July 22, 2010 7:09 PM
    my previous helpdesk had several top notch employees (including myself) that all played wow. after a while our boss started asking in interviews if they played wow or other mmorpgs. was kinda funny. he put 2+2 together years ago.
  • -7 Hide
    rooket , July 22, 2010 7:11 PM
    I doubt this entirely. It's just a silly video game. People act different online than in real life. It hasn't made my supervisor a better supervisor.
  • 3 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , July 22, 2010 7:29 PM
    1. Orginizational Skills
    2. Teamwork
    3. Social Skills
    4. Leadership
    5. Media Skills
    6. Tactical Skills
    7. Problem Solving
    ....
    I'm sure I could think of more :) 
  • 2 Hide
    g00fysmiley , July 22, 2010 7:34 PM
    I would say a WoW player who is in a leadership role in either a competetive pvp guild or raiding guild is likely in fact helping cultivate thier leadership skills. they learn to manage relationships between guildies and direct everybody toward a common purpose... but if the question is do they do this becaus eof wow or has wow just helped hone these already existing traits... I'd be more inclined to believe the latter.

    as far as wow players and mmo players making better employees I'd argue along the same lines, the things that keep a person playing an mmo and grinding thier way towards a goal are things that make them good employees... vs say a casual halo player or MW2 player who might not play mmos because they take to much time and effort and they demand immediate satasfaction , these ttypes would liekly make worse employees. that said a person playing an fps on a more common basis and with a clan or competitivly might exemplify the same traits that are positive in SOME mmo players
  • -4 Hide
    hellwig , July 22, 2010 7:34 PM
    Yeah, and all video game players would make great super-soldiers because our hand-eye coordination is so pronounced. Bull Sh*T. Face it, these people have nothing better to do than go around looking for correlations where they don't exist. Did the jackass do a scientific study, controlled variables, double-blind, or did he just find high-level management people who happen to also play WoW.

    "Hey, my friends and I (who all met in WoW), all play WoW, that must mean whatever we're doing (playing WoW) must be the key to our success."

    What came first, the intelligent person or the WoW player? My guess is that for every Fortune 500 CIO that plays WoW, there are 1 million Leeroy Jenkins.

  • 1 Hide
    hotchrisbfries , July 22, 2010 7:40 PM
    borisof007Doesn't surprise me considering playing with high end raiding guilds is very similar to a real world job. It requires a high amount of focus, time, energy, concentration, leadership, and teamwork.Even applying to high end raiding guilds is very similar to building a resume on why you're qualified for the opening in a roster, much like why you would be qualified for an opening in a company.


    Very true, they look at your past raid performances/achievements. Logs of your DPS/TPS/HPS parses. Availability of your schedule to raid when they do. If you are willing to change your spec for a personal loss to benefit the rest of the raid. And your general sense of humor and personality so that you're a "good fit" with the rest of the guild. Some even interview your past Guild Masters to see if the reason to why you left was on good terms or not.

    And most importantly, being able to take criticism for improvement if your performance is lacking. The game has a huge list of helpful UI tools to improve your situational awareness during battles. And there are plenty of resources available on the web to show the math behind certain rotations/specs/gear and why they benefit you for improvement.
  • 4 Hide
    liquidchild , July 22, 2010 7:54 PM
    I love how people like to say that gamers are little wimps who cant interact with girls...I was a fullback in college. I had many "interactions" with girls and now have a amazing wife. One of the big 24 hour fitness gyms is right by a gamestop in my city. When I was buying ME2 I witnessed a couple of kids in letter jackets making weird movements(humping/robot arms)at this "geek" standing outside the store. He looked scared so i went over and bet them that if i could beat them in a race they would have to say sorry to this kid and not fuck with him anymore. Guess how that panned out.
  • 2 Hide
    ct1615 , July 22, 2010 8:08 PM
    Quote:
    I love how people like to say that gamers are little wimps who cant interact with girls...I was a fullback in college. I had many "interactions" with girls and now have a amazing wife. One of the big 24 hour fitness gyms is right by a gamestop in my city. When I was buying ME2 I witnessed a couple of kids in letter jackets making weird movements(humping/robot arms)at this "geek" standing outside the store. He looked scared so i went over and bet them that if i could beat them in a race they would have to say sorry to this kid and not fuck with him anymore. Guess how that panned out.


    I totally agree with liquidchild...his wife is amazing!!!

    oh I also play video games, played football (starting linebacker) and workout at the gym all the time (cardio and free weights), and don't have issues finding girlfriends....but I hate gamestop and buy games of STEAM including ME2...much cheaper that way...and no kids to beat up so they can call the cops on me
  • 2 Hide
    ikaz , July 22, 2010 8:15 PM
    Has any one thought that those people may have just had natural leadership skills which intern meant they would exel in officer/guild leader role in Wow as well. I would like see a study where some one sucked as a manager/leader then was forces to play a MMO where there goal was to move up the ranks from member to guild leader and see how long that took and if those skills transfered to his RL job.
  • 2 Hide
    kamar6 , July 22, 2010 8:40 PM
    The first thing our HR department looks for on a Resume is if the applicant can Pwn Noobs. If it is not on the resume, than we assume the applicant is not confident in their noob pwning capabilities and thus will not be given an interview. If you can't pwn a noob than you clearly won't be able able to handle the daily job responsibilities.
  • 1 Hide
    HavoCnMe , July 22, 2010 9:03 PM
    What does this article mean for FPS gamers?

    ...."Get back to work maggot!"
  • 0 Hide
    mhughes81 , July 22, 2010 9:05 PM
    I think it depends on what server you play on.

    Since Summer started all of the bad attitude, know it all players started coming out of the woodwork on the server my wife and I play on. You know, the smartassed ones you can't reason with. This is most likely because school is out and the kiddies are on more. It is probably also do to a lot of Alliance to Horde transfers.

    I don't play as much anymore and my wife is also getting irritated how the server has been taken over by these scrubs. The sad part is, it would cost too much money to transfer all of our toons to another server.
  • -9 Hide
    Dirtman73 , July 22, 2010 9:08 PM
    Hahahahahahaha!!!! Some of you guys seriously think that sitting on your fat asses playing WoW all day is going to improve your leadership skills?

    Real life is staging an intervention, and you're invited.
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