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."