Can World of Warcraft Boost Your Career?

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."

  • kalogagatya
    i think the question is: can world of warcraft BUST your career?
  • dan117
    "Can World of Warcraft Boost Your Career?"
    more like: Can MMOs Boost Your Career?
  • borisof007
    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.
  • pharge
    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.
  • 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.
  • maigo
    They also teach you how to cook the books, troll and back stab co-workers. Yay internet!
  • adikos
    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.
  • rooket
    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.
    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 :)
  • g00fysmiley
    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