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Business - Written by on Monday, August 18, 2008 12:49 - 8 Comments

Should the fact that a candidate knows what an owlbear is be a plus?

I’m doing some research with Accenture about benefits and challenges of hiring serious gamers (most of our research is based on games like World of Warcraft). There are plenty of upsides to hiring these people such as the ability to lead groups in remote locations, quickly analyze and react to data, create custom interfaces, divide up resources (and share spoils of war) etc. In fact, some people consider the leadership ability required of a successful WoW guild to be similar to that of a CEO of a small company.

I interviewed our friend Bruce Stewart about gaming and leadership and he brought up a good point. Old School games such as Dungeons & Dragons also indicated some potential for success in the workplace, despite it’s reputation as a game played in dark basements by mouth-breathing losers. Full disclosure: I was NOT the quarterback of my high school football team and am not proud of how much I enjoyed this article.

Role-playing games ruled by paper maps and dice developed the imagination more than (or at least in different ways) than videogame versions because the only limits are with the dungeon master’s imagination. These players, especially, have developed skills in communication, organization, and scenario planning.

Thoughts? Do you buy it, or am I just trying to justify time I wasted during high school.



8 Comments

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Daniel J. Pritchett
Aug 18, 2008 13:16

MMOs are all social networking, logic, and math. These are must-have in the workplace but there’s always the concern that your candidate must also have developed the willpower and maturity to know when to switch contexts from “gamer” to “professional”.

Should the fact that a candidate knows what an owlbear is be a plus?
Aug 18, 2008 13:42

[...] Random Feed wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptI’m doing some research with Accenture about benefits and challenges of hiring serious gamers (most of our research is based on games like World of Warcraft). There are plenty of upsides to hiring these people such as the ability to lead groups in remote locations, quickly analyze and react to data, create custom interfaces, divide up resources (and share spoils of war) etc. In fact, some people consider the leadership ability required of a successful WoW guild to be similar to that of a CEO of [...]

Mike Dover
Aug 18, 2008 15:40

There is an article on a similar topic in today’s USA Today

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/gaming/2008-08-18-video-games-learning_N.htm

Brent
Aug 18, 2008 22:20

Many games can develop various skills that are widely used in various capacities. I used to play various Avalon-Hill boardgames with my dad as a kid (Victory In The Pacific, Sink The Bismarck, etc.) which were useful in developing strategic thinking.

Mike Dover
Aug 19, 2008 0:15

Great point, Brent.

Did you ever play Squad Leader? Many consider that to be the crown jewel of Avalon Hill games.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of candidates for intern positions. I think if someone said they should get the job based on their skills at strategic games like Victory in the Pacific, I’d seriously consider it.

Brent
Aug 19, 2008 21:34

No, I haven’t played Squad Leader. I have an idea of what it’s about though (European infantry battle strategy).
I’ve always considered Midway to be the most difficult of their games that I’ve played. The strategy involved in the searching and battling in that game was always particularly challenging.

Jean-Francois Orsini
Aug 26, 2008 10:44

I am not surprised that Accenture is interested in games as training tools. However, I am surprised that it is interested in boardgames. I facilitate collaboration, especially collaboration between teleworkers with a Business game or simulation. The skills, the talents and the habits participants acquire are more transferable to the world of work. Check my website at http://www.pin-stripe.com.

Wikinomics » Blog Archive » If the early bird always gets the worm…
Oct 21, 2008 15:56

[...] crave. (Let alone the benefits that can come from adept Internet usage or the skills that can be gained from [...]

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