WOW: a career booster?
Video games have long been thought of as distractions to work and education, rather than aids. But there is a growing school of thought that says game-playing in moderation, and in your free time, can make you more successful in your career. The younger people coming into the workplace who have had experience playing online games are the highest-level performers because they are constantly motivated to seek out the next challenge and grab on to performance metrics.
--Games can cultivate "dispositions" that are valuable in a corporate setting. Video games are often a trial-and-error process where players become accustomed to failure, and learn from it.
--Video games can also present players with unexpected challenges and new situations. Gamers learn to respond to, and even seek out, new challenges in order to progress. They also learn to improvise, and are thus more likely to be able to solve problems creatively when there is no solution to be found in a manual.
--Games can train you to manage and organize high volumes of information.
--Elliot Noss, chief executive of domain-name provider Tucows, has spent the past 5 years training to become a better leader. How? By playing World of Warcraft (WOW) for 6 to 7 hours a week. In WOW, each action, even a small task like hunting an animal, has a purpose and fits into a broader framework. Similarly, Noss has set up frameworks at Tucows that allow employees to understand how day-to-day tasks affect the company. Noss's efforts seem to be paying off. He says he has seen employee satisfaction rise and turnover decrease by a noticeable percentage.
--Stephen Gillett, a gamer who became chief information officer of Starbucks while still in his 20s. By playing WOW, Gillet developed the ability to influence and persuade people through leadership rather than trying to order them around.