Yesterday was the last day of Electronic Entertainment Expo 2017 (E3) in Los Angeles, California. E3 is the “world's premier event for computer, video and mobile games and related products.”
With games on our minds, we wanted to point out how studies show being a gamer can make you more employable, and how you can use your gaming experience to create a more attractive prospectus for employers.
A 2016 Pew Research study found that nearly half (49%) of all men and women play video games, although only a fifth of those (10%) would identify themselves as being “gamers.”
In the article Action Video Games Make You Smarter on PCMag, author Stephanie Mlot explains how playing fast-action video games like Call of Duty stimulates your brain, and gains you a permanent accelerated learning curve, that is, fast action games make you better at learning. This means you’ll be better at integrating yourself into a new work environment, adapting to new roles, or taking on additional responsibility.
Peter Gray’s article Cognitive Benefits Of Playing Video Games in Psychology Today, lists many benefits, including:
- improved visual contrast sensitivity
- improved spatial attention
- improved ability to track moving objects in a field of distractors
- reduced impulsiveness
- improved ability to engage in multiple tasks simultaneously
- increased mental flexibility.
A National Geographic article reported that video games have been shown to help improve or repair vision, and an article over at iQ Intel magazine details how video games have been shown to improve creativity in young people.
Overall, we say this is extremely good news for those of us that enjoy playing games — and they don’t have to just be those “work your brain” games, either — load up the action, puzzle, MMORPG, and strategy games!
What It Means For You.
Whether it’s brain puzzles on your phone or a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPG)—you’re a gamer, and you’re looking for a job. Based on what we’ve already covered, here are some ways you can view and present yourself when creating a prospectus, writing a CV, or doing an interview.
You’ve been training in real skills for years.
If you’ve received any of the benefits above, you probably don’t realise it—but they are still there. You’ve been training yourself for years with real life skills and honing them, and all the things you’ve learned will come to bear in your new job. Be confident!
Many contemporary games, and especially MMORPGs, include an in-game marketplace where players can trade real virtual goods with other players — sometimes for real-world money. Games like Runescape, World Of Warcraft (WoW), Rift, and others with heavy focus on user trading encourage the development of skills in sales and gives players a frame of reference for economic concepts like supply and demand.
Team games teach team and management skills.
Most jobs will have some level of teamwork involved; whether it’s a big team, a small team, an office team or remote team, some basic skills still apply. For example, the ability to communicate clearly to your teammates, work according to your strengths and weaknesses, assume a role you don’t normally take to help out the team for a short while, and evaluate the immediacy and importance of tasks on the fly.
Take for example, forty-person raids on the popular MMORPG World Of Warcraft. Organising weekly raids for 40 people develops management skills in guild organisers — one that is especially fitted for the current trend of working remotely. Other roles, such as being the lead tank or healing leader for that raid, also display strong leadership abilities; being able to manage your team to shore up weak areas or coordinate the final assault that takes down a boss translates directly to employable skills like problem-solving, multitasking, and project management.
Creativity is creativity, even in a virtual world.
Minecraft, the indie game that became the de facto standard for sandbox gaming, has produced some nearly unbelievable works of art, from danrharvey’s stunning five-year castle build to LPG’s redstone computer with a word processor, clock, tic tac toe, and persistent memory.
The creative skill demonstrates that you take something you envision in your mind and make it a reality — even if the reality is not what you imagined it would be. This is an important ability to have on the table when you’re applying for a job—it demonstrates that you can turn ideas into action, which benefits your future employer.
Use Your Knowledge.
Convinced? If we’ve helped you think differently about how gaming improves your skills, take some time to figure out exactly what skills you have developed through gaming and what qualities you could highlight in your prospectus. Particularly consider how the qualities that make you a great gamer also make you a great employee.
Think about the skills that you need for the games you play.
Are you a D&D Dungeon Master? Have you won a Halo tournament? Are you a WoW guild leader? Have you participated in epic Minecraft builds? Maxed out every room in Fallout Shelter? Organised a games night with your friends?
All of these scenarios demonstrate that you have some sort of employable skill which you absolutely should be talking about when you create your prospectus on Matchitude.
Mention those skills on your prospectus.
A prospectus is intentionally brief and designed to give employers a high level overview, so you don't need to go into a lot of detail. The skills section is a great place to highlight your abilities—and you don't even need to mention gaming specifically.
For example, if you plan raids in World of Warcraft you could include "organising large online meetings across multiple time zones". Other skills could be "multitasking", "prioritising my workload effectively " or "problem solving". When you get asked about your skills at interview, make sure you're ready with full explanations and examples (e.g. I really enjoy puzzle games because they are fun but also because they constantly challenge me to think beyond the obvious").
Tell employers — and keep playing!
The key thing is to show employers what you can offer them in the workplace. Using the Is there anything you want employers to know about you? section to say "I am a keen gamer and love the teamwork element of online games. I often act as 'healer' for my team, which means I need to be aware of what's happening around me and quickly prioritise and act to support my teammates and maximise our chances of winning," is likely to impress.
"Apparently I'm something called 'dragonborn'," is—sadly—not.