Playing MMORPGs Can Actually Make You Better At Your Job

Playing MMORPGs Can Actually Make You Better At Your Job

Sneaking in a little World of Warcraft during business hours is probably a great way to get yourself fired from most jobs — but it seems that spending your personal time in an MMORPG may actually make you a better employee.

As the Huffington Post reports, researchers at Newcastle University Business School and the University of Crete looked at how employees who were MMORPG players performed and, in particular, how they shared and exhibited leadership behaviours. Perhaps unsurprisingly, learning how to be on time for your guild raid and how to work together in a seamless team to conquer a virtual enemy also teach people how to work well in teams in the physical world.

“From collaboration to meeting targets, team work to resolve complex missions, strategic planning, allocating resources, to recruiting new players to form groups, there is a clear link between the skills needed to enjoy a good game performance and the real corporate world,” Dr Savvas Papagiannidis, the lead researcher, explained. “For this reason, the players who have had to manifest good leadership skills and gaming behaviours to succeed in MMORPGs, were more likely to see these characteristics spill over from games to their real work-life. This spill over effect was particularly evident when combined with high performance standards in the game.”

Those players who saw the most success in their MMORPG adventures were likely to bring their online behaviours offline, and change the way they acted in the working world to be more like their digital successes.

Playing an MMORPG also has advantages over more traditional kinds of training because players learn by doing, in a very hands-on way. For many of us, that’s what makes most learning stick.

Companies have been developing training simulations and “serious games” of all kinds for years, to teach their workers not only specific tasks but also the “soft skills” of people management, communication, and leadership. But maybe a little weekend raiding is all it really takes. Just don’t stand outside an empty conference room saying, “LFG” over and over. That trick never works.

Gamers Get Ahead in the Workplace [Huffington Post UK via Kill Screen]


  • This seems to be another one of those topics where there are equal numbers of research that either supports or disproves the hypothesis. Really, it’s only going to be a small number of people that actually gain benefit from MMORPG playing because it sounds like it comes down to skills learned as a guild member that has some level of power. You’d probably get similar findings from surveying people who play team sports.

  • I agree with this and Germinal I challenge you to think broader than “its just a game”. Have a little fun with it, broaden your mind, MMORPGs touch on almost all aspects of actual reality. At any rate I do think that MMO’s allow you to stretch your alternate realities in ways you wish you could in real life. In an MMO, you can become a guild leader while in reality being the big Chief (CEO) might not be that easily obtained. At a minimum level this generally translates to you being a happy camper which whether you like it or not also makes you a better employee.

    Here are the similarities that I see as a form of “enrichment” dare I say education that you can obtain in MMO’s:
    Finance – money and asset management from day one.
    Marketing – getting the biggest bang for your buck in the in game marketplace, leveraging your worth
    Personal growth and decision making – ranking skills, leveling strategies, and character builds.
    Alliances – much like aligning yourself with the correct company (work or friends) you can choose a guild that will benefit and nourish you, even if its one that just makes you laugh.
    Career Development – want to be a farmer or a goldsmith? There is a path you can take to get there just like a Marketing Executive or Cashier.
    POLITICS – don’t even get me started, lets just say “forums”.

    The trick is to play enough to “learn” and have fun at the same time, but step away before you get trapped and experience the negative affects of becoming and MMO drone.

  • MMORPGs only told me to be a complete asshole and make everyone else’s time playing terrible. I don’t think that’d help with my job.

  • There is a tiny amount of truth in the article. I found myself doing behaving in a similar characteristics (in a positive way) during meetings(etc) at work when I used to play wow.

    This *almost* offset the absurd amount of sleep deprivation i was under at the same time from having a ‘raid schedule’!! (shudder)

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