In a recent article by Inc. entitled “3 Things Every Business Can Learn From Gamers”, Technology writer Howard Tullman explains that gamers are essentially the “virtual canaries in a coalmine” for predicting and dictating trends in business, which is a compelling concept. Yet his argument barely scratches the surface of the reasons why gamers make the best entrepreneurs and its worth taking that concept to the next level.
Sure an MBA is a wonderful (albeit expensive) thing to have when entering the business world- but formal education does not provide real world (or even virtual) experience. The infamous circular question of how to gain experience when nobody will give you a job due to lack of experience resurfaces every generation. So what makes gamers better candidates or successful entrepreneurs?
Gamers unfairly have a bad rap of being all consumed with a specific game for endless hours (or days) without sleep, food or bathing (in the extremist picture), but this behavior could also be translated into immovable determination in accomplishing goals? Remember cramming for exams, or putting together an investor proposal-not too much different, right?
Determination and concentration are essential traits for Entrepreneurs and once gamers have a goal in mind there is little that can be done to deter them, distract them, or tempt them into a “break”.
Gamers know that sometimes the situation is predetermined to go different than expected or that circumstances can change and you must adapt to survive. This ability to accept and move forward, no matter what obstacles may arise, is invaluable in the workplace, especially for decision makers.
The ability to focusing on one thing at a time while seamlessly multi-tasking at the same time, that makes sense-doesn’t it? There is actually scientific evidence that proves being a gamer boosts brain power, may possibly prevent dementia, or Alzheimer’s and even improve driving skills (not referring to GTA).
According to neuroscientist Lauren Sergio, “Skilled gamers mainly use their frontal cortex. Non-gamers, in contrast, predominantly use an area called the parietal cortex, the part of the brain specializing in visual special function.”
Gamers know that being the best doesn’t mean among the top 10 or even top 25, the best is simply that, the best. Points, kills, rankings, and the overall “score” or “rank” as a gamer is just as important as a resume, this is the gamers experience in action.
Most games utilize on-line interactions to up the ante of play. Gamers frequently connect with people from all over the globe and are able to not only communicate with total strangers immediately but assess skills, and “rally the troops”, as social skill which is not natural to everyone or easy to practice.
Focus is not the same as determination; you can be determined and still lose focus or become easily distracted. Co-workers, friends, and colleagues may try to lure you into “taking a break”, “blowing off steam”, or convince you to loosen your tie (or let your hair down), but we all know these types of social engagements (especially involving people you work with) are usually counter-productive at best.
A gamer may be on the top of the leader board of any given game, but you will never hear them brag about their position, nor do they expect recognition for the hours invested to reach the top. As of now there are no Academy Awards equivalents for gamers and the only red carpet gamers will likely see is their own which has been dyed by spilt Gatorade or Cherry flavored Slurpie. Free shwag is better than a statue (trophy) anyway for gamers.
Gaming is not a cheap hobby, but most of the cost is spent with the initial investment in quality devices (gaming system, controllers, headphones, mics, etc.), this philosophy to invest in quality from the start is easily translated into the business world. Gamers know if you don’t invest in quality you will end up paying for it later.
Everyone knows that pyramid scams are just that, scams. We’ve come a long way from building pyramids, now we are able to build skyscrapers with ease thanks to developing technologies we barely break a sweat anymore. Scammers have evolved from the pyramids and don’t use snail mail anymore, making identifying scams a bit more tricky. Gamers always know when something is too good to be true, and can recognize a scammer almost immediately (often by utilizing their vast network of gaming networks).
Anyone that is personally close to a successful entrepreneur knows that work comes first (and last) everyday. Turning work “off” is virtually impossible, a trait that borders on commendable to aggravating. Yet gamers have yet another advantage, it’s an “off” button, literally. Learning how to turn work “off” is just as important as unwavering determination and absolutely necessary if you want to be “uber” successful with your sanity intact.
Perhaps the stereo-types about gamers are changing, thanks in part to scientific research and cerebral studies. Only time will tell if these valuable skills which most gamers possess will translate into a successful career or contribute to creating the next “Twitter“. Now that technology and business are inseparable, gamers are more than just the “canary in the coalmine”, they are the “Street Fighters” of the office that help us avoid certain “Doom” with important decisions and force us to often answer the “Call of Duty”. Forget the coalmine- its 2014, its all about Minecraft!
Feature image credit: Microsoft Games Global Marketing employees, from gamerscoreblog.com CC-BY-SA-2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.