Does raiding train you to be a better employee? John Seely Brown says it does.
When you're spending your evenings toiling away in an MMO, you probably don't consider it to be valuable job training. Researcher John Seely Brown sees it as exactly that, and what's more, he considers high-level World of Warcraft players to be better suited for the business world than graduates of Harvard. In a new Big Think video, Brown details his feelings on how the social and organizational aspects of the MMO world translate into real-world skills perfectly suited to business.
"I would rather hire a high-level World of Warcraft player than a MBA from Harvard," Seely explains. "To understand these massive multiplayer games like World of Warcraft, do not think about it as just game play, but look at the social life on the edge of the game."
He goes on to note how performance management is a huge part of high-end MMO play, and those same principles apply directly to business situations. "These guilds are truly meritocracy based. So even if you were the leader of this particular high-end raid, at the end you do an after action review, and in the after action review each person is open to total criticism by everybody else."
The full video dives deep into comparisons of dashboards - which are essentially management tools - in both World of Warcraft and in corporate structures, as well as the idea that learning new things is what drives MMO players, and why that passion is a valuable asset.
Seely makes a fine point and a reasoned argument for the value of MMOs as personal tools for growth, so the next time someone asks you why you spend your nights defeating digital demons, just tell them you're training for your next promotion.
Note: Unfortunately, the video has embedding disabled, so just hop over to the YouTube page to watch it in full.