Researcher: World of Warcaft players make better employees

#1


Playing World of Warcraft will make a person a better employee in the corporate world, according to digital culture researcher John Seely Brown. Speaking in a new Big Think YouTube video, Brown said he would rather hire a high-level World of Warcraft player than an MBA student from Harvard.

"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," Brown said.

Brown claimed that such high-level World of Warcraft players benefit from the fundamental collaborative nature of the game, specifically with regards to guilds and raiding. He said these guilds, which can number in the hundreds of players, are fueled only by a player's passion, not any external reward or bonus.

"When we look into the social structures and the knowledge capability, refining, and generation capabilities of this guild structures, there is something going on here,
" Brown said. "Now, these are not just self-organizing groups. Basically every high-end guild has a constitution. The leaders of these guilds also have to do dispute adjudication all the time. They also have to be willing to say, 'Let's measure ourselves.'

Another reason why a World of Warcraft player would make a better employee, according to Brown, is because players must create "dashboards," or ways in which players measure themselves and things happening around them. In the corporate world, Brown said, these dashboards are applied by managers, but that isn't the case in World of Warcraft.

"In World of Warcraft you invent a dashboard for yourself," Brown said. "So this whole idea of thinking about how do I build measurements to facilitate my own performance for me and me alone becomes very interesting. And in fact in the World of Warcraft there's a simple mantra I encounter all the time. If I ain't learning, it ain't fun."

Ultimately, Brown said employers would be smart to hire a World of Warcraft player because these gamers have accelerated levels of passion and curiosity.

"But it gets back to this notion of passion, it gets back to this notion of curiosity, and it gets back to this notion that this is an interest-driven phenomenon that unleashes exponential learning of a dimension that's almost unimaginable any other way," he said.

Source
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#5
Forget about regular employees, what about just making us the boss or manager right away? That's what being an officer in a high end guild was like anyway, just without any real money involved. It was probably equally stressful too.
 
#6
Forget about regular employees, what about just making us the boss or manager right away? That's what being an officer in a high end guild was like anyway, just without any real money involved. It was probably equally stressful too.
I agree with this. I should put this shit on my resume. This should at least make me the head hancho of HR. WoW taught me the fine art of hiring and firing and recruiting based on resumes, as well as dealing with guild squabble.
 
#7
So does this mean I can add my prestigious WoW achievements to my resume now?!? I've been waiting for this!

On a more serious note, I thought there would be more about time management and pre-planning in there.
 
#8
I agree with this. I should put this shit on my resume. This should at least make me the head hancho of HR. WoW taught me the fine art of hiring and firing and recruiting based on resumes, as well as dealing with guild squabble.
I've heard of people actually doing that. I'm not sure how many employers take it seriously, but it's been done.
 
#10
Forget about regular employees, what about just making us the boss or manager right away? That's what being an officer in a high end guild was like anyway, just without any real money involved. It was probably equally stressful too.
One of the many reasons I stopped being an officer in guilds years ago. It's all the stress of working with none of the benefits other than a special title.
 
#11
I agree with this. I should put this shit on my resume. This should at least make me the head hancho of HR. WoW taught me the fine art of hiring and firing and recruiting based on resumes, as well as dealing with guild squabble.
Yeah I mean in my guild there was a long period of time (over a year) where I had to manage a schedule of who can make what raids and when, take an inventory of our supplies and finances, keep watch on about 20 people at once to make sure they were doing the shit they were supposed to do (the other officers had their own people too), and handle some of the recruitment and firing. From what I knew about our rival guilds on the server it was pretty similar stuff.

If that's not most of what low to mid level bosses do in the real world then I have no idea what else they do.

Sophia said:
One of the many reasons I stopped being an officer in guilds years ago. It's all the stress of working with none of the benefits other than a special title.
It was definitely a lot of work but I enjoyed it until I got burned out on WoW. I like to micromanage.
 

Stop It

Perfectly able to grasp the inherent value of the fishing game.
#17
They are used to do boring stuff over and over.
No, that's playing tens of hours of De_prodigy in clan practice, just to try to have that minuscule edge over opponents in league matches.

Anyway, article is correct but obviously is overly simplistic. Yes, anything that requires team building, co-operation and strategic planning requires a certain sort of person, and those who do well at running a guild are usually good at running projects at work and would make good managers etc.

That however applies to those who end up as captains at local level sports, those who run social clubs and other "passion" led (read: volunteer) based organisations.

Not exactly rocket science.
 
#19
Ultimately, Brown said employers would be smart to hire a World of Warcraft player because these gamers have accelerated levels of passion and curiosity.
The game has a large number of players both active and inactive. So I don't think it will be hard to find some.
But why limit it with WoW there are many similar MMOs.
 
#23
Brown said he would rather hire a high-level World of Warcraft player than an MBA student from Harvard.
They assume that MBA student never played WoW or that WoW player doesn't have a high education. I guess they really know how to separate people.
 
#24
My first experience of working while in my WoW phase was that I spent majority of the day on thottbot and WoW forums, and would leave work 10mins early just to make it in time for farming+raiding.
 
#25
I'd hire an Everquest raider over a WoW raider any day. Maybe if they'd been the officer in charge of the healers or tanks for a couple years, I might consider them for a management position, but I'd probably still wait to find out if they had anger issues or were masochists.
 
#27
They are used to do boring stuff over and over.
One and done. Also;

Brown claimed that such high-level World of Warcraft players benefit from the fundamental collaborative nature of the game, specifically with regards to guilds and raiding. He said these guilds, which can number in the hundreds of players, are fueled only by a player's passion, not any external reward or bonus.
Yeah, right. They're raiding for hours and hours on end because it's passion, not the +1 strength, +3 agility and particle effect that lets them raid the same content again, only with monsters with higher stats, so they can have +2 strength and +4 agility for the 6-8 months they spend waiting for the next content patch to invalidate the previous one. It's passion.

Say what you want about building a better mousetrap, Blizzard went for the real money and made a better carrot and stick.

Also, a big "WTF" at people thinking about putting this on their resumes. Seriously? Seems not that long ago we were seeing stories of managers and HR folks not hiring WoW players because it interfered with their job;

"[The job recruiter] replied that employers specifically instruct him not to send them World of Warcraft players," Tale wrote. Contary to the opinion that playing WoW teaches teamwork and leadership, these companies allegedly have a firm belief that "WoW players cannot give 100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc."
That sounds a little more believable than "WoW players are better than Harvard grads", no?
 
#28
Yeah, I can see this. I loved raiding enough that when I couldn't find a guild to raid with, I made my own. That lasted about 3 months, as I grew tired of coming home from work so I could work more and deal with managing people for another 3-4 hours.

It's a major PITA to be a guild officer/leader.
 
#33
What a load of BS. Beeing succesfull in Wow required one thing: time investment. In a job, just that doesn't get you anywhere. Adding to that, the current Wow is a very dumbed down and simplified experience to what it was in the early years.
 
#35
When I was flown out to interview with a sizable game company a little more than a year ago, one of the main accomplishments I mentioned was that I was a main tank for one of the best guilds on my server, and I referenced times I showed my leadership in World of Warcraft since they wanted examples of me displaying leadership.

I was naive and stupid.
 
#36
What a load of BS. Beeing succesfull in Wow required one thing: time investment. In a job, just that doesn't get you anywhere. Adding to that, the current Wow is a very dumbed down and simplified experience to what it was in the early years.
You need a lot more than time to clear raid dungeons, or did at least. I quit after cataclysm came out so I haven't followed the progression of the game, but the normal instances in cata required a lot of planning and strategy at first.

Lazy and/or bad people were not welcome in raids as they did nothing but weigh the group down. Their minimum time investment meant shit in the overall scheme of things. They needed to actually know how to play.
 
#37
It's a major PITA to be a guild officer/leader.
It is literally herding nerds. Once you have the boss fight memorized (akin to learning dance steps; one-two-three-and-taunt-two-three-and-move to the left a little) the challenge is derived entirely from other people not screwing up / alt-tabbing to watch YouTube / jerking off / falling asleep (in my raid experience, I have encountered all of them, and yes we actually heard one guy watching porn over Ventrillo during a Zul'Gurub raid).

What a load of BS. Beeing succesfull in Wow required one thing: time investment.
This, this, a thousand times this. Here's a very good (if a little long) article, breaking down the mechanics of WoW. Here's the TL:DR version though;

What we have is a contagious social environment where progress and growth is encouraged on all players, very cleverly disguised as requiring skill or ability, allowing for tons of escapism, advancement, exploration and socializing. The most fundamentally enforced ideal of these types of games is co-dependence. That is why one of the most unsatisfied portions of the MMORPG gaming community is the segment that seeks individual achievement and a casual style of play. They want to use skill and thought in a game that is designed as a giant online rat race where brute will and time invested will always be the primary defining factors in who gets far and who doesn’t. As yourself if there is a point to gambling. Can it be fun? Sure. Is there a point beyond gambling once in a while? Does gambling require anything other than brute determination and a large supply of money? (And then ask yourself what is more valuable, time or money…) If you look at gambling, you will notice that the skill required is low, the technical aspects are simple, and people play to feed their sense of upward social mobility.
 
#38
Brown claimed that such high-level World of Warcraft players benefit from the fundamental collaborative nature of the game, specifically with regards to guilds and raiding. He said these guilds, which can number in the hundreds of players, are fueled only by a player's passion, not any external reward or bonus.
"...whereas dirtbag goldbrickers were drains on their places of employment the same as the guilds they are a member of."

What a load of BS. Beeing succesfull in Wow required one thing: time investment. In a job, just that doesn't get you anywhere. Adding to that, the current Wow is a very dumbed down and simplified experience to what it was in the early years.
Those guilds exist, I admit. I knew guilds like that. 5+ days a week. Mandatory mats/resist farming. Throwing themselves bodily at bosses until enough tumblers aligned of people not fucking up/giving a shit till they won. The works.

When we'd hustle past on a 3 day schedule, they'd be dead in a week. Every. Time.
 
#39
Those guilds exist, I admit. I knew guilds like that. 5+ days a week. Mandatory mats/resist farming. Throwing themselves bodily at bosses until enough tumblers aligned of people not fucking up/giving a shit till they won. The works.
Sounds like a second job where you pay them for the privilege.
 
#40
Sounds like a second job where you pay them for the privilege.
The thing is with badly ran guilds was, the officers did all the work, but they got better access to the spoils and could act like assholes within reason to the members. Rank and file don't have to lift a finger, but have to deal with leftovers and leadership acting a fool at them.
 
#42
Sounds a bit more believable than other gaming bullshit research I read but still a long shot.
Oh yeah, it's hopeful thinking. With most higher-end super-serious professions, one doesn't let slip one plays anything higher function than Angry Birds. Some law firms, police departments, etc even have "having played an MMO" in their background checks upon hiring, (oddly enough, because of the time investment angle).
 
#43
The thing is with badly ran guilds was, the officers did all the work, but they got better access to the spoils and could act like assholes within reason to the members. Rank and file don't have to lift a finger, but have to deal with leftovers and leadership acting a fool at them.
Now this sounds like an actual job; low level people show up and do the bare minimum (and bitch constantly), mid-level people do most of the work, managers are a pack of assholes.

One of my old GMs knew his shit about raids (because he spent all of his time at work researching, ironically), but that was it; very unpersonable, easily irritated, prone to dramatic fits. He'd also hit on the female members constantly. We had a ton of people quit after he passed a Core Hound's Tooth to a girl he was flirting with (a Hunter, for her offhand) over the two Rogues who had been trying to get them for months.

The reason I mention it is that he sounded like a Canadian Bill Lumbergh. Upper Management all the way.

Oh yeah, it's hopeful thinking. With most higher-end super-serious professions, one doesn't let slip one plays anything higher function than Angry Birds. Some law firms, police departments, etc even have "having played an MMO" in their background checks upon hiring, (oddly enough, because of the time investment angle).
I'll be damned if I can find it, but I seem to remember reading an article to this effect; employers looking at potential hires' credit history were watching for (amongst other things, obviously) MMO subscription fees.

The last thing you want is to dial 911 and have the officer respond "just after this boss."
 
#48
Bullshit, every serious wow player I've ever worked with spent all day browsing wow forums and wowhead researching loot drop rates and strategies. You'd be better off hiring junkies because there aren't many crack and heroin forums to waste time on.
 

Entropia

No One Remembers
#49
Please tell me this is not actually a thing anymore. I got out of the raiding racket midway through WotLK and we hadn't used it in a while, if there are actually guilds still doing this, that's... incredibly sad.
Of course it's still a thing. Show up -> Kill Boss -> Awarded DKP -> Want Loot? -> Spend DKP.

EPGP is probably more popular though.

Bullshit, every serious wow player I've ever worked with spent all day browsing wow forums and wowhead researching loot drop rates and strategies. You'd be better off hiring junkies because there aren't many crack and heroin forums to waste time on.
I'm guilty of this. On the flip side though, I got my work done and was a damn better worker than everyone else. That is not always the case though.