This morning I was checking out the latest on several blogs when I came across this link from Leafshine’s “other” blog. In it, he talked about a speech recently given by Joi Ito on gaming and its similarities to the working world. I have to say a couple of points intrigued me.
Firstly, I do applaud any initiative to bring gaming to a level above that of some shameful hobby that need be kept quiet about and done in the privacy of your bedroom. I mean, we’re not killing kittens, we’re gaming. Thankfully, there’s been a number of initiatives towards that end and I’ve seen things begin to see light over the past few years with things like E-sports and mainstream acceptance of games such as Grand Theft Auto, the Guitar Hero series, and of course World of Warcraft. Ito’s speech reinforced this point by showing that the current generation no long distinguishes between “virtual” and “real” when it comes to the internet and computers. Friends made online are just as real and significant as friends made at school or in the neighbourhood. As he said, “We still say ‘addicted to games’. We don’t say ‘addicted to church’ if people go to church every week.”
The highlight of his speech for me was the idea of using a 40-man raid to illustrate the parallels between working in a team environment in the business world and playing in a team environment in the gaming world. In all the large-scale raids I’ve attended, I’ve seen both successful and less-successful endeavours and I have to agree that communication and leadership plays a much bigger role in these events than having the best of the best gear.
What does all this mean for the future? While I don’t think I’m quite ready to put “Has cleared Karazhan with no wipes.” or “Can use Vent or TS with equal proficiency.” to my resume, I think employers will eventually be able to connect the dots themselves when hiring a gamer and see that some skills do transfer over to the job market. Maybe someday there’ll be a change in job requirements: “Must have university degree, relevant work experience, or to have cleared past Arthas in a primary tanking or healing role.”