Can Gaming Equip You for a Better Career?

The stigma associated with video games has gradually faded away. What was once seen as a wasteful pastime for losers is now seen as a respectable hobby embraced by the mainstream. Still, most people see gaming as merely a hobby – something you personally enjoy – rather than a valuable opportunity for self-improvement or career development.

In reality, when approached correctly, video games can be valuable tool for self-improvement, learning, and personal development. Is it possible that video games could prepare you for a better career?

Some Caveats

Before we dig into the mechanics of how video games can equip you for a better career, we need to spell out some caveats.

First, video games alone typically can’t qualify you for a specific career path. For that, you’ll need specific certification, licensing, or education. For example, you may need to have a college degree or a license associated with your field.

Second, video games won’t equip you for a better career all on their own. You need to put in work and have specific goals in mind as you develop yourself if you want to make the most of them.

What Gaming Can Teach You

With those caveats in mind, let’s focus on some of the important soft skills and concepts that video games can teach you:

·       Persistence. There are now entire genres of games (e.g., Soulslike games) characterized by their steep and unforgiving difficulty. Initially, you feel like the game is unbeatable, punishing you for even the smallest mistake and offering almost nothing in the way of direction or advice. Instead, you must confront these challenges over and over, learning a little bit more each time, and eventually overcoming the challenges if you’re patient enough. If you apply that same persistence to a career, your likelihood of success will increase.

·       Problem solving. Video games also teach you about problem solving, forcing you to think critically and find creative solutions to a plethora of different challenges. Games like Portal are known for their innovative approach to puzzles and problem solving; you probably won’t be able to use a portal gun in your chosen career, but you will be able to think outside the box and propose novel solutions. Yes, you can also Buy d2r items, for example, if you just want to get to the next stage of the game at whatever cost but, for some, the problem solving is part of the fun, and makes completing a difficult part of the game that much more rewarding. 

·       Teamwork and collaboration. If you play multiplayer games, you already know the importance of teamwork and collaboration. It only takes one weak link to bring the entire team down, and if anyone plays selfishly, it could compromise your entire operation. Being a team player and cooperating with others is necessary in the majority of careers, and video games are a great place to build that foundation.

·       Adaptability. Your first strategy isn’t always going to be successful. Sometimes, you need to experiment with different loadouts, different approaches, and different tools to advance past a difficult level. Adaptability is indispensable in most careers.

·       Management. Depending on the games you play, you may also develop some management skills. If you’re forced to create new solutions with minimal, finite resources, you’ll develop a perspective that most people don’t have naturally; you learn to make the most of what you have in pursuit of a broader goal.

Peripheral Opportunities

Playing video games can also grant you peripheral opportunities for personal and professional development.

For example:

·       Content creation. Playing video games is just one piece of the hobby for most gamers. When you’re not playing, you might create montage videos, written guides, or reviews for a captive audience. Content development improves your communication skills – and could set you up for a career as a writer, podcaster, or videographer.

·       Networking. It’s tough to overstate how valuable professional networking is for your career, and believe it or not, gaming could be a great way to build your network. If you play multiplayer games or involve yourself in niche communities, you’ll have the opportunity to meet dozens, or even hundreds of likeminded individuals who all love the same games you do. If you get to know them a bit, you could learn more about their job – and forge a strong professional connection.

·       Niche skill development. Certain video games are designed to teach you specific skills that can be used in a professional environment. For example, games like while True: learn() can teach you the fundamentals of programming, which can help you prepare a good foundation for learning specific programming languages and the basics of software engineering.

If you approach video games with a learning mindset, and you commit to ongoing personal development, gaming can prepare you for a better career. With more soft skills to list on your resume, a broader personal network, and experience in specific areas like programming or content creation, you’ll be much better equipped to land the job you’ve always wanted.

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