In online forums, game players worry that touting their hobby will lead others to perceive them as lazy or socially awkward.
Peter Morris, a 50-year-old regional sales executive at New York-based analytics software provider Information Builders, is an avid player of “World of Warcraft.” But as a former hiring manager, he has warned fellow gamers against putting their game achievements on their résumés.
“At the end of the day, it’s all make-believe,” said Mr. Morris, adding that few recruiters understand how a leader in a fantasy game can be a valuable
Mr. Spafford’s fiancée, Mary Brenner, a freelance broadcast technician, includes her experience coordinating “World of Warcraft” meet-ups and other events,
on some versions of her résumé, but keeps it off for jobs that don’t involve event planning.
“I would feel uncomfortable with the judgment in a setting where it wouldn’t make sense,” she said.
Dmitri Williams, an associate professor of communications at the University of Southern California, said accomplished players of massively multiplayer online
games such as “Dungeons and Dragons Online” and “League of Legends,” demonstrate exceptional skills in strategy and team-building.
Most gamers use those traits both in and outside the game environment, according to Prof. Williams’s research, which focuses on the social and economic
impacts of videogames. Many of the prominent gamers he has interviewed are leaders in virtual and real life, such as a young player whose raid-leading
experience helped him understand how to succeed in college and the workplace and another gamer who led a guild and went on to manage a game-design studio,
later founding one of his own.
“There’s this misconception that when someone goes in the game that they act like someone else,” he said. “The research shows that the game world tends to
magnify what’s there already.”
There are two ways that those skills can come into play, so to speak. On the one hand, succeeding at video games can require some of the same teamwork, real
time analytics and composure under pressure that many jobs also require. Reigning supreme in a fantasy sports league requires statistical analysis, trading
acumen and focus.
But there’s also the business leisure aspect — sales people who bond with customers over golf or drinks might add some new pursuits. It’s even more likely
to become common as a team-building exercise in fields that are closely related to digital play, such as IT or finance.
Both reasons resonate with people who list card games on their profiles. “Poker and Bridge are two card games many people associate with as mathematical,
strategic and intelligent,” says Paul Howe, head of quantitative research at Oxbridge Capital who lists both on his LinkedIn profile. “Moreover, I have
played poker and bridge for a few years and consider them as a sports, much like my other interests in baseball (and) golf.”
For now, though, most video game players may have to just wait until the millennials start taking control as hiring managers — winning your fantasy football
league will be worth that much more.