Mar 132012
 

Photo-Receptor Focus on:  The Gaming Stigma

by Maer

We often hear gaming blamed for this or that violent action.  As gamers, we hear that, roll our eyes and move on.  It’s not as often that we actually hear/read something good from outside the community about gaming.  However, there was recently an article from a very respected source pointing out some studies that say gaming is actually good!

More after the jump

Yep, that’s not a misprint and you can read the original article here: The Wall Street Journal.  What I particularly like about this article is that there is finally some backup for my own personal opinion that gaming is something to be proud of.  It can have a very positive effect on people and actually help them improve in certain areas.

I love the info in the Wall Street article that says gamers can make decisions 25% faster, without losing accuracy.  That would probably be from an awareness of fractions of seconds.  I know how long that extra .5 second feels when I’m healing someone.  A 1.75 second cast time feels like forever compared to a 1.25 second spell.  That’s tough for a non-gamer to understand.

I don’t even bother to tell non-gamers that I’m painfully aware of that half second difference.  The one time I tried, I was met with scornful disbelief.  But a gamer would know what I meant.  And an entire second?  It can feel like an eternity during a boss fight – or having to listen to someone you think is boring.

So, I totally believe we can make decisions faster.  Especially raiders, who do so on a regular basis.

I’ve felt for a long time that gaming not only helps keep the brain in working order, but it keeps some of us from aging mentally quite as quickly as our non-gaming peers.  As someone on the Dark Side of 30 (way past Dark Side V), keeping my brain young is extremely important.  It also helps with hand/eye coordination, which as a klutz, I really appreciate.

I recently heard a conversation where Mr. X was talking about an interview he recently had.  When asked about leadership experience, he mentioned leading a large guild as evidence of his skills.  Apparently, the interviewer was not up to speed on just what that meant.

Employers and Human Resource personnel would be doing themselves a favor if they bothered to find out just what skill sets it takes to lead a large guild.  In gaming, we know it not only takes someone who can lead a raid at endgame.  It also takes people with excellent communication skills (oral and written).  It takes problem-solving skills – both for the game and the inter-personal issues that can come up when dealing with a lot of diverse personalities and egos.  Other skills that I often see in guild leadership include organizational, social and planning skills.

Most of all, I see creativity in guild leadership.  They’re used to thinking outside the box and using their imaginations to problem-solve.  That alone would make them worth the price of admission as an employee, in my book.

Unfortunately, the rank and file of employers have yet to accept guild leadership as worthwhile experience.  I say “unfortunately” because they can be losing out on an outstanding employee.  I look forward to the day when gamers can stand proud and have that experience recognized, instead of being afraid to mention it.

Hopefully, more studies will be done and the positive results will make it to the general population.  Gamers will be acknowledged as having valuable skill sets that make them special and not just as jokes on sitcoms.

That’s my two credits.  What’s yours?

Ready…set…discuss…

  One Response to “My Two Credits: The Gaming Stigma”

  1. You know, Maer, I’ve had your exact same sentiments mulling about in my head for some time as far as gaming being a positive thing when applying for a job. Not only does gaming in general keep you thinking quickly but if you’re also in a leadership role you have to have good social skills, be able to be a good listener and mediator during conflicts, be able to organize and plan for things to come and not to mention be ready to resort to a backup plan if things go wrong. Maybe one day we’ll be able put proudly put ‘Gamer’ in our resumes.

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