So today at the place where I intern there was a big crisis – a ton of information booklets for some prospective TAs needed to be done by the end of the day. Cue me dropping everything in order to put together 8 massive booklets complete with snazzy pictures. My colleagues were well impressed, commenting on my aptitude for combining text, pictures and information in a functional but pretty format. My instant reaction to this, was “It’s easy – I do this kind of thing with my WoW interface all the time!”. It was true, I do have a lot of practice at positioning items on a screen to find a good balance. It’s hardly rocket surgery!
This isn’t the first time it’s occurred to me that Warcraft actually provides you with a lot of skills that employers want. Ok, not everyone suffers from UI OCD like myself but there are plenty of others, just look at raiding. Coordinating 25 people to work together in common cause, using only a keyboard and a microphone actually takes a lot of skill. Employers are always going on about teamwork, leadership skills, communication skills, problem-solving, bla bla bla. I bet most of them would struggle to reach Marrowgar. Also, did I mention that studies show that video gamers outperform non-gamers consistently in many tests of mental ability? Probably because we’re going home and using our brains every night instead of just watching tv.
I think you get the point, Warcraft players actually make amazing employees. So I’m kind if annoyed that a) I’m unemployed and b) people simply don’t accept my Warcraft-related skills. Of course, I have other skills too, its not like I’m basing an interview around them or anything. But I have tried to use them to shore up some of my weaker points. I don’t have many examples in a professional context of leadership skills, mostly because as a recently graduated student I have mostly only done peon-level jobs. So the raid example seems an obvious thing to bring up, because leading a raid of 24 other people is more difficult than most of the tasks I see people around me getting paid for. Yet this not seen as an acceptable answer.
It’s prejudice, plain and simple. I interviewed a guy the other day (interviewing as part of hardcore interning, not paid work, long story) and the guy answered the leadership skills question by citing he was captain of the football team. I figured this was a totally acceptable answer, since he was young and probably didn’t have a professional example to give, same as me. Yet my raid-leading does not carry the same weight. In fact, I’ve been told by people to never mention a game as an example of anything. Our society is quite simply biased against gamers. Its nothing new, but it pisses me off.
Ok so time to wrap up this rant of a tired, slightly inebriated WoW player with a question: Has Warcraft ever helped you, or hindered you, in a professional context?