Most of us will have tried our hand at gaming at some point in our lives. For some of us, it might have grown into a long-standing hobby while others might have realised pretty quickly that it just wasn't for them. Whatever your sentiments towards gaming as a pastime, have you ever considered the value it may add to your professional life?
Perhaps you haven't, and who could blame you for that? After all, it's highly unlikely that any of us will ever have to fight mythical creatures or besiege medieval villages as part of our daily routine. However, some of the skills involved in achieving success in the virtual world are very useful in the real world too, and when we play video games, we are strengthening those skills.
By the way, we're not talking about being the fastest street racer. According to a recent study by the University of Glasgow, playing video games can have a positive effect on communication skills, adaptability, and resourcefulness - all key transferable skills in the workplace.
At the beginning and end of the study, two groups of arts and humanities undergraduates were asked to complete attribute-measuring tests. One group played a number of different video games in a controlled environment in addition to the tests. Results showed an increase in skills in those that played the games, while no such development was measured in the control group who didn't.
Video game players are often thrown into unknown territory when playing, where their ability to adapt to new situations and come up with solutions is tested. In multi-player games, players will also be tested on their ability to successfully communicate with their virtual teammates. In the modern workplace, much is the same. With industries, technologies and teams changing faster than ever, professionals are expected to possess an ability to respond quickly and effectively.
For Matthew Barr, the leader of the experiment, the results indicate the potential role video games could play within higher education, particularly with regard to employability.
The results are also a reminder to professionals that when it comes to employability, it's not just experience and qualifications that count: transferable skills are equally important, and as the research shows, there's more than one way to develop them.
While it might not be the first thing you bring up, hobbies like video games are certainly worth mentioning during an interview, as long as you can make a convincing case for their relevance. Some companies even use video games during their recruitment process now; great news for all the devout gamers out there!
Sources: Abintegro, Times Higher Education; Science Direct
Image source: Abintegro