With most of the world under lockdown, our entertainment options are limited to whatever we can pick up or plugin at home. Unsurprisingly, video games are seeing a huge surge in interest - and we're not just talking about Animal Crossing, the simulation game that's taking your social media feeds by storm. But if you're feeling guilty about all those hours spent trading turnips or battling strangers in a PvP matchup, don't. Gaming is not just an escape. It can also be a valuable way to level up your workplace skills. Here's how.
Handling the Grind
Any gamer worth their salt has spent hours "grinding" - completing repetitive, arduous tasks in the name of receiving a sought-after reward. Maybe it's mining, trekking from one village to another, or slowly leveling up your character. But just like in the real world, all that invested time turns into something valuable. If sticking with tasks or seeing through long-term goals is tough for you, gaming will give you the boost you need.
To boost your decision-making and strategic planning skills, load up a game of StarCraft or Halo. Studies show that these sorts of real-time, fast-paced games improve cognitive flexibility, meaning that they facilitate adaptability, task-switching, resourcefulness, and even complex problem-solving skills. These will help you ace your next performance review.
Building Teams (and Trust)
Sure, you could try to take on that boss monster on your own. But the chance of actually winning is far higher when you team up with other gamers. Building an in-game posse requires plenty of teamwork, trust, and communication - especially when you're interacting remotely with people you've probably never even met. If you can manage this, you'll be well on the way to a leadership role.
If you find juggling multiple tasks while dealing with numerous distractions a challenge, gaming can give you some much-needed hands-on training. Gaming is full of missions and quests that all need to be completed concurrently or in service of each other, forcing you to stay on task and focus on your most urgent priorities. Gaming's competing audio and visual demands also help you block out the noise and home in on what matters.
Getting Through the Day
Okay, this isn't technically a skill, but it's definitely a benefit. According to this piece in The Conversation, gaming boosts wellbeing by fulfilling our needs for autonomy, competence, and connectedness. When these needs are satisfied, we get a wellbeing boost together with an extra dose of motivation. Games give you progress, achievability, and those much-needed small "wins"
Hit Play to Begin
If video games are your lockdown go-to, chances are you're beefing up your resume without even knowing it. All those hours spent logged on and in front of a screen aren't just wasted time - they help you develop a variety of skills that will help you stand out in the workplace. So are you ready, Player One?