Lucas Gillispie, high school teacher, shares some of the things he’s learned from MMORPGs. Some of them might surprise you.
1. Home networking. As in knowing how to hook up electronics without the help of an expert—that is, until you become one yourself.
2. Conflict resolution. Online games are a melting pot—or a mixed salad, as you will—of people from diverse backgrounds and experiences. I’ve played games with young mothers, 14-year-old boys from Texas, and socialist octogenarians. These are not generally people I’d run into in most other corners of my life.
3. Project management. Leadership is key—but knowing how to follow is just as important (if not more so). Building a team or a guild and managing a large group of people is never easy, and online gaming can give you the experience necessary to navigate those waters.
4. Split-second decision making and strategy. This one is pretty straightforward. Depending on the game, you might have to decide who to rescue, where to put your units, how far across the screen you should move to get that spell to hit the right enemy…there are a lot of split-second decisions necessary in many games.
5. Advanced web design. Depending on your involvement with the community outside the game, there are a lot of options for learning HTML and other types of coding when building a forum or website for a guild.
6. A love of reading. Make no mistake, most games actually involve a good amount of active reading. Gaming also gets a lot of people interested in fantasy and science fiction. I’d go so far as to say that gaming can also influence players to write; many go on to write their own games, for example.
7. Computer hardware/troubleshooting. Anyone who has ever tried to troubleshoot a PC knows that this is not a skill to be taken lightly. Gamers often help each other troubleshoot, because the reward is play—particularly being able to play with the person you are aiding. It’s a great motivator to learn.
8. Graphic editing. Again, not all gamers get involved in this, but some do, and many do it for fun. Modding characters, making custom maps, and other creative pursuits can lay the groundwork for graphic editing.
9. Video editing/machinima. Another out-of-game pastime, but one that many a gamer has become involved in, machinima is a perfect way to get started in video editing.
10. Instructional design. I can’t guarantee that all gamers will engage in this skillset, but Gillispie says gaming has given him creative insights into the instructional process. Games are great teachers.