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Today's Gamers, Tomorrow's Leaders?

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the something-to-think-about dept.

Games 245

slash-sa writes "Video games have become problem-solving exercises wrapped in the veneer of an exotic adventure. In today's fast and rapidly-changing business environment, the strategic skills they teach are more important than ever. From realistic battlefield simulations to the building of great nations, from fantastic voyages through worlds of mythology to conquering space, "Generation G" could well offer the answer to unlocking great 21st century strategists and leaders."

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played online games much? (5, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182309)

If these people are the best and brightest we are fingered. play WoW sometime and you'll see.

Re:played online games much? (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182375)


Actually, the way he blundered in to the mission reminds me of someone.
GW Bush doesn't have a warcraft account does he?

Re:played online games much? (2, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182437)

nope he has a much bigger better toy collection.

Re:played online games much? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21182799)

You might joke but WoW can offer excellent leadership training.

I ran a guild from launch to the end of AQ. I learned a huge number of things about:

*People, in an environment where you get extremes of behaviour to learn from.

*Making people do what you want with _no_ authority of any sort and active resistance a lot of the time.

*Smoothing over the routine problems of any organisation compounded by crap communication tools and no face to face meetings.

Basically it is exactly like being a project manager but more difficult in almost every respect. Expectations are high, resources are limited, your success depends on a bunch of external dependancies, and because it's on the internet behaviours are magnified by a factor of five. In real life you office probably has wierdos - but they hide it. In WoW the wierdness is there to see and so you can learn how to identify and deal with it.

These days I run a $40m project with a 60% subcontract value. It's a piece of cake compared to being a good guild leader - for a start if I lose all $40m there is less drama than if a screwup loses a shot at a legendary item.

But is that because of WoW (3, Informative)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183137)

Or were you already a leader type?

Cause and effect, did WoW make you a good leader because you were a succesfull guild leader OR where you a succesfull guild leader because you were already a good leader?

Winning the olympics improves your condition, why yeah, but some might say that having an excellent condition comes BEFORE you win the olympics.

I must admit, I like PUG's (Pick up groups, grouping with strangers) because they can be a lot of fun to see how different people play. You get some amazing idiots. The biggest I am currently faced with is pulling in Lotro. The hardest quests in Lotro don't require pulling, you are clearing an area, not trying to kill X of Y. Since the enemies are either far enough apart to not alert each other, OR so close you pull everything anyway, the best attack is to charge in with melee.

There is another reason for this. In LOTRO hunters are NOT good at melee. They are very good at damage, in fact they are the primary nuke class. This means that if a hunter pulls and criticals that the guardian (tank) has a hell of a job getting agro back. Meanwhile the minstrel (healer) has to spam heal to keep the hunter alive, creating even more agro.

Worse, most mobs in LOTRO consist of melee AND ranged, YOU CAN'T PULL RANGED, they simply shoot back. Ranged damage is often far more lethal, especially since a lot of people are incapable of spotting it. Most guardians can see it if a enemy starts beating up the support players but are unable to spot if they are being killed very fast by a hail of arrows.

Worse, the guardian and champion who both like enemies to be clumped together now got to pull the melee of the puller, then run to the archer to force it in melee mode, hoping the melee stays on them




It is fun to see the players that know this, who have managed to learn that NOT all games play the same and when a certain tactic should be used and when it should not.

But I very much doubt that MMO's can teach you this. The reason? I seen to many player who sucked at level 1 and still suck at level 50. The good ones just stay good.

You can see a similar thing in IT, while the number of people who grow up with computers is on the increase, the number of people who actually know how they work is decreasing. It is getting almost impossible to hire developers who REALLY understand programming. I have had to deal with programmers who didn't even understand basic logic. They could use it, but only as long they got it right by accident, they could not spot bugs introduced by logical errors. The most bizarre case had to do with 0 == false. That does NOT mean 1 == true. Even if you accept that it sure as hell don't mean true == 1.

Let me just confirm my suspicion with you, do you in real life before you started working take the leadership role in say your class? A club? I think so.

Re:played online games much? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182521)

Or almost any online game for that matter. Battlefield players are the worst of the worst in my experience, but WoW players are not far behind.

Genetically advantaged perhaps? (1)

elh_inny (557966) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182539)

I think any reasonable study would also show that the best leaders are those who played just a little and have a lot of experience in real life.

Basically like with language acquisition theories we can either assume that leadership skill is either acquired during our life or we are born with it.
If it's genetic, then gaming has nothing to do it.
If it's not, I'd say leading a school research project or a community or anything really is better that gaming.

With all that said, it's time to head back to Portal for me (which btw is way too short and too easy).

Re:played online games much? (5, Insightful)

javakah (932230) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182587)

Except that this is not unrealistic. Just as in WoW, the world has plenty of idiots.

WoW is not necessarily bad leadership experience when you get into organizing raids.

Some notable leadership experience from WoW raids:

1. Learning how to pick team members. This includes avoiding the tons of idiots out their and fostering relationships with competent people. Additionally it forces you to figure out what skill sets are needed and available at a given time, and for you to know how different people work together.

2. Planning. Large raids take some work for getting people willing to work on a project (the raid), and do not come together instantly. You must plan out ahead of time when you are going to do things to allow people to work it into their schedule.

3. Evaluation of goals and performance. If your project (raid) fails, you must take a step back and figure out what went wrong and to come up with a strategy to avoid that problem.

4. Dealing with underperformers with tact. Yes, there are some people who just aren't quite holding up their ends of things. Sometimes they are just bad players who don't care, who should perhaps not be a part of your team anymore. Other times however, they desperately want to do better, but aren't sure. In such situations, as in life, you need to sit down with them in a non-confrontational way and talk about the problem, and work with them on how to improve. As in life, the individual and the team will improve.

5. Dealing with team morale. Things don't always go well, but you almost always have to see some good aspects of what the team is doing to let the team know that (while at the same time identifying ways to improve). When the team does a good job, you need to make sure they know that you know that they did a good job.

6. Dealing with life conflicts. People have (hopefully) lives outside of WoW, as they have lives outside of work. You have to understand that situations come up, and people can't always be where they have said they will be. At the same time, there has to be consequences for people who are complete flakes.

So, I'm not sure that WoW is actually a bad leadership training ground.

Re:played online games much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21182657)

6. Dealing with life conflicts. People have (hopefully) lives outside of WoW, as they have lives outside of work.
Lives outside of WoW? tee! hee!

Re:played online games much? (1)

Nelson (1275) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182953)

Those are kind of the basic skills we look to leadership for. You have to do all those things to be average. Some of those things you need to be able to do even if you don't "lead," those are just good life skills regardless of your vocation.

Dealing with crisis, performance under pressure, maintaining bearing, providing vision, delegation and multiple task management and just plain execution are what start to separate the great leaders from the average. The whole idea is really silly actually, maybe tomorrow's gamers might be training for leadership but right now, the most sophisticated games there are really don't push you that much, not anything like just rudimentary project planning or logistics in a business.

I've done my fair share of gaming and for what it's worth, I can't ever recall ever feeling real stress. Work at a startup and deal with a tight schedule and a couple support issues and it puts the best online games to shame and that's nothing compared to actually leading, not like a CEO or what the military expects. This idea might feel good or might sound neat and justify our gaming addictions but it's silly. You play games to escape from the stresses of life and those are usually substantially less than the stresses of actual leadership.

Re:played online games much? (4, Funny)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183157)

You forgot...

7. Outsourcing. Why bother gaining your own experience, weapons, and gold, when you can pay some chinese hack to do it for a fraction of the cost!

Re:played online games much? (1, Insightful)

KevMar (471257) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183201)

Very well said. As a raid leader now, you are in charge of 30-35 people. Not only do you have to make all the decisions and choises listed, but you also have to deal with personal drama and loot distrobution. You realy have to build a team to make it work. If you randomly pick people and make sloppy decisions. People will question your leadership and stop fallowing you.

You also get all kinds of drama that you have to deal with while your leading your crew.
"why am I not in the raid"
"I can only raid on Wed so save me a spot"
"I called in sick to be here, cant i get in?"
"I am the best choice for that type of item, I should get it by default"
"I have to go eat supper, later" or "i'll be back in 15"
"I know im an hour late, Cant I get in"
"no i didnt sign up, but im a better player that him, bring me in"
"Why didnt my friend get in"
"I hate you because you killed a new boss and I was on reservres to a new guy"
it goes on and on.

Re:played online games much? (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182815)

What are you talking about? World of Warcraft is the best leadership training program ever devised for kids. Running a guild and defeating the content requires an extraordinary amount of organization and political finesse, far more so than the traditional activities of sports and clubs.

Re:played online games much? (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182863)

I'm pleased to see someone else making this observation. A lot of what I've learned about economics (for example) I learned from games. Pulling an all-nighter collecting resources to build the little tanks ingrains the skills in a way that reading a textbook cannot. I'm sure that this is one of the reasons that I find it difficult /not/ to think it in very pragmatic terms when faced with a resource management situation.

I bet a lunchtime LAN team game could form a valuable part of any team building strategy.

Re:played online games much? (3, Funny)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182937)

I can see it now... the typical gamer prez addressing congress:

"Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress, I come to you with a heavy heart. The {insert country here} have just attacked {tiny little country}, a small, peaceful nation with a great and long heritage whom we have sworn to protect by treaty. I come to you today to ask of you something that may cost us dearly in blood and treasure, but it must be done!"

"I ask you to authorize a Declaration of War. I ask you to allow our troops to pwnz0r the bitches, to be in their factories killin' their d00dz, and to unleash the righteous Zerg Rush of justice! It is our destiny to LOLZ at the n00bz, who have shown the audacity to utilize their aimbots and wallhacks of evil upon an innocent populace!"

"I will not lie to you. It will not be easy. But with the skillz, with the tenacity, and with a few tricks up our sleeves, our troops will come home in glorious victory, and our friends in {tiny little country} will be showerin' the eternal props at us. We shall be putting the deagle to the heads of those evil, heartless camping bastards in {insert country here}! We will never abandon our friends! We must do what is right. Thank you."


Generation "G" (-1, Troll)

Laebshade (643478) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182315)

The G stands for GAY.

(come on laugh, it's funny - or I can just burn some of my extra karma with this comment)

Re:Generation "G" (1, Troll)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182491)

since plenty of them are 30 and still virgins, i'm not too sure that can't be ruled out just yet.

Re:Generation "G" (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182893)

Speaking as a one time Generation X'er I can't help but think of Generation G as a bit of a downgrade.

Re:Generation "G" (1)

zevans (101778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183211)

Speaking as a one time Generation X'er I can't help but think of Generation G as a bit of a downgrade.

But jPod is a step up from iPod, so it's swings and roundabouts...

political gaming career (4, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182329)

Congratulations, you made it to the Senate.
Unlocking funds.

Congratulations, you made it into the White House.
Unlocking interns bras.

Congratulations, you became president.
Unlocking WMD.

I for one ... (4, Funny)

JeepFanatic (993244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182331)

welcome our pasty-white girlfriend-less overlords.

That's all well and good... (4, Insightful)

The_Mystic_For_Real (766020) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182339)

Maybe video games teach problem solving skills, but equally important in the business world is paying attention to things that aren't an orgy of colors. In the end problem solving only comes after analysis, and video games aren't teaching that.

Re:That's all well and good... (2, Insightful)

geeknado (1117395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182527)

That depends entirely on the game in question, don't you think? Most strategy games involve some degree of risk analysis, even RTSs. Turn-based games require constant revision of both short term and long term strategies to react to opponent's moves. The systems involved are generally far more complicated than most business problems.

Re:That's all well and good... (2)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182565)

If you believe this, then you have never been involved in the high-end raiding scene in WoW. The amount of theory-crafting (all backed by the math) and the sheer volume of a complete WWS analysis after a raid encounter is pretty immense.

Re:That's all well and good... (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182731)

I agree. People apply themselves to a game in a certain way because it is a game. It is entertainment. I don't think the average person buried in "work" will approach it with the same gusto.

The work "game" is actually different too. Often the best strategy at getting ahead at work is about image over true performance and sucking up to the boss. Do videogames train this?

Re:That's all well and good... (3, Funny)

hitmark (640295) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182911)

male's creating female avatars in mmo's to get free gifts?

Re:That's all well and good... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21183031)

Yes, they do train that. How people perceive you is very important. Does EJ's guild recruiter see you as the asshole who is good at playing and they want to invite to their guild to farm up some illidan loot, or do they see you as the asshole who is a nub and can't fight his way out of a wet paper bag? Surprise, both examples are the same guy, and he doesn't know shit about the game, but he was in some other guild and made friends with someone from EJ, now he's in EJ, mashing a skill rotation macro (like 90% of the rest of the players in the world could do) and being praised, all the while acting like a total asshole. If he'd been in some other guild, or never met said EJ guy he'd just be some twerp posting on the forums about how awesome he is while everyone makes fun of his 1300 rated 5v5 arena team. Image is everything in MMO games. EVERYTHING. Everyone with a brain already knows this.

Re:That's all well and good... (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182785)

Actually, a major skill needed in the business world is interpersonal relationships: intelligible clarity, measured responses, and the actual ability to maintain face-to-face negotiations. What I see in the gaming world is self-isolated, socially inept, hyper-competitive weaklings. Sure, not all, but more often than not, when I meet someone who claims to be "a gamer" this is the case than the former. I would argue that the mentality of gaming is the opposite of what is needed in not just the business world, but life in general.
I would support the argument that some gaming skills themselves are useful, but they hardly offset the much more important aspect of interpersonal relationship building.

Re:That's all well and good... (1)

bung-foo (634132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182837)

check this out. []

People who are *really* into MMO's spend tons of time doing analysis of game mechanics. It's not uncommon to find discussions in the EverQuest2 class forums go straight to calculus.

Re:That's all well and good... (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182895)

That depends entirely on what games you play. Civ IV might be a good starting point for potential future leaders.

Re:That's all well and good... (1)

digitalsolo (1175321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182941)

Video games don't teach analysis?

I suppose if you play nothing but basic racing games and shoot-em-ups perhaps.

Any good strategy game is going to require indepth thought of actions, and the effects of those actions on your future needs, ad nauseum; or at least they require that if you want to actually have some chance of winning.

Even a basic FPS game like Halo 3 requires a great deal of awareness of surroundings and analysis of your opponents behaviors and tendencies, as well as constant evaluation of your location vs. your enemies vs. weapon availability. Think of it like chess that requires reflexes. (perhaps a bit of a hyperbole, but the best example I can muster pre-morning caffiene).

This is not to say that you can't sit, braindead pulling the trigger button and run-and-gun your way in video games, as you certainly can. You simply aren't playing them to their (or your) max potential if that is the case.

Re:That's all well and good... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183161)

but equally important in the business world is paying attention to things that aren't an orgy of colors

Like a powerpoint presentation?

And God said to Noah (1, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182341)

Go and build a gamey gamey
Get those losers out of their basements
Leaders of the world...

I'm sure we'll all be glad that Johnny got his PhD in BattleCruiser 2000 when the aliens attack us.

I don't think so... (1)

ivi (126837) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182365)

Sure, they might go OK when there's fighting to be done...
but there's more to Life than just that!

Creativity has many faces, and their NOT all punched a virtual
black & blue from fights, even if that's the only way to win
some computer gamce.

Games just don't have the breadth of Life experiences for me.

Same shit, different generation (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182371)

Just like the squares are the ones from the hippie generation that are in power, the lamers are the ones from the gamer generation that will be in power.

You know, the kinds of kids whos parents idolize people like Jack Thompson and Hillary.

My problem with this... (2)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182379)

There is no save-reload in real life.

Not to say that the experience offered by games isn't worthwhile but I find myself doing a lot of reloads too since I like to see if I can do stupid stuff and get away with it.

Re:My problem with this... (1)

weighn (578357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182529)

There is no save-reload in real life...I like to see if I can do stupid stuff and get away with it.
heard of Stan O'Neal?

Re:My problem with this... (2, Interesting)

witte (681163) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182615)

> ...see if I can do stupid stuff and get away with it.
That's a good summary of an average working day, actually.

Re:My problem with this... (1)

crow_t_robot (528562) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182651)

Why would you even post this nonsense? This is like saying flight simulators don't help pilots learn because they can't reset the scenario in real life. Mod this trash down, please.

Stupid stuff... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21182693)

Not to say that the experience offered by games isn't worthwhile but I find myself doing a lot of reloads too since I like to see if I can do stupid stuff and get away with it.
Do you work in the White House, on Capitol Hill or in the Pentagon?

Re:My problem with this... (3, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183039)

Agreed. The idea that you'll learn to problem-solve from gaming might be a bit off. Besides the save/reload thing you mentioned, there's the fact that games usually have you solve problems using set methods. There is a set way to solve a puzzle, and there's a set way to kill the monster.

When you have to solve real problems, you start to figure out that there aren't clear solutions laid out for you. Usually, there isn't "a solution", but instead an infinite number of possible partial solutions, none of which solve the problem entirely, all of which introduce new problems, and none of which are all that certain to work. You just have to pick the one that you think is best, and hope that your judgement is good.

I'd agree that puzzles are good for keeping your brain active. I'd agree that games can help teach strategy. But as for problem solving skills, often enough you need someone who can "think outside the box" (I know it's a cliché, but it's true!). Games usually teach you specifically to think inside the box and follow the set rules, so I'm just not so sure it's good training for problem-solving.

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21182389)

Shya... and monkeys might fly out of my butt.

I think this has been discussed before. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182413)

This is kind of a frightening thought.

There are alot of people on XBox Live that I would not want anywhere near a seat of power like the Presidency of the US.

I can see it now. "Let's nuke 'em again and see if that will complete this level. Where was that last save point?"

Re:I think this has been discussed before. (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183127)

Forget the last save point, just nuke em. Problem solved.

Fear Me World - For I have Gamed

the cover-all solution to business and gaming (-1, Flamebait)

weighn (578357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182449)

If you can't acquire it, just blow it the fuck away.

Suspension of disbelief (4, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182459)

The idea that you can train someone to disassociate the "person" from the "target" is well known and well applied in the modern military. Especially in the modern American military where nighttime raids are carried out in pitch darkness with only moving infrared blips representing the fleeing victims of computer-guided missiles, such disassociation has reached a very high level.

By getting kids into games earlier, and especially into games which allow multiple "lives" with very little cost for respawn, we can teach them to better separate their feelings towards others from their actions.

I can see only good things for military planning and warmaking coming from this.

Re:Suspension of disbelief (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182599)

I can see only good things for military planning and warmaking coming from this.

So, should the story be tagged endersgame or laststarfighter?

Re:Suspension of disbelief (1)

arvinb (266032) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182943)

Yeah, the article reminds of the story of Ender in Ender's Game.

Re:Suspension of disbelief (1, Insightful)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182673)

Put a 3 year old in a room with a punching bag shaped like a person and have an adult walk in and punch it. The 3 year old will learn it is okay to hit punching bags. Take that 3 year old and put him in another room with a real person that looks just like the punching bag. The 3 year old will not punch the person because the person is not a punching bag that LOOKS like a person.

Call it the Magic Circle Effect, or Context, or even Loretta's Green Biscuit of +1 Trousers if you want. As long as someone is capable of telling the difference between reality and a videogame they won't learn to kill people from playing Crysis. If someone can't tell the difference... well, they shouldn't be outside of a padded room to begin with, what on earth are they doing playing videogames.

Re:Suspension of disbelief (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182761)

While in fairyprincessland, where all the kids can discern fantasy from reality, that may be true, I encourage you to compare gamers picking off their digital enemies to real life soldiers picking off their pixellated enemies. You'll find that the behavior, down to the stuff they are saying, is eerily similar.

If someone can't tell the difference... well, they shouldn't be outside of a padded room to begin with, what on earth are they doing playing videogames.

Right... Maybe it's time for you to get out of your parent's basement for a while.

Re:Suspension of disbelief (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183193)

I agree that understanding the difference between "real life" and "gaming" is critical, and that many -- perhaps the vast majority -- of people are able to be mindful of the difference. But your analogy to demonstrate this is flawed... there's reams of data showing that children who witness significant violence are more likely to grow up to be abusers themselves, and have a host of other issues with normal "adjustment". So your hypothetical 3 year old watching an adult punch a *real human* actually might result in the 3 year old learning how to behave violently.

Curious, why don't you mention the other way (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182771)

Calling your enemies dogs and infidels, inferior beings who deserve to die because God said so? That has worked very well in the past and is still actively used.

Getting your own side to view the enemy as less then human, yeah lets blame that on the americans and video games, it is not like that hasn't happened since mankind decided there was US and THEM.

Re:Curious, why don't you mention the other way (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182923)

It's not like we haven't had fires since the Earth was formed. What are all those people in California complaining about? Why, at one point, the whole Earth was covered in molten rock. Imagine trying to build a house on that!

The answer to your point is that the scale in which the dehumanization is implemented is so different between simply degrading the enemy and actually turning the killing of them into a simple "spot the moving pixel" game that it's not even worth the time it took to write this response to you.

Re:Suspension of disbelief (1)

ThEATrE (1071762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183123)

The dictionary sez: "Psychopathy is defined in psychiatry and clinical psychology as a condition characterized by lack of empathy or conscience, and poor impulse control."

Hmmmm... (2, Insightful)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182467)

Transferring knowledge acquired in one context to another is a pretty hard problem. "Problem solving," "reasoning," and "critical thinking" skills seem to be one of the hardest things to transfer. Just because you're really, really good at logic problems doesn't mean you'll approach other things in life with the same logic all the time. I have to wonder how much these game-learned skills will really transfer to the business world; it would probably depend on there being enough surface similarities between a game situation and a business situation to act as a trigger.

Another point not mentioned in the article is that, yes, these people are more used to working in groups thanks to MMOGs and such. But group work is also far, far more prevalent in schools (from kindergarten straight through college math classes) than it was 20, even 10 years ago. More and more, students come out of school being thoroughly used to working in groups, delegating tasks, collaborating on the final product, etc. Some of this has been due to bottom-up pressure from educational researchers saying this works well, some of it has been top-down pressure from employers saying that this is a skill they want in their workforce. Either way, I'm not sure you can give video games all of the credit.

Re:Hmmmm... (1)

Americano (920576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182905)

Transferring knowledge acquired in one context to another is a pretty hard problem. [ . . . ] I have to wonder how much these game-learned skills will really transfer to the business world.
I for one can't count the number of times I've thought, "You know, this customer issue is *perfectly* suited to a plasma grenade or a Spartan Laser..." :)

In all seriousness, I think you're right... and I think the extent to which "game-learned" skills will transfer is vanishingly, astonishingly low. And I think it also bears mentioning that a service like xbox live is awash with faceless 10 year olds screaming obscenities and racist screeds, and their 17 year old older brothers who think that "CaptainSmokeaBlunt" is... like... the Funniest. Gamertag. EVAR!... dude. I've seen little-to-no evidence of anything I'd call "leadership" there.

And cue WoW players to tell us how WoW's hardcore raiding scene is evidence of strong leadership skills -- as opposed to systematic self-selection of socially awkward people with bad time management skills -- in 3... 2... 1...

Not all games are a riot of colours and violence (3, Insightful)

zevans (101778) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182471)

Yet for some reason after only 11 comments the dicussion is already focused on these... what does this tell us about the slashdot readership?

OTOH, I for one welcome our BFG-toting million-polygon new overlords.

Hmph, I might change my title from Services Director to Services Masterchief.

Oblig ATHF reference. (1, Funny)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182479)

We need to find a Moon Master to defeat the Gorgotron somehow! Think of the Mooninites!

Re:Oblig ATHF reference. (1)

Mathness (145187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182959)

We need to find a Moon Master ...

Leaping laptops Max, I guess killing Hugh Bliss wasn't such a good idea. :p

Doubt it. Maybe great fry cooks, but leaders? (-1, Redundant)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182489)

Today's Gamers, Tomorrow's Leaders?

Doubt it. Maybe great fry cooks, but leaders?

It takes a lot more than button mashing and cheat codes to do much in the real world.

Re:Doubt it. Maybe great fry cooks, but leaders? (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182519)

Someone's got to lead those fry cooks. And that's where the big bucks start rolling in.

Re:Doubt it. Maybe great fry cooks, but leaders? (0)

jsnipy (913480) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182561)

Gaming "today" is much more than button mashing and cheat codes.

sorry, I had to... (1)

EaglemanBSA (950534) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182497)

Overheard from military war room: "I can dance all day! I can dance all day! Try and hit me! Try and hit me!"

lol (1)

scwizard (941758) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182549)

That's all I have to say.

I can see it now.... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182553)

AID: "Mister president! the terrorists just keep coming! what should we do?"

President: " easy, have some snipers camp around their spawn points and take them out. Come on guys this is basic stuff... you did tell the army about my circle strafe right?"

Oh yeah, I see this is gonna be fun!

How's this for a novel idea? (2, Funny)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182559)

Let's just say that games are, quite simply, "entertainment" and leave it at that - rather than having to analyse & re-analyse everything at great depth.

How about we just recognise that since his very dawn, man has filled his life with things he *MUST* do in order to survive (i.e. eat, hunt, have sex, etc.) & things he *LIKES* to do when he's not doing the things he *MUST* do (i.e. eat, play games, have sex, etc.) so that computer games are just another facet of the the things man has always done to entertain himself?

Also, can we make the assumption that any human being with an IQ higher than a sub-normal woodlouse knows that *REALITY* is *OUTSIDE* of his head and *FANTASY* is *INSIDE* it? Therefore , in all likelihood, the online *FANTASY* persona a gamer portrays in a game (or indeed elsewhere online) is probably far removed from the *REAL* person in *REAL* life. Thus, a great "Commander Napoleon Patton" in Battlefield 1942 might well be "Little Mister Sheepman Incarnate" in real life.

Now, can I please get back to my game?

Re:How's this for a novel idea? (2, Funny)

ddrichardson (869910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183015)

*MUST* do in order to survive (i.e. eat, hunt, have sex, etc.) & things he *LIKES* to do when he's not doing the things he *MUST* do (i.e. eat, play games, have sex, etc.)

Good point, but I noticed you put "have sex" twice - that's more than I get in a lifetime.

Today's video gamer . . . tomorrow's leader (1)

Casualposter (572489) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182617)

Ah yes, the folks who spend their lives glued to the blinking lights and canned music of the latest and greatest video game are quietly honing their UBER L33T Skilz. The 80 plus hours a week spent in the dark, alone, bereft of actual human contact - the pizza guy doesn't count, clearly develop the necessary and vital skills that the rest of the world is lacking. And in due time, the next video game will come around and those few, dedicated gamers will rise to the digital challenge and dominate the world. . .

for 15 bucks a month.

The reality is simple: those video game skills have to be translated into areas outside of the video game for any effective leadership to happen. With so much time spent in the game(s) and so much less in the real world, these leaders will be most often found with titles like: "Raid Leader," "Guild Master," or "Class Leader." We'll be lucky if these folks hold jobs long enough to qualify for social security.

How else will we find the last starfighter? (1)

Jas'Reth (187122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182619)

I mean, the universe is at stake here!

Re:How else will we find the last starfighter? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183231)

I don't know, let just pray that when we find him the death blossom works.

Today's Gamers, Tomorrow's Leaders? (1)

mrjb (547783) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182631)

Only when they stop gaming, get out from behind their screens and DO something.
The gamers I know prefer games over real-world politics.

er no (1)

mofag (709856) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182633)

although its kind of a non-claim anyway - as games take over from movies, its like asking "are today's movie watchers tomorrow's leaders?" 20 years ago, well of course they will be but that doesn't mean that gaming or movie-watching bears any relation to becoming or being a leader. if everyone plays games then some of them will become leaders. i play counter-strike but i must say it has had little bearing on why i was recruited into the SAS (super army soldiers) and have to leave my pc once in a while to go do some black ops....

SimTower (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182635)

Just because I've 'beaten' the game many, many times, does not make me a master architect. Nor does it make me a master economist, accountant, PR rep, yadda...

Games involve a rule set that must be satisfied in order to succeed. When it comes down to it, it's literally a pre-defined set of button pushes that allow you to win the game (obviously, many different sets), with graphics, music, sound FX, and the like wrapped around it to make it fun. I've known this for a long time, and ignore like everyone else. Something that urks me is people who play sports games, when many of them can just walk outside with a basketball. I'm really confused by people who waste their lives away in front of The Sims. When they could be just living their own lives. Must just be a game that I will never understand.

Life, however, is infinitely more complex. No extra lives, continues, 'fantasy', or super powers. But most importantly, life always carries consequences for your actions. Games may hone some of your skills, but they sure as hell will not prepare you for actual reality. Only reality can do that.

So get off your keesters and play some actual basketball. Or go build an actual building (you can start with Legos if you like, then go to architectural school, or become a laborer, either way works!) Become tomorrow's leaders by training in today (minus the controller or KB/Mouse)

Jumping in extremes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21182637)

Games are not a plague and they are not the great almighty solution either.
They do not create murderers and they do not create the genius problem solvers of the next millennia.
You can have fun many ways, from just enjoying beautiful scenery in the mountains to leading a high-end guild in World of Warcraft.
You have a choice. Just because the available means to have fun these days are getting complicated doesn't mean today's games are something fundamentally different.

They are entertainment. Have fun. /crawling back to work

1 JU57 PWN3D F|24NC3 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21182641)

*starts teabaggin*

Enders Game (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182683)

didn't they write a book about this?

Ender's Game (1)

Tryfen (216209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182691)'s_Game []

If you haven't read it - it's about training children to become future leaders through video games.

Re:Ender's Game (1)

porcupine8 (816071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182755)

A book with a similar theme (and that, unlike Ender's Game, probably hasn't already been read by 99% of slashdot) is The Diamond Age [] by Neal Stephenson.

Re:Ender's Game (1)

east coast (590680) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182795)

Is this anything like The Last Starfighter? []


Does this mean... (1)

Samurai Cat! (15315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182727)

...if some guy finds all the corporate easter eggs, he gets to be CEO? :P

Games are not real life (1)

cjonslashdot (904508) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182749)

I agree with many posters (e.g., The_Mystic_For_Real), who point out that these games are not a substitute for real life. In fact, in real life, it is HUMAN INTERACTION that makes all the difference. Those who have good people skills are those who generally become leaders. Playing games does nothing to develop people skills. In fact, one could argue that it stunts one's development. Real life is about understanding others, patience, persistence over a period of years (perhaps decades), attention to detail, and being able to think clearly when idle.

You just keep trying until you run out of cake. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21182763)

We do what we must, because we can.

Oh Noes! (1)

Xaositecte (897197) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182787)

Orson Scott Card was Right!

Get off my lawn...again (2, Insightful)

Trenchbroom (1080559) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182805)

Why would this be a 21st century phenomenon? In my ancient opinion games today are easier and more linear then yesterday's finest (and it didn't get us anywhere, did it?).

Try to have a kid today figure out one of Infocom's or Sierra's best adventure games from the 80's...they neither have the patience nor the attention span for it.

A kid today trying to play twelve hours of [] ? No chance for the future.

Not convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21182811)

One of the things that struck me in the commentary to Portal is how often they changed things because the playtesters were being unsuccessful. Like changing the lighting to make them players look in the right direction. I'm not saying that's a bad idea when designing a game, quite the contrary, but it isn't training people to deal with real world problems. Real world problems are not deliberately set up to point you at the solution. If they were, then they wouldn't be problems.

Delusions of granduer? (1)

Enrique1218 (603187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182861)

To be a leader, you actually have to leave the house and interact with other human beings once in awhile.

crap (1)

l3v1 (787564) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182871)

I cry bullcrap. Give me one who writes the games these people play over all the players that play the game, anyday. Besides, I wouldn't hire anyone who spends potentially productive hours of the day by gaming. Anyway, although there might be some connection between a certain kind of creativity and being good in certain types of games, I wouldn't prefer a gamer over a non-gamer just based on the gaming habits. As always with such opinions, one can find just as many counter-examples and pro-examples. Even I personally know many bright minds who do not spend countless hours playing games, but prefer cracking their minds on real life problems. And, believe us people, real life problems are far away from in-game problems and the in-game solutions are pretty much that, in-game manouvers that get you forward, and seldomly more. If someone says the gamer managers are so much better, I can only say that gamers or not, managers' capabilities fluctuate just as much - if not more - than anybody else's. And I'd prefer a manager having experience handling real people in real life issues than any secondlife or wow gamer who thinks that can handle a bunch of teens or midage smartasses who don't have anything else to do. There, I said it, suck it up.

What a Pantload (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182873)

I have rarely read anything this unpersuasive. TFA is basically a "Ender's Game" hard on of some sort. I found this quote to particularly stand out. "Future leaders will naturally be more collaborative and more willing to make decisions than many of today's managers. This willingness to share authority, to make decisions collaboratively and to assign the person most suited to any given task is what games teach." If the author had logged on for a session of Team Fortress 2 on any public server, he'd realize he's just dreaming. Computer games are not really teaching these skills more strongly than the games of our ancestors. They're just new is all.

Gamer (1) (793321) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182889)

Being a gamers myself, or at least having been one and seen a lot of other gamers, I will conclude that gamers, like everybody else are also just people. Some smart, some thick as a brick. I don't think games are in any way breeding a new generation of superb leaders or anything.

6 years as a Starcraft addict. (1)

ThEATrE (1071762) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182935)

I have been playing Starcrack for 6-12, sometimes 30 straight hours a day for years now. Even when considering the 2 month break every 5 months I take to quickly try to sort out everything else I got going on in my life (computer science at university, a job here or there, and not losing contact with friends and other aspects of my social life I have riding in the back seat for the majority of the year), my unique experience is nothing to sneer at. I'm the whitest, pastiest, computer nerd stereotype you can think of. Even if I don't look like it, I'm also a pro con-man and actor.

When doing other things, I do sometimes make a conscious effort and think how I can use this starc playing into something beneficial for what I am doing.

It would be interesting for me to document everything I learned having invested this chunk of my life to. Do I multitask better than you at talking on the phone while programming? Can I also be working a math proof in the back of my head while planning dinner and next week's vacation? I don't know if I have enough overlords for all that.

Spawn more overlords! Our base is under attack!

What I do know is, from all the games I've played, and I think I have played many over the years, and Starcraft is a deel, analytical game you can really spent a lot of your time analysing a lot of aspects of. It keeps your attention when you're playing at a high level, you can't help it but focus. As fast as my fingers are moving on the keyboard when I'm playing it, what goes on in my head is what's actually keeping me occupied.

An engineer would never produce such a system (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182957)

for producing problem solving leaders, for the simple reason that the supply of individual problem solving ability has always exceeded the number of leadership slots. The real difficulty is getting the problem solving individuals into those slots, then training them on how to exploit their problem solving capabilities in the real world.

There are two kinds of people: those who want to find a good enough solution as quickly as possible, and those who want to find the best solution and are willing to take as long as it takes. Neither extreme is right. Their's an art to making decisions, and much of that art is knowing when you don't have enough facts, and when gathering more facts will put you behind the pace at which a situation develops.

An effective problem solving leader not only has to find an artful compromise, he has to find a way to make it work where everybody who has to make it happen has a different idea of what the ideal compromise should be. In other words a problem solving leader has to build a flexible, problem solving organization. President Clinton was not my idea of a great president (unless we grade on a curve), but he had a saying that is very true that went something like this: people are policy.

I think computer games have some value in training problem solving, but I don't think they will produce a generation of superior problem solvers, so much as give superior problem solvers of the generation a different and not necessarily superior set of games than their predecessors. Imagine that one of the presidential candidates was a master of three games: chess, poker and bridge. Wouldn't that be just as intriguing as if he were a master of FPS games, strategy games and tetris?

You can't take it literally - A != B (1)

Tyrix (452202) | more than 6 years ago | (#21182991)

Just because someone is good at WoW, or has great 'camping skill', doesn't mean that they will be the next greatest business leader. There's definitely such thing as burn-outs, losers, slackers, etc. within the gaming community..

The flip side is that there are those who will grow up gaming and be able to learn from their experiences, wire their brains to think strategically, and succeed in life using the skills that they've been able to develop based on the way they have begun to think in life. It isn't A=B here.. it's A leads to B which allows for C.

I come from the text based MUD world of old, and I think that the interaction between the 'characters' and, late at night the regular people over the channels, does indeed increase your people skills. If you're a d!ck, people will tell you, and you'll learn.. if you can't make up your mind and do something, you'll be killed, looted and it'll suck.. so there's your problem solving/decision making skills.

I think the crux of this is the MMOG aspect of the games. It's not the single player Halo 3 gamers of the world that will benefit from the games, but those who understand that 1) it *is* just a game and 2) have the ability to transfer the skills in an abstract way to real life situations.

No matter what, John Doe won't end up being a CEO just because he's a gamer.. there are other aspects of his personality, character, abilities that are prerequisites to the position.

Re:You can't take it literally - A != B (1)

mvfuentes (1018054) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183227)

Agree 100%, but somethimes a leader has something more: Empathy with their voters... until they loss it...

Michael Jackson had empathy with children mom's, until he became a monster...

Bill Gates had empathy with white nerds, until Linus appears...

Also a leader is not a machine worker, a leader is more a social role player, in my opinion, for example, a game producer is more leader than a game player...

And to have a complete leader, many traditional concepts are still working, for example to take a bath daily, to brush up your teeth, to use desodorant, to be human...

I'm talking about good leaders of course...

Militar leaders must not be considered as good leaders, for a single reason they kill...

as reported here on slashdot... (1)

pjrc (134994) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183027)

Generation G" could well offer the answer to unlocking great 21st century strategists and leaders.

And all those new execs will prefer the superior sound quality of vinyl records []

the majority (1)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183105)

In the past there have been some brilliant minds to come out of dirt poor poverty. I feel pretty safe in saying that every poor person is not a genius. In the same sense I think with the percentage of gamers out there now there are pretty good chances that some of them will become leaders and perhaps some of their experiences from say, operating as a squad, assessing complex plans will help them in their futures. THIS DOES NOT MAKE EVERY GAMER A GOOD LEADER.

Kids on WoW aren't the only gamers (2, Insightful)

razorh (853659) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183119)

I've seen a lot of posts here going on about the pasty faced kids or 30somethings locked away in their parents bedrooms etc. and the total lack of social skills. This isn't always the case and from some of the things I have seen from playing online games for 10-15 years now I can see some very real similarities between the business world and running long term guilds. I'm not talking about organizing a few raids in WoW, I'm talking about what it takes to start and keep a guild running for more than a few months. I'm currently in an EQ guild that was started about 6-7 years ago and the behind the scenes headaches of keeping 50-80 people (and these are people who are generally 20-45, not 12yr old kids) 'happy' aren't trivial. When you have that many people with their own agendas and personalities, managing them all, coming up with rules/guildlines/policies and enforcing them (and once again, these are people that average in age to be around 25-30 who are intelligent, employed and married in many cases) is VERY much like trying to run a business and balancing your employee's wants and needs against what you need to keep your business afloat.

sorry, I suck at spelling, I'm sure someone will point out all my mistakes.

Overheard at the future UN... (4, Funny)

ToxicBanjo (905105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183209)

Great Britain Representative: That "AssMan24" is just a pathetic camper! Look at him! Camper!

Russian Delegate: In Soviet Russia Base Camps You! Hahaha... I AM THE ASSMAN!

US Appointee: Fucking nubs, you better turn on teh ha40rs cuz I'm gunna pwn you all next round!

UN President: Hey! No talk of hacks! I'm demorecording this and it will be reviewed. If I see any sign of cheating your entire team will be banned from competition!

Yep... it's going to happen.

Not a Surprise. (1)

lectR (1178853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21183225)

I'm a bit shocked at how many people have responded with stereotypical assessments on the gaming culture and those surrounding it (especially when it comes from people on Slashdot). You may be correct in identifying a portion of the World of Warcraft community by stating these inappropriate judgments, but it's time you get with the times and stop critiquing the entire gaming culture based on your lack of experience.

Take some time out of your day to look into the true gaming communities of Counter-Strike, and any game involved in what is being called, "E-Sports." Here is an entertainment industry built by people ranging from 10 to 30 years old, all with one goal in mind: to advance their game to the point where the public recognizes it as a true sport. Careers have been made from this, even DirecTV has gotten involved with the Championship Gaming Series which offers gamers over $30,000.00 each for competing in their televised series. Look at companies such as the World Cyber Games, World Series of Video Games, Major League Gaming, the Cyberathlete Professional League, and a host of others, you'll quickly see that gamers can change the way people perceive the gaming culture. The CPL alone just announced a $1,000,000.00 tournament for Halo 3! They wouldn't be putting that much money in a game if it wasn't taken seriously.

E-Sports alone is a direct product of what gamers are capable of. Individuals that consider themselves general managers of their gaming organizations have been shown capable of gaining sponsorships from companies such as Tylenol, Samsung, Microsoft, Intel, Subway, nVidia, and hundreds of other brand names. These are not people with degrees in marketing, nor even in public relations, these are passionate gamers that range in age, and that are able to convince a multi-million, and sometimes, billion-dollar company into a contractual agreement.

I could go on and on listing the characteristics that define true gamers, and the gaming industry in general, but it's not worth the time. Games teach people things that they never taught before. No longer are you trying to duke it out on Pong folks, you're now trying to develop strategic plans with four other friends, all the while considering a number of various factors, in the attempt to out-smart, out-aim, and basically, advance both yourself and your team into the limelight. That may sound hilarious to a few of you old-timers, but the time of e-sports, and the recognition of it, is now.

Who would've thought that a 16 year old could convince an internationally known company into a $17,000.00 product sponsorship with a brand new online gaming league without any experience in marketing, no classes in public relations, and no degrees in business? I would've. Someday many of you will too! This is not on accident, gamers are smart, and they're starting to show it.
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