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Articles > Gaming August, 03, 2015

Can Playing Video Games Improve Your CV?

August, 03, 2015

Gamers Decrypted . Member since 03/07/2015.
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In the past, I wrote about a tech startup called Knack on my blog which used video games as a means to test job readiness and streamline the hiring process. Like comic books long ago, video games are at an odd place. The industry makes billions, spans the globe, and continues to grow. More and more colleges are adding video game-related majors. Video games have even boomed as watchable entertainment, either through Twitch and YouTube or by having them broadcast on cable television as sporting events. Despite this, the perceived value of playing a video game remains in question, even when the skills a gamer might learn from doing so could easily transfer into real world success.

can video games improve your CV?

Photo by
Katherine McAdoo

During my tenure in World of Warcraft, I raided on a schedule with my guild. As I was promoted up the ranks into a leadership role, raiding in WoW took on many attributes similar to a management position at a company, despite being something I did for fun and entertainment. I often handled training, I helped maintain and exemplify our community culture and behavior policies, and I sometimes had to discipline people. Raiding also required project management skills, both in the raids themselves or leading up to them.

I personally feel like my experiences playing World of Warcraft would lend themselves well to a resume, but I will never mention it. For far too many, video games are seen as frivolous or are a waste of time. Even if it becomes acceptable that games may be able to test people for real world benefits (see Knack mentioned above), we are still a long ways off from accepting the fact that games can teach valuable skills and enrich our lives in ways extending far beyond simple entertainment.

Or are we? Here are a few counterexamples to that line of thinking, a line I still follow, but am beginning to question.

In 2012, a story made the rounds about a 21-year old hired to manage a soccer team in Azerbaijan based on his video game experience. As the Internet is likely to do, the story was blown somewhat out of proportion since he was already working for the team, albeit in a much smaller role. Still, citing his ten years of experience playing the game Football Manager, he was put into the role without much other experience, and despite competition that had more traditional experience.

Football Manager isn’t the type of game you will see headline a console launch party, but it is an incredible evaluation of the game’s simulation quality that someone got hired into a real soccer role because of playing it. Simulators have long been popular as both niche games and tools for actual training. During a high school trip to Huntsville, AL, I had a chance to try out one of NASA’s basic space shuttle simulators. It wasn’t entertaining, but I did learn a lot about some of the controls and some of the science about landing a shuttle.

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Recently, Kotaku ran an article mentioning an interview with a student at the University of Tokyo, one of Asia’s most prestigious institutions. In the interview, the student cited Pokemon directly as a potential reason for how he had gotten into such a desirable school. Comparing the game to chess, a non-video game long cited for its skill development in strategy and critical thinking, the student argued that he had developed his logical thinking skills by playing the game seriously.

In a Wall Street Journal article from 2014, the question of whether or not you would hire someone with World of Warcraft experience is posed directly. While the ultimate conclusion seems to shy away from going too detailed or relying too much on video game experience in your resume, the article did cite at least example of someone being hired – Heather Newman, director of marketing and communications for the University of Michigan’s School of information – to some extent, because of her experience ‘managing a guild of as many as 500 people and organizing large-scale raids of 25-to-40 players to complete tasks for several hours four to five days a week’. By including this in her Leisure/Volunteer Activities section, she underplayed its significance, but still included it since the skills learned in game do apply to the role she would be performing.

The scales haven’t tipped yet, but as a generation of gamers grow into and are promoted into hiring positions, the value of video games as potential examples of skills will only increase. Already we live in a culture that embraces gamification in a business sense and that has long used video games as simulators. With more and more games involving highly complex skills or complicated group interactions via the internet, there will be ample opportunities to develop real life abilities, such as leadership, critical thinking, and strategizing. I would likely argue against making a video game the highlight of your resume, but there is certainly a case to be made why some examples of playing video games can be used to argue your qualifications for a job.

 Written by: C.T Murphy


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  1. Mohamed Shakir
    January 4, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    I think…NO, Surely it doesn’t improve your cv

  2. aurellius putra
    October 10, 2015 at 11:00 am

    No, Video Games can’t improve your cv

  3. Kayleigh Yeo
    October 9, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    If you are applying for a gaming job then No. But if you are applying for another job I don’t think it’s relevant to be on somebodies CV

  4. Jason Sundaram
    September 8, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    I think Playing games can’t affect your CV. It really depends on what your job is, for example a games developer or a games tester, reviewing games.

  5. Lewis Shortwood
    August 22, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    After many years of Raid/Guild leadership in World of Warcraft I can definitely say that it is seriously difficult to balance the fun with the organisation skills, investment of time to those you are taking to dungeons and making sure you have the latest information (for said dungeons.) Whilst I don’t think you’ll ever see “Guild Leader” on a serious CV i can say there are definitely areas in which the skills are applicable to real life scenarios.

    @Annabel Wright: One of the main issues facing gaming at the moment is that gaming isn’t considered an art form. Media treats it like games are entirely for frivolity. I mean ‘Ico’ and ‘Shadow of Colossus’ for example are obvious examples of games that are as good as a lot of movies both narratively and visually. Then you have management games like ‘This War of Mine’ which aren’t ‘fun’ at all, compelling and gritty take on war from the point of view of those civilians caught in the cross fire.
    So before gaming becomes accepted in the business world it has to become recognised as something more than ‘fun’ by the mainstream.

  6. abdellah mellahi
    August 9, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    WOW

  7. Andrada Gheorghita
    September 6, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Mentioning video games in your CV is not going to help, but playing them might. At some point during my high school exams I was supposed to write an essay on the importance of video games to teenagers and I spoke in detail about how much English I learned from quests in video games. So yes, it can help you gather experience for yourself but actually writing it in your CV probably won’t make a difference.

  8. Jordon Lane
    April 12, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Personally, with the amount of games I played in my life and continuing to now, I’d love video games to land me my dream job within the industry. Some people don’t realize that playing games isn’t just “rotting your brain” or becoming a couch potato, games can utilize reaction times and can also teach you to become a better person from the characters you play to the interactions with them. When playing video games when I was younger, I will admit I was shy back then, playing video games through out my years has made that go away with talking to random people online and also improved on my conversational skills but it does depend on what job you are aiming to get in the future. I would not bother putting video games on my CV if it has no connection to the subject.

  9. Oliver White
    January 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    I think…I can see the point. I do think gaming can add value to your CV, especially strategic and quick reactive games such as WoW and . it builds skills that can be used in the real world, like teamwork, quick thinking and problem solving. however stating that you play video games on your CV is not a professional and will look bad. Personally i would try to associate the skills I’ve deployed from video games with other activities or previous experiences.

  10. Kyra Fleming
    January 26, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    To be really honest. If you can prove that your skills in gaming especially from something like world of warcraft, then I don’t see why it can’t be commended and a skill. As a WoW player myself, I honestly learnt a lot from that game. Being my first long time play. Especially as a quiet shy girl, it really gave me confidence in talking to other people especially people older than me 🙂

  11. Vasileios Mourtzounis
    September 8, 2015 at 11:16 am

    I don’t think that playing Video Games, has any real impact on someone’s CV, except if it’s specifically related to the applying position.
    Al tough, researches showed that playing Video Games, especially strategy and riddle solving Video Games, can improve a persons IQ.

  12. Shannon shaw
    September 2, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    I think it will if our looking into joining graphic,game design or special effects carreers

  13. Mohamed Khalifa
    August 25, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I think playing video games will improve your CV, in one case only: “if you want to become a game developer and want to find work “

  14. Annabel Wright
    August 7, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I read an article recently about Minecraft being used in teaching in some schools and in some businesses for the purpose of art and design. I thought that was really cool because there are some amazing things that people have designed or built in Minecraft.
    I think video games should be more accepted in the world of work and business, because they are a growing popularity, and people shouldn’t feel ashamed of their hobbies when writing a CV.

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