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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: May 12th 2008 11:42AM (Unverified) said

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LOL

I really hope no one is dumb enough to put that on a resume. If I saw that, I would assume the person spends way too much time playing video games and doesn't understand the difference between real life and MMOs. Scary!

Posted: May 12th 2008 11:50AM (Unverified) said

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That's why I'd argue we're not quite there yet.

I've definitely raided with people I would hire though -- at the very least, you know that they're able to function on a team.
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Posted: May 12th 2008 11:43AM (Unverified) said

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As a Department head for a multinational company and an avid mmo player. If i received a resume with mmo experience listed in it, it would be the first one to be ignored.

People don't list paint ball team captain in their resumes, its a game, its played as a team, it requires certain skills, but in the end its just a game.

The article values and fantasizes about certain aspects of mmo gaming and players, when i see a hardcore raider, i don't see someone with good organizational skills, i see someone who has problems socializing, who prefers to spend their time indoors playing games instead of contacting with other people in social situations, i see someone that has the strong possibility of developing health problems due to a sedentary life style, and when i remember the tantrums mmorpg players tend to demonstrate when their character/loot/gameplay is messed with, i see people who have no tolerance for a demanding work environment.

Posted: May 12th 2008 11:50AM (Unverified) said

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That's your take on it, and I'm not surprised. As I said, we're still a ways off from where you could take that sort of thing seriously. However, I don't consider it any worse than some of the other stuff you'd put on your resume when you're first starting out.

If you don't have a lot of actual work experience, you probably would put "Captain of the Paint Ball team" on your resume. There is a section for "other activities and organizations," after all. It's better than having a resume that's too short.

I'm not suggesting that you make application to your next job with your raid experience highlighted. I'm just saying that in the absence of other stuff, being able to work as part of a team and follow orders could be looked at in a positive light.
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Posted: May 12th 2008 12:04PM (Unverified) said

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I also find it a little bit irritating that you wouldn't consider someone for employment on the basis of their chosen hobby, other positive characteristics aside. You really wouldn't hire someone just because of your own preconceptions about what it means to be in a raiding guild, having never met the person and not knowing what they might have gotten from the experience?

I believe that all of your comments regarding an MMO player could also be applied to an avid reader, although I doubt highly that you would similarly criticize someone for putting themselves down as being a member of some sort of literature club at their school on their resume.
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Posted: May 12th 2008 11:54AM (Unverified) said

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I should add as an aside, because maybe it wasn't clear: I'm not saying you should put "Raiding" along with your experience at real jobs. It's totally different, not applicable, etc etc. The article picture is a little misleading and intended to be a joke.

If you were to include it anywhere, it would go at the bottom where you would stick social groups or other activities you've participated in, and then only provided you didn't have something else to put there. It's meant to strike up a conversation and get them to ask you about it.

From there, you would talk about it as a positive personal growth experience.

Posted: May 12th 2008 1:32PM (Unverified) said

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I can see where it wouldn't be a put off to have your MMO experience in the section for hobbies and organizations :) I work in media marketing, and my company has asked me about my gaming history more than once!
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Posted: May 12th 2008 12:50PM Scopique said

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Why just raiding? Don't guilds generate enough drama without having to raid? As a guild officer who has NEVER raided, I've participated in several "bomb diffusing" guild scenarios over the years, and I can say that it's taught me how to weigh different sides of each story, and has allowed me to learn how to make tough decisions even when it's going to lead to hard feelings (so long as the decisions are fair and impartial).

I agree that it would be kind of wacky to include or SEE this information on a resume. Unlike JP, I wouldn't count it against a person, especially if that person had otherwise stellar skills. I don't know that it would necessarily HELP the person, though. I DO agree that if someone thinks enough about his or her time in-game as a crowing personal achievement, then they really need to expand their horizons a little bit, but it wouldn't be a make or break situation for me as an employer.

Posted: May 12th 2008 12:51PM (Unverified) said

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It wouldn't have to be just raiding. That was the example I chose. I think that any in-game experience that demonstrated important skills and helped you grow personally would be fair game, in a situation where someone wouldn't dismiss you out of hand.
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Posted: May 12th 2008 12:56PM HadesLotD said

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I'm a department head of a regional based organization, the president of a state trade association, and the state delegate for two other national associations. I am in my mid 30's, and I would laugh in that person's face if they put that crap on a resume.

If you want to pursue a career in gaming or a related industry, then I can see how some to this stuff might be applicable. That's usually how people get into paid game tester, community rep/management, etc. But outside of the gaming sector you move up the food chain by demonstrating real skills with proven job experience in a real occupation.

LotD has been a competitive gaming guild for 13 years, transitioned multiple games, and risen to the top of them as well. We've conquered entire games, ruled servers, built cities, destroyed opponent's cities, smashed our competition, and progressed through boring PVE content at the same time.

If there was a fortune 500 for guilds, LotD would be in it and I'd be living high with gold toilet paper and a harem of virtual big breasted, booty shakin bimbos at my every beck and call. All Hail King Hades!

But gaming is a hobby, and as much fun as it is it will never translate into helping me advance in real life outside of the gaming sector. I'm happy with my career and I've done some gaming gigs on the side, but I think it will take another 20 years before being something like a raid leader is going to get you anywhere on a resume.

Posted: May 12th 2008 1:03PM (Unverified) said

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The fact that you admit that in 20 years it might gets you somewhere speaks volumes.

In my opinion, it's not a question of whether you can get valuable skills from games. I believe that you can.

It's a question of perception. There are a lot of people like you who would "laugh in that person's face if they put that crap on a resume" because they refuse to even consider that it could be a beneficial experience with skills that translate to the real world.

But are you really going to tell me that being able to collaborate on a virtual team or being comfortable with communication technology in a global economy are bad things? I'd hope you're more forward-thinking than that.

I can't tell you how many times I've been frustrated by team members who would rather waste time meeting in person when a shared document and a Skype call would do because they didn't understand the benefit of using technology -- something most gamers are right at home with.
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Posted: May 12th 2008 1:17PM HadesLotD said

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Being innovative in your real job and having proven experience is one thing. Sure, any gamer can see the things that help efficiency, productivity, etc in games and figure out how to apply that to the real world.

So what you do, is get that going in your REAL job and climb from there.

Telling a potential employer that you got your skills by being a goblin shaman in some game with elves, witches, etc is entirely another matter.

Posted: May 12th 2008 1:17PM (Unverified) said

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The article is aimed at someone who hasn't HAD a real job yet. Obviously if you've demonstrated those skills in a work environment, you won't need to talk about your guild.

If you agree with me that a gamer can take their experience in game and figure out how to apply it to the real world, how is knowing that they have experience working on a team, familiarity with technology, and practice following complicated instructions to complete a shared goal a bad thing?

The only way it could be is if there was a social stigma surrounding the activity itself (which there obviously is, or we wouldn't be arguing about it).

I don't suggest you play up the fantasy elements of your goblin shaman to the HR rep you're talking to -- if you talk about it at all, I'm suggesting that you play up the elements of it that are directly related to business. That's what I've been stressing all along.
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Posted: May 12th 2008 1:27PM HadesLotD said

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Boys and Girls Club Member
Boy Scouts - Eagle Scout
Volunteer - Red Cross
Volunteer - Local Humane Society
Raid Leader - World of Warcraft

One of these kids doesn't look like the other.

My point is that there are other ways to translate your gaming experience into real experience, and then use that to get ahead. In the examples above you could use myspace, facebook, skype, etc to organize, socialize, and move the agenda forward.

In 20 years you'll have two or more generations of people who've grown up on gaming, and this won't look so strange. Until then, I just don't think "Raid Leader" is going to cut it.

I'm done here, but its an interesting article in any event.

Posted: May 12th 2008 1:30PM (Unverified) said

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I appreciate your comments, and I agree that we're a long way off from when putting Raid Leader on your resume is going to be taken seriously. It probably wouldn't be in the same ballpark as those other examples anyway.

However, it would be comparable to or better than being an officer in your school's French club or joining the debate team, in my opinion (and depending on the job/industry you're shooting for).
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Posted: May 12th 2008 5:41PM (Unverified) said

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There's a fair amount of discussion of this topic occurring over at my personal blog as well, and after some reflection, here's the rest of what I have to say on this topic:

After reading the comments from everyone, thinking about it for the afternoon, and reading most of Everything Good is Bad for You, I chatted with Kendricke for a while about the topic over the phone. I think I probably erred in slanting my article towards placing raiding or gaming on your resume. I mean, I wouldn’t do it (for no reason other than the social stigma), so I probably shouldn’t be recommending it.

However, I think that the point I’m trying to communicate and the spirit of the article is not that playing online games is great resume fodder (since obviously your resume is a place to list skills and an interview is a place to make a good impression), but rather that games can facilitate the development and internalization of skills that businesses would find valuable.

As many people pointed out, discussing games in an interview shows poor judgment even if it does illustrate relevant skills — probably the biggest reason to avoid mentioning it. Will that be the case in 10, 20, 30 years? Maybe. Maybe not.

However, even if you shouldn’t bring it up in an interview or stick it on your resume (and my apologies to anyone who quickly added their guild position to their resume in the last 12 hours), I do stand by my assertion that being involved in an online social community of any sort can help you develop skills that will be beneficial to your long-term personal success and is not a waste of time, even if you have to find other ways to demonstrate those skills to an employer.

Posted: May 13th 2008 10:07AM (Unverified) said

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While this may not be a good idea for corporate jobs, there are already many examples in the gaming industry that show the truth of this article. I know someone hired to be a game balance designer largely due to leading a well known guild.

At Blizzard, there are several Everquest guild leaders hired for dungeon design and quest writing. This includes Rob Pardo, vice-president of game design, and Jeff Kaplan, lead world designer, who both led Legacy of Steel, one of the premier EQ raiding guilds, at various points in its history. And Alex Afrasiabi, lead quest designer, who is the former leader of the most well known EQ raiding guild, Fires of Heaven.

Other similar examples not related to mmos are guys from the Street Fighter tournament scene hired to be designers for a sequel to a AAA franchise.

Posted: May 16th 2008 11:52AM (Unverified) said

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I think many are missing the important point he is making. Successful raiding with the same people over a long period of time is a good experience. However, he's saying that experience only augments whatever skills and experience you may or may not have regarding the actual job. It's one of those things that *could*, in the future, decide things for say a new graduate when it's shown that you are at least capable of loyalty. High turnover is a negative experience for everyone, and it strongly applies to both raiding and almost any job.

Posted: May 13th 2008 4:26PM (Unverified) said

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Gaming gives you amazing skills in modern world. That is why we should use more and more times to gaming!

Posted: May 13th 2008 7:29PM (Unverified) said

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There are plenty of people out there being pretty innovative in the MMO gamespace, and some of them are also making real money doing so. If someone can demonstrate the aptitude and ingenuity to turn what for many is just a hobby into a source of income (whether great or small) those are the sort of minds worth looking out for, regardless of whether their professional ambitions lie outside of games themselves.

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