Companies Not Going for Gamers?


Last summer I wrote a post suggesting a possible connection between the kinds of skills used in multiplayer, online role-playing games and those desired in managers. Among those skills: gathering information from diverse sources, assessing strategic risks and rebounding quickly from failures.


Before you run out and start recruiting on World of Warcraft forums, though, consider this post on Kotaku in which Mike Fahey shares an experience in which a gamer was supposedly told by a recruiter that his company urged him to avoid hiring World of Warcraft players because their involvement in the game often detracted from their work. Fahey confesses that his gaming habits once led him to quit a job. He was often late due to all-night gaming sessions and quit "rather than show up late for the umpteenth time in a row."


Interestingly, while some of the folks commenting on Fahey's post cry discrimination, many seem to agree that employers have good reason to avoid WoW players. Heavy involvement with such games is "akin to having a drug problem," writes one. So it seems that while casual gaming could be an advantage in some employers' minds, anything beyond that may cause employers to question potential hires' reliability.


They may also worry about gamers bringing their addiction with them to the office, which creates concerns about productivity and possibly network bandwidth. Similar concerns about social networking sites like Facebook have led some companies to bar their use at work.