Corporate Training & e-Learning Blog


The Gamer Generation

I have three very smart boys - and they all LOVE playing video games, which makes them "normal" in today's world. They love playing games on Game Cube, XBox 360, PS2, PS3, PSP, and on their iPods, cell phones, and computers. In fact, they can't get enough of gaming. Of course, this mom ensures that school, homework, sports, music, family time, eating, and good old-fashioned "playing" must all come before their gaming pursuits. So what do I think about video games? I think it's a waste of time.

Not true, say John Beck and Mitchell Wade, who wrote Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever. According to Beck and Wade, the gamer generation is already bigger than the baby boom generation, and games have made this group dramatically different in terms of their attitudes, expectations, and abilities. Gamers are committed, loyal, team-oriented and they "play to win."

Over 90 million people regularly play video games, and millions of them are rising young U.S. professionals. They must know something that I don't. Beck and Wade say that gaming is not a waste of time but is an amazingly effective training camp for teaching critical business skills. Through their research, they have found that gamer employees have the following unique attributes:

  • Bold but measured risk taking
  • Amazing ability to multitask
  • Unexpected leadership skills

Games teach gamers how the world works and that failure doesn't hurt. Such high failure probabilities in video games can be very productive - players naturally focus on what they did wrong, what they could have done better, and how to get to the next level (how to succeed). The gamer generation learns through repetition that failure is part of the process that leads to success!

Gamers also learn to embrace risk for the purpose of capturing an appropriately large reward. So, gamers have different attitudes toward risk than the rest of us, and they aren't looking for comfort and safety but are after bigger rewards! Games provide countless opportunities to test and retest different problem-solving strategies immediately and without heavy preparation. This teaches quick decision-making. Finally, gamers learn to pace themselves and are self-educating.



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