Since the first gaming consoles were introduced decades ago, playing video games has historically been regarded as a time-wasting activity with little value. However, recent studies are showing how video games can help you acquire valuable skills that transfer to the workplace. There is growing evidence to suggest that you can use problem-solving and leadership skills gained from video games to get a job and help advance your career goals and objectives.

Decision-making and creative thinking skills developed while playing video games teach experimentation and scenario-planning abilities that can serve you well in the workforce as you look for a job and advance in your company and industry.  When the creativity used in gaming is applied to your job, the skills and passion acquired during gameplay will improve productivity and the chances for long-term success. 

The rising availability and popularity of video games have reached the point that highlighting specific skills on job resumes and applications is more widely accepted and advantageous. With users spending more time on smartphones and other wireless devices, mobile gameplay continues to increase, signifying that video games will be around for generations to come.

The following are examples of transferable skills from video games you can use to bolster your career and help you land your next job, raise, or promotion.

Collaboration

In the earliest days of video games, play was restricted to a solitary activity that could lead to isolation and antisocial behavior. The ability to play online multiplayer games with or against live people changed video gameplay dynamics and the potential benefits to players.

Recent advances in communications technology have allowed players to compete and team up with other online gamers, creating situations where players must work together to achieve common goals. A recent study showed a 20% increase in productivity after co-workers played 45 minutes of video games together.  

Problem-Solving

Gamers spend the majority of the time in games failing and creating solutions to overcome obstacles on the fly. That constant failure makes them try harder to complete the game’s tasks, a valuable asset when tending to real-world job responsibilities and duties.

The degree and complexity of problem-solving needs vary depending on your position or tasks, though solving problems quickly and efficiently is a universally valuable tool for life and work. Role-playing, puzzles, and strategic video games develop problem-solving skills that can be valuable in the workplace to further your career and increase advancement and leadership opportunities.

Social Skills

Online and mobile-based video games provide users a meaningful social connection with other gamers. Most gamers now play, interact, compete against, and collaborate with other players live, with half of the users playing online games with players they do not know outside of the gameplay. For many gamers, multiplayer video games act as a form of social media to connect, communicate, and share with other people.

Lifelong friendships and partnerships meet while gaming and groups of players often extend their relationships beyond the gaming world. Playing video games live with other players forces players to communicate and collaborate, leading to the development of social and leadership skills beneficial in everyday life and your work environment.

Strategic Planning

Playing a high-speed strategic video game gets your brain to react quickly and strengthens your strategic thinking skills. Real-time strategy video games force an enhanced decision-making process, promoting the ability to think, strategize, and act on-the-go by learning from previous mistakes. 

Creative problem-solving requires the ability to think on your feet and adapt to changing and overlapping sources of attention. The strategic planning it takes to successfully play many of today’s multiplayer action and strategic video games force players to react quickly while thinking ahead several steps. Playing certain strategy-themed video games improves a player’s cognitive flexibility to multi-task and solve problems on the go, a valuable skill that applies to a variety of personal and professional circumstances.   

Leadership

Researchers conducting a 2017 study concluded that playing “digital games” positively impacts a player’s ability to form and develop leadership skills that will serve them well throughout their professional career. Like any other competitive activity, online multiplayer video games require players to step into leadership roles and guide their team to success. These games allow players to develop organizational and leadership skills while learning self-control and the communication tactics that impact the thinking of those around them.

Pattern Recognition

Learning pattern recognition skills are an essential tool for a wide range of careers and jobs. Traditional and electronic games throughout time involve the creation, identification, and prediction of patterns. From a basic game of tic-tac-toe or a board game like Connect Four to the classic Tetris arcade game or a simple mobile game like Candy Crush, recognizing and responding to patterns quickly is key to continuing or winning the game.

This life skill is valuable for a variety of career paths. Professions ranging from sales, psychology, medicine, academics, and the law all rely on the ability to recognize patterns as part of the job.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is a valuable skill for everyday life, work-related situations, and especially for those in leadership roles. One of the greatest attractions of playing video games is the ability to play as other characters. This helps the player develop empathy for others and forces them to create ways to resolve conflict from alternate and often enlightening perspectives. Playing real-time strategy and role-play simulation games develops negotiation and dispute resolution skills that carry over into academics, work, and personal life situations.

Making the Most Out of Video Game Play

Playing video games with the mindset that you are learning valuable skills during gameplay can help you get the most out of your video gameplay. The latest gaming accessories can increase enjoyment and further hone the skills to help you land a job and advance your career.

With more people than ever playing games on their phones, mobile gaming is estimated to be a $63 billion industry in 2020. Each rollout of the latest smartphone model or version update comes with enhanced gaming graphics and functionality designed to improve the user experience.

Playing the newest games on the latest devices using the latest accessories helps maximize video games' power. With every new study, the link between video games and productivity on the job becomes clearer. Playing video games can develop and hone valuable life skills that can give your career the boost you need.