Some people might say that your MMORPG addiction does nothing but waste your time. Well, it turns out that those people don’t know as much as they think they know. That’s because MMORPGs are secretly teaching you these 4 real life skills.


Skill #1: How to Work in Groups


guildwars2-group

No matter how much experience your character has, you can’t get very far in an MMORPG without working with other people. Uncooperative behavior will leave you with little money and a low rank. You won’t even have enough magic to conjure a fire for your evening meal.

By forcing you to work in a group, MMORPGs teach you an important skill that companies look for when hiring employees. Since most schools require group work, the game can also give you a skill that could help you earn better grades. That assumes, of course, that you don’t spend all night fighting a dragon with your guild.


Skill #2: Understanding Financial Systems


draenei-gold

Your business classes might provide some theory that helps you understand financial systems, but you can’t really comprehend real world economics until you’ve carefully watched a system grow and shrink.

You could spend your days watching stocks and commodity prices, but that would just bore you into stupidity. Playing an MMORPG makes it fun to watch financial systems evolve.
Many games have complex economies that can give you insights into how the real world works. An unregulated virtual stock market in Second Life even had a surge that ended with a massive crash. That crash cost a lot of people real money.

MMORPGs can also include bartering, bank runs, and value fluctuations. It’s amazing how much they mirror the successes and tragedies of real world economies.


Skill #3: Breaking Major Tasks Into Smaller Goals


wow-icecrownmap

You can’t go head-to-head with Deathwing or Garrosh without getting some experience first. That means breaking your primary task into a bunch of smaller objectives. It’s one of the first things that you learn when playing serious MMORPGs: if you don’t build toward a big goal, you will always fail.

That’s also an important lesson to learn in life. No, you can’t just go buy a car right now. You have to save a little each month to make it more affordable. Sorry, but you can’t just get an A+ by cramming at the end of the semester. You have to study, pass quizzes, take tests, and show up to class regularly.

Once you see how to break major tasks into smaller goals, life gets a lot easier.


Skill #4: Learning to Always Move Forward


starwars-tor-jedi

You know what happens to players who gain so much experience that they stop putting in effort? Newcomers soon surpass them and take over the game. If you don’t use every Wi-Fi connection and satellite Internet near you to improve your character, then you’re not standing still: you’re moving backward.

Knowing how to create new goals once you have reached your old ones is an important part of winning games and succeeding in life. You won’t have a great job for long if you get so comfortable that you stop learning.

What skills have MMORPGs secretly taught you? How have they improved your life?

  • Ferop Poref

    About number 1 — uuuuum . . . . no. First off, by the definitions of both ‘game’ (the G in MMORPG) and ‘work’, no work is being done in an online game. So, best-case, these things are teaching people to PLAY in groups.

    Except they aren’t.

    There are far too many constraints on your behavior (which have to be there for the game to be playable) to expect anything you learn in an MMORPG context to be applicable anywhere accept other very similar MMORPGs.

    Anyone who disagrees should start putting ‘Guild Leader for leading MMORPG’ or ‘Successfully Organized 30 Raids on Highest Tier Enemy’ on their resume or college applications and see what sorts of responses they get.

    I’ve watched many friends become consummate online leaders over the years. Both the drill-sergeant ‘do it now newb’ and the camp-counselor ‘let me help everyone have fun’ variety. They are an asset to any MMORPG experience but their performance at either work or school has only suffered for this.

    If you want to get better at working with others your time would be vastly more effectively spent reading a book about it, taking a class on it or even just going to work. MMORPGs are fun games to play, but they are not a valid path to personal improvement.

    • AuroraMoon

      Not to mention, there are the players who will not work well in any group no matter what online, yet they do well at their real life jobs. pretty bizarre.

    • Praxus May’Salkiriiss

      EVE Online is the only game I have played that #1 translates well into Real Life. Trying to organize a huge number of pilots can be like herding cats sometimes. x_x

      • Sinistral

        I think similar to these lines.
        Being a guild leader or often lead raids seems to improve skills needed to work at a kindergarten, but less so for leading positions at a company. ;)

        • Xolve

          If you don’t play EVE (or never have) you can’t possibly fathom the will, dedication and actual EFFORT it takes to get a large number of people motivated and coordinated to tackle even the most basic of tasks.

    • James Boger

      Haters gonna hate. Just because it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it can’t/doesn’t for others. In fact, that should be one of the lessons you learn from MMOs as well, because not everyone is suited to specific play styles, classes, strategies, or modes of behavior within the game–neither are they in life.

  • derpderp

    Rule # 355 Bafffroooooom mom! There’s nothing other then playing cooperatively to be learned you lazy bastids!

    • nips

      what.

  • AuroraMoon

    #2– Yet not all money systems are the same, much less equal. If that was the case, then even rocks and weeds would have selling value in real life. We could go foraging ANYWHERE, from the parks to garden and then make 1k a day just from plants and garbage alone. Yet, the closest we have to that in real life is recycling all our cans, bottles and the like and getting a measly 7 dollars in return….
    Second life and EVE online is the only game that I’ve seen, that honestly came close to emulating real life fiances, and the value on everything.

  • kazuya

    #5 How to swearing

  • Speedcow

    … i dont know but im a pretty good solo player on the sucky alexina servers on mabinogi NA… i pretty much solo topaz dungeons when bored. THEY ANNOY ME! but its worth it for the exp! but when i go sulphur golem mining or something i usually go with a friend.

  • Polo

    What game is this
    ?

    • Dakota

      The first two photos are from Guild Wars 2. It’s an excellent game, with an initial fee but no subscription free.

      • Maykl

        Correction, the first photo is from Guild Wars 2, but the second is from World of Warcraft

  • Tseirpa

    Actually you do learn skills of cooperation ( yes there will be some people who are anti social and not group, but that is even a learning experience in game). and you do learn about financial, anyone who wants to buy a sands of time in game or a the really cool mount knows about working hard, doing repetitive tasks over and over and saving up to get it, something more people need to do in real life but never learn the skill…

    I let my 10 yr old play as a reward when she does well in school and with her chores. some of the things she has learned that translate into real life is map reading skills ( she can actually navigate topological maps now since she had to learn about mountains and rivers from game to get where she was going) and problem solving skills. while not as much required as it used to be, she would have to assess her quest list, know her time constraint and organize the best use of her time. it is also teaching her how to deal with frustration and disappointment ( she went into warsong gulch… as a clothie… ). she has also learned that some people are not nice, just becuase they can be. It gets her reading as I refuse to tell her what to do for her quests and she has to read it.. and she is learning about strengths…. so that when she does group she knows where she fits in the group.

    those that see little value forget that with time limits anything that is seen as mindless can actually teach things, if you are open to it.

  • Balme101

    Games taught me that its super easy to sit on ur butt all day and do nothing, that don’t get the bills payed does it ?

  • mcgowanm

    This is a ridiculous over-simplification and in the majority of MMORPGs and their predecessors (MUDs), not even one of these points (as expressed here) would apply.

    All 4 of these points are also personally subjective at a people level and probably applicable to no more than about 50% of the population, at best. Most long-term/regular MMORPG players will tell you they know lots of people who (according to this list) should possess all these skills but simply don’t.

    The author does not appear to have any reasonable foundation for his/her article and seems to have written it only to be able to use it as justification for his/her failures in life.

  • Snowskeeper

    One and four should need to counterpoints. They’re very obviously wrong. One requires that you believe that players are capable of working in a group without some prior experience (the majority of the players who don’t already have some experience, excluding younger children who haven’t had time to develop their social anxiety yet) are going to go solo. The majority of my friends do just that. Four is just. No. People keep playing because they have fun, and if they get bored they stop. The competition might add to that, but if someone is putting in as much effort as you’re implying, they’re harming themselves far more than they’re ‘helping’.

    Two and three /sound/ more realistic, but in reality the vast majority of video-game economic systems are not even remotely accurate, compared to the real world. There’s never a shortage of places to find an item, there’s never any realistic artificial tampering, outside of hardcore MMOs like Eve where the majority of players are totally willing to lure you out into a dark sector of space and cut you apart for cash, and there’s no jobs besides clicking on things and waiting for things to get done–even in MMOARPGs it’s still mostly just mindless clicking.
    Three is even worse, because it implies the players aren’t just guided through the whole thing by the game. That’s what quests are for–they move you forward for you. Often, it’s not even possible to access the raid bosses, etc. without being at a decent level; certainly the end-game bosses–Runescape’s Vorago, for example–aren’t going to be something you can get to at the drop of a hat.

  • faptastic

    MMORPGs can have a pavlovian effect of conditioning you into a narcissistic and psychopathic frame of mind. Where your sense of self is fed of how others percieves your avatar, it’s all ego driven. And for the ego to recieve greater adoration you attempt to reach god like status with your avatar, using anyone as a stepping stone who can provide the resource to achieve this goal.

  • Raven Dunlap

    Using GW2 as the poster for “working together”? Aw hell naw. You have clearly never grouped with random people in that game before to do dungeons… which is a good, solid 50% of the end game content.

  • Mongolia rises

    I learned that the people in power are rarely actually horrible people who just pk and its always better to be the first or an original that other people mimic. That helping others who may be noobs get you farther faster than trudgingahead by yourself, even if you’re just redoing quests. And sometimes an infant you help today will grow into a capable adult who will go out of their way to help you. I miss being a leader in my favorite mmos and I look forward to retirement so I can be one again.
    I