Playing video games doesn’t need to be a guilty pleasure once you understand how this activity might be benefiting you. We have been brainwashed into believing that personal and career development is a serious endeavor that needs to involve some type of sacrifice and discomfort, but who says you can’t develop and have fun at the same time? There is now plenty of evidence to show that playing video games can make you a better entrepreneur.
Gaming has already had a huge impact on the modern business world. Most of today’s most successful entrepreneurs are geeks who grew up playing games like Final Fantasy, Mario World, Alec Kidd, and Zelda. Maybe a lot of these people look back on the thousands of hours they spent gaming as evidence of a youth misspent, but it is almost certain that this effort has helped to shape the person they now are. Playing these games will have allowed them to develop skills that they now just take for granted. At the very least, gaming for hours at a time teaches resilience, and this is a quality that no entrepreneur can do without.
The effectiveness of video games as a tool for developing entrepreneurs is been taken seriously by business schools across the US. One example of this is Babson College in Massachusetts, where a course has been created that is mostly based around computer simulations rather than lectures. There are also lots of video games that mimic the experience and excitement of being an entrepreneur, and this is likely to encourage many young people to choose this as a path in life.
There is a concern that the current education system is not preparing students to become entrepreneurs or work as freelancers – this is worrying because in the future, most of the workforce is likely to belong to one of these two categories. It may be that video games are not only beneficial, but also provide much-needed skills development. Here are just some of the ways gaming can benefit entrepreneurs:
Playing Video Games Can Make You Smarter
One of the most exciting benefits of playing video games is that it can improve mental function. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to think about a number of different concepts at the same time or to quickly move from one concept to another. The person who is cognitively flexible finds it easier to learn new skills, adapt to unfamiliar situations, and absorb new information.
Real-time strategy games like StarCraft encourage the development of this important skill. Entrepreneurs who are cognitively inflexible can struggle to make progress because so much depends on the ability to quickly adapt to changing situations.
Another aspect of mental functioning that can be improved by playing video games is visual attention. This means you are able to focus on what you are doing and ignore other distractions – it can be similar to a meditative state. Visual attention can be a vital skill in real life, and you rely on this when you are driving a car to avoid hazards. Gaming can also lead to an improved ability to process visual information.
Gamers Need To Develop Tenacity To Succeed
Tenacity is the willingness to persevere despite setbacks and failures. One of the greatest joys for gamers is the experience of progressing beyond a stage where they have been stuck for a long time. In order to proceed, the player will have had to face repeatedly failure before finally hitting upon the right solution.
If the person became too despondent due to these failures, they would likely just give up, but regular players know that if they keep trying, they will eventually succeed. This willingness to keep going until the solution is found is a key asset for entrepreneurs, because there are usually many failures on the path to success.
Playing Games Teaches Collaboration Skills
Probably the most exciting development in gaming in recent years it the ability to collaborate with or compete against other players online. This adds a whole new dimension of excitement to the game, and it also opens up new possibilities because you can achieve more as part of a team. The point of massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) is to create a space where players need to work together in order to achieve success.
Collaboration is something that most entrepreneurs aren’t naturally good at, but it is possible to develop this skill through gaming. The ability to work well with other people has never been so important because so many business projects now require a team full of experts with different expertise.
Gaming Teaches Us How Fun Can Increase Productivity
There are games like Minecraft where people give up their free time to work as part of a team in order to complete impressive projects such as virtual cities. The end results of this type of effort are usually impressive, and it all happens from users just having fun.
This same approach to projects can apply in the real world as well. There is growing evidence that financial incentives aren’t too effective when it comes to increasing productivity and improving staff retention. By adding some fun to the mix, business owners may be able to motivate employees to achieve results that would not be possible using other incentives.
Video Games Encourage Creativity
Some of the most popular games around make it possible for players use their imagination to create objects within a virtual world. This would include games like Minecraft, Terraria, and Eden World Builder. Even people who would normally not consider themselves to be creative find themselves designing worlds that are increasingly complex and imaginative. Creativity is one of the most in demand skills in the modern business world and gaming can allow you to develop this skill.
Build A Business Around Playing Video Games
The majority of people see gaming as just a hobby, but there are also many enthusiasts who have managed to turn it into a full-time career. Steven Bonnell is a great example of a gamer who has managed to monetize his passion. He is a professional StarCraft player, and he makes money because so many people want to watch him play via live-streaming.Sean Day is another gaming entrepreneur who has built a business around video game tutorials.
Research by the NPD group found that 91% of kids aged between 2 and 17 now regularly play video games, so this is a huge market for entrepreneurs to exploit now and in the future.
Use Video Games To Keep Fit
A good level of physical fitness makes you a better entrepreneur because it means you have more energy, enjoy improved focused, and feel better mentally. There is always a million excuses not to exercise, but you should find it easier to make time for it if you believe it is going to be fun.
One way you could do this is by choosing a video game like Wii Fit, Just Dance, or Dance Dance Revolution. There is some skepticism about the effectiveness of mixing exercise with video games, but there is no plenty of evidence to support the idea that this can allow you to achieve a moderate level of fitness – although ideally, you should mix it with more traditional exercise as well.