The lines between reality and fantasy are getting constantly more blurry, thanks to the Internet.
Is “World of Warcraft” a fun waste of time, or could the online multiplayer video game give people a chance to hone the skills they need in the modern workplace?
Some WoW players are arguing that the latter is true, and they’re going so far as to put their gaming achievements on their resumes.
For at least one person, WoW skills helped land a real-world job.
As the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday:
“World of Warcraft” players complete quests as warlocks, druids or other class of soldier and battle monsters in a fantasy world, recruiting other soldiers, training team members and developing strategies for missions. Prominent fans include Stephen Gillett, chief operating officer of Symantec Corp. and a former chief information officer at Starbucks Corp.
Some players say the game’s tasks aren’t that different from the duties of the modern office job.
That was the view of Heather Newman, who included her Warcraft experience on the résumé that helped land her current job as director of marketing and communications for the University of Michigan’s School of Information.
In the “Leisure/Volunteer Activities” section of her résumé, Ms. Newman noted that she has managed guilds of as many as 500 people and organized large-scale raids of 25 to 40 players to complete tasks for several hours four to five days a week. These tasks, she said, “directly apply to the kind of job I hold.”
Some of the experts the Wall Street Journal interviewed said video game skills on a resume would look good for applications for tech- or event-oriented jobs, while others speculated that a hiring manager seeing a WoW-heavy resume might “wonder whether the candidate will be playing games in the office all day.”
And while Newman was able to snag a job, the Journal also spoke with Don Spafford, who puts his WoW achievements on his resume — and still can’t find full-time work.
Whether or not it’s a ticket to job success, using video game skills in job applications seems to be just one more example of the digital world bleeding into real life.
Just last month, a member of the British Parliament pushed legal changes so that people who steal items in WoW could be prosecuted as if they had stolen physical property.
In the mid-2000s, another online multiplayer game called “Second Life” was the scene of a bustling economy, in which players paid real money for items that other players created in the digital world.
The in-game economy produced at least one real-world millionaire.
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