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Games Entertainment

Today's Gamers, Tomorrow's Leaders? 245

slash-sa writes "Video games have become problem-solving exercises wrapped in the veneer of an exotic adventure. In today's fast and rapidly-changing business environment, the strategic skills they teach are more important than ever. From realistic battlefield simulations to the building of great nations, from fantastic voyages through worlds of mythology to conquering space, "Generation G" could well offer the answer to unlocking great 21st century strategists and leaders."
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Today's Gamers, Tomorrow's Leaders?

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  • by timmarhy (659436) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @07:50AM (#21182309)
    If these people are the best and brightest we are fingered. play WoW sometime and you'll see.
    • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @07:54AM (#21182375) Homepage Journal

      Actually, the way he blundered in to the mission reminds me of someone.
      GW Bush doesn't have a warcraft account does he?
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by timmarhy (659436)
        nope he has a much bigger better toy collection.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        You might joke but WoW can offer excellent leadership training.

        I ran a guild from launch to the end of AQ. I learned a huge number of things about:

        *People, in an environment where you get extremes of behaviour to learn from.

        *Making people do what you want with _no_ authority of any sort and active resistance a lot of the time.

        *Smoothing over the routine problems of any organisation compounded by crap communication tools and no face to face meetings.

        Basically it is exactly like being a project manager but mo
        • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:55AM (#21183137) Journal

          Or were you already a leader type?

          Cause and effect, did WoW make you a good leader because you were a succesfull guild leader OR where you a succesfull guild leader because you were already a good leader?

          Winning the olympics improves your condition, why yeah, but some might say that having an excellent condition comes BEFORE you win the olympics.

          I must admit, I like PUG's (Pick up groups, grouping with strangers) because they can be a lot of fun to see how different people play. You get some amazing idiots. The biggest I am currently faced with is pulling in Lotro. The hardest quests in Lotro don't require pulling, you are clearing an area, not trying to kill X of Y. Since the enemies are either far enough apart to not alert each other, OR so close you pull everything anyway, the best attack is to charge in with melee.

          There is another reason for this. In LOTRO hunters are NOT good at melee. They are very good at damage, in fact they are the primary nuke class. This means that if a hunter pulls and criticals that the guardian (tank) has a hell of a job getting agro back. Meanwhile the minstrel (healer) has to spam heal to keep the hunter alive, creating even more agro.

          Worse, most mobs in LOTRO consist of melee AND ranged, YOU CAN'T PULL RANGED, they simply shoot back. Ranged damage is often far more lethal, especially since a lot of people are incapable of spotting it. Most guardians can see it if a enemy starts beating up the support players but are unable to spot if they are being killed very fast by a hail of arrows.

          Worse, the guardian and champion who both like enemies to be clumped together now got to pull the melee of the puller, then run to the archer to force it in melee mode, hoping the melee stays on them

          DO NOT PULL

          DO NOT PULL

          DO NOT PULL

          It is fun to see the players that know this, who have managed to learn that NOT all games play the same and when a certain tactic should be used and when it should not.

          But I very much doubt that MMO's can teach you this. The reason? I seen to many player who sucked at level 1 and still suck at level 50. The good ones just stay good.

          You can see a similar thing in IT, while the number of people who grow up with computers is on the increase, the number of people who actually know how they work is decreasing. It is getting almost impossible to hire developers who REALLY understand programming. I have had to deal with programmers who didn't even understand basic logic. They could use it, but only as long they got it right by accident, they could not spot bugs introduced by logical errors. The most bizarre case had to do with 0 == false. That does NOT mean 1 == true. Even if you accept that it sure as hell don't mean true == 1.

          Let me just confirm my suspicion with you, do you in real life before you started working take the leadership role in say your class? A club? I think so.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by timeOday (582209)

            Or were you already a leader type? Even if leaders are born, not trained, giving everybody access to organizations where even *they* have a shot at leadership (if they earn it) would be a big step forward. People can't discover and develop their talents without opportunities. This alone would increase the quality of leadership in the future simply by discovering more natural-born leaders who otherwise would never have known.
        • Same experience here post EQ guild.

          Project management of 8 month, 12 people projects seems trivial compared to herding 72 cats in the same direction for a painful encounter that you've wiped on 5 times.

          Losing key team members constantly as their SO's get upset, they get new jobs, move, or move on to another guild for various reasons.
    • I think any reasonable study would also show that the best leaders are those who played just a little and have a lot of experience in real life.

      Basically like with language acquisition theories we can either assume that leadership skill is either acquired during our life or we are born with it.
      If it's genetic, then gaming has nothing to do it.
      If it's not, I'd say leading a school research project or a community or anything really is better that gaming.

      With all that said, it's time to head back to Portal for
    • by javakah (932230) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:10AM (#21182587)
      Except that this is not unrealistic. Just as in WoW, the world has plenty of idiots.

      WoW is not necessarily bad leadership experience when you get into organizing raids.

      Some notable leadership experience from WoW raids:

      1. Learning how to pick team members. This includes avoiding the tons of idiots out their and fostering relationships with competent people. Additionally it forces you to figure out what skill sets are needed and available at a given time, and for you to know how different people work together.

      2. Planning. Large raids take some work for getting people willing to work on a project (the raid), and do not come together instantly. You must plan out ahead of time when you are going to do things to allow people to work it into their schedule.

      3. Evaluation of goals and performance. If your project (raid) fails, you must take a step back and figure out what went wrong and to come up with a strategy to avoid that problem.

      4. Dealing with underperformers with tact. Yes, there are some people who just aren't quite holding up their ends of things. Sometimes they are just bad players who don't care, who should perhaps not be a part of your team anymore. Other times however, they desperately want to do better, but aren't sure. In such situations, as in life, you need to sit down with them in a non-confrontational way and talk about the problem, and work with them on how to improve. As in life, the individual and the team will improve.

      5. Dealing with team morale. Things don't always go well, but you almost always have to see some good aspects of what the team is doing to let the team know that (while at the same time identifying ways to improve). When the team does a good job, you need to make sure they know that you know that they did a good job.

      6. Dealing with life conflicts. People have (hopefully) lives outside of WoW, as they have lives outside of work. You have to understand that situations come up, and people can't always be where they have said they will be. At the same time, there has to be consequences for people who are complete flakes.

      So, I'm not sure that WoW is actually a bad leadership training ground.
      • by Nelson (1275)
        Those are kind of the basic skills we look to leadership for. You have to do all those things to be average. Some of those things you need to be able to do even if you don't "lead," those are just good life skills regardless of your vocation.

        Dealing with crisis, performance under pressure, maintaining bearing, providing vision, delegation and multiple task management and just plain execution are what start to separate the great leaders from the average. The whole idea is really silly actually, mayb

        • by 0xdeadbeef (28836)
          He gives specific examples and you respond with tchotchka from Successories. So the only way to learn how to make decisions under stress is to make decisions in stressful situations? That's hardly an insight. Perhaps we should also invalidate everything one learns in high school and college, as they are also cake-walks compared to the real world.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209)
          Learning in a low-stress environment isn't necessarily a bad thing, it allows you to experiment and learn from repetition without dying or going out of business the first time you fail. Granted, that in itself will not prepare you to be President, but we're talking about kids here aren't we? It's a first step.
        • by khallow (566160)

          Dealing with crisis, performance under pressure, maintaining bearing, providing vision, delegation and multiple task management and just plain execution are what start to separate the great leaders from the average. The whole idea is really silly actually, maybe tomorrow's gamers might be training for leadership but right now, the most sophisticated games there are really don't push you that much, not anything like just rudimentary project planning or logistics in a business.

          Nice rant. So how do you train people to do that? I suggest Eve Online [eve-online.com] as an example of a game that pushing those sorts of attributes. I've heard of a bad management decision (an employee robbed one of the top economic corporations (a sort of guild) blind) that cost about a man-year of resources, at least 1500 hours of pure grind for an expert player and far more for the less skilled (it'd take me about 6000 hours of grind). In US dollars, the loss was estimated at around $10,000 which is huge for a gam

      • by carpe_noctem (457178) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:57AM (#21183157) Homepage Journal
        You forgot...

        7. Outsourcing. Why bother gaining your own experience, weapons, and gold, when you can pay some chinese hack to do it for a fraction of the cost!
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by KevMar (471257)
        Very well said. As a raid leader now, you are in charge of 30-35 people. Not only do you have to make all the decisions and choises listed, but you also have to deal with personal drama and loot distrobution. You realy have to build a team to make it work. If you randomly pick people and make sloppy decisions. People will question your leadership and stop fallowing you.

        You also get all kinds of drama that you have to deal with while your leading your crew.
        "why am I not in the raid"
        "I can only raid on W
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by C0rinthian (770164)
          I wouldn't follow you because you type like an idiot. The ability to communicate effectively is not reserved for 'grammer majors'. If you are too lazy to do so, then why should anyone spend time reading what you type?

          Yes, the "This isn't school so I don't have to type good" mentality drives me up a wall.
      • You are saying working as a leader teaches you to be a leader. Duh. This has nothing to do with video games. In fact, it is often more impressive when you are leader outside of videogames.

        You could maybe get better leadership experience coaching a soccer team or starting a lawn mowing company.

        • by khallow (566160)

          You could maybe get better leadership experience coaching a soccer team or starting a lawn mowing company.
          Yes, maybe you could. But either would a far bigger investment of your time than a WoW raid, wouldn't they? You have to balance the benefit earned against the time spent. Actually, WoW is unusual in that you have to organize groups via the internet rather than face-to-face. That makes it substantially different training from the two examples you give.
          • >> But either would a far bigger investment of your time than a WoW raid, wouldn't they?

            Never played WoW, but been playing LOTRO for a few months. Huge fucking timesink without any type of leadership role.

            >>You have to balance the benefit earned against the time spent.

            If your goal was to be a better leader or business strategist, I think the real life options would give better benefit. At the most basic level, they look good on your resume for your first job.
            • by khallow (566160)

              Never played WoW, but been playing LOTRO for a few months. Huge fucking timesink without any type of leadership role.
              Must not have tried. I have yet to see a massive multiplayer game where there was too much leadership.
      • by Moraelin (679338)
        Well, I'm going to assume that that's just a verbose way of over-dissecting something. That you're not literally playing your game like that, nor literally thinking like that during a game. I haven't met you, I don't know what your play style really is, so I'm going to give you that benefit of the doubt. No need to assume the worst from the start, and all that.

        Because, no offense, anyone who literally play the game while thinking about it as setting goals and evaluating performance, and thinking of their te
    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:39AM (#21182937) Journal
      I can see it now... the typical gamer prez addressing congress:

      "Ladies and Gentlemen of Congress, I come to you with a heavy heart. The {insert country here} have just attacked {tiny little country}, a small, peaceful nation with a great and long heritage whom we have sworn to protect by treaty. I come to you today to ask of you something that may cost us dearly in blood and treasure, but it must be done!"

      "I ask you to authorize a Declaration of War. I ask you to allow our troops to pwnz0r the bitches, to be in their factories killin' their d00dz, and to unleash the righteous Zerg Rush of justice! It is our destiny to LOLZ at the n00bz, who have shown the audacity to utilize their aimbots and wallhacks of evil upon an innocent populace!"

      "I will not lie to you. It will not be easy. But with the skillz, with the tenacity, and with a few tricks up our sleeves, our troops will come home in glorious victory, and our friends in {tiny little country} will be showerin' the eternal props at us. We shall be putting the deagle to the heads of those evil, heartless camping bastards in {insert country here}! We will never abandon our friends! We must do what is right. Thank you."


  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @07:51AM (#21182329) Homepage Journal
    Congratulations, you made it to the Senate.
    Unlocking funds.

    Congratulations, you made it into the White House.
    Unlocking interns bras.

    Congratulations, you became president.
    Unlocking WMD.
  • by JeepFanatic (993244) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @07:51AM (#21182331)
    welcome our pasty-white girlfriend-less overlords.
  • by The_Mystic_For_Real (766020) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @07:51AM (#21182339)
    Maybe video games teach problem solving skills, but equally important in the business world is paying attention to things that aren't an orgy of colors. In the end problem solving only comes after analysis, and video games aren't teaching that.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geeknado (1117395)
      That depends entirely on the game in question, don't you think? Most strategy games involve some degree of risk analysis, even RTSs. Turn-based games require constant revision of both short term and long term strategies to react to opponent's moves. The systems involved are generally far more complicated than most business problems.
    • I agree. People apply themselves to a game in a certain way because it is a game. It is entertainment. I don't think the average person buried in "work" will approach it with the same gusto.

      The work "game" is actually different too. Often the best strategy at getting ahead at work is about image over true performance and sucking up to the boss. Do videogames train this?
      • by hitmark (640295) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:36AM (#21182911) Journal
        male's creating female avatars in mmo's to get free gifts?
    • Actually, a major skill needed in the business world is interpersonal relationships: intelligible clarity, measured responses, and the actual ability to maintain face-to-face negotiations. What I see in the gaming world is self-isolated, socially inept, hyper-competitive weaklings. Sure, not all, but more often than not, when I meet someone who claims to be "a gamer" this is the case than the former. I would argue that the mentality of gaming is the opposite of what is needed in not just the business wor
      • Sounds like someone sucks at computer games .. >_> hehe. While relationships are completely different online, they are still real 'relationships' and involve plenty of communication.
        • Absolutely, however, online relationships versus business relationships have very little in common in how they are conducted and maintained.
          • Depends what kind of business you're running and your office environment. I communicate regularly with a few people in the office via messenger (and even discuss work issues with one of them via this method :p ). There are of course at least one person here who is obviously used to working in a more strict office environment, and naturally she gets on everyone else's nerves in a big way..
      • Most people I've met that consider themselves "gamers" are loud and obnoxious. They also tend to constantly be surrounded by people.
    • by Qzukk (229616)
      but equally important in the business world is paying attention to things that aren't an orgy of colors

      Like a powerpoint presentation?
    • Whether you're analyzing the competition in a game, or analyzing the competition in the corporate world, or analyzing the competition in the realm of diplomacy, it's all the same.

      People put the same absurd levels of energy into all these pursuits, and they drive down into the nitty gritty details with a level of analysis and planning that would blow your mind.
    • I would disagree, if you move outside of the ultra violent FPS style games you can find some real gems in the RTS/TBS games. I may not be a military genius but I would suspect calculating risks of my actions and unit movement in a game based on this stuff would improve my over all skill in that area. Sure it may not be balancing a check book, but figuring out if I can afford that new uber tank tech upgrade or if I should wait for the next one is a good life skill in general.

      I mean how many times do you go "
    • You have obviously never played EVE.
    • I think you underestimate the amount of analysis that goes into developing strategies for some of the more complicated encounters.

      I manage major software releases with staffs of 6 to 24 people. I find managing them trivial compared to some EQ raid encounters.

      A successful raiding guild is 50% logistics & politics. 25% analysis of raw data. 25% getting 80 people to successfully execute the plan when some of them are not very clear thinkers.
  • Sure, they might go OK when there's fighting to be done...
    but there's more to Life than just that!

    Creativity has many faces, and their NOT all punched a virtual
    black & blue from fights, even if that's the only way to win
    some computer gamce.

    Games just don't have the breadth of Life experiences for me.
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @07:54AM (#21182371) Homepage
    Just like the squares are the ones from the hippie generation that are in power, the lamers are the ones from the gamer generation that will be in power.

    You know, the kinds of kids whos parents idolize people like Jack Thompson and Hillary.
    • Ha. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
      No, it's worse than that...The people that are in power now, were the rebels back then. The damn president did cocaine and dodged the draft! For someone of his social class, that's as hippy as it gets.

      It's always tempting to think that there must have been this other group of evil people who took over from the idealists and peaceniks, but the truth of it is, it's all the same people. They got older, they got good jobs, and they sold out to the system.
  • by east coast (590680) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @07:55AM (#21182379)
    There is no save-reload in real life.

    Not to say that the experience offered by games isn't worthwhile but I find myself doing a lot of reloads too since I like to see if I can do stupid stuff and get away with it.
    • by weighn (578357)

      There is no save-reload in real life...I like to see if I can do stupid stuff and get away with it.
      heard of Stan O'Neal?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by witte (681163)
      > ...see if I can do stupid stuff and get away with it.
      That's a good summary of an average working day, actually.
    • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:47AM (#21183039) Homepage

      Agreed. The idea that you'll learn to problem-solve from gaming might be a bit off. Besides the save/reload thing you mentioned, there's the fact that games usually have you solve problems using set methods. There is a set way to solve a puzzle, and there's a set way to kill the monster.

      When you have to solve real problems, you start to figure out that there aren't clear solutions laid out for you. Usually, there isn't "a solution", but instead an infinite number of possible partial solutions, none of which solve the problem entirely, all of which introduce new problems, and none of which are all that certain to work. You just have to pick the one that you think is best, and hope that your judgement is good.

      I'd agree that puzzles are good for keeping your brain active. I'd agree that games can help teach strategy. But as for problem solving skills, often enough you need someone who can "think outside the box" (I know it's a cliché, but it's true!). Games usually teach you specifically to think inside the box and follow the set rules, so I'm just not so sure it's good training for problem-solving.

    • There is no save-reload in real life.
      Oh shit.. predator one crashed... oh well.. taking over Predator two.

  • This is kind of a frightening thought.

    There are alot of people on XBox Live that I would not want anywhere near a seat of power like the Presidency of the US.

    I can see it now. "Let's nuke 'em again and see if that will complete this level. Where was that last save point?"

  • It's not an entirely original article. A book was reviewed on /. along this line of thinking over 2 years ago. http://books.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/03/09/2050249 [slashdot.org]
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:00AM (#21182459)
    The idea that you can train someone to disassociate the "person" from the "target" is well known and well applied in the modern military. Especially in the modern American military where nighttime raids are carried out in pitch darkness with only moving infrared blips representing the fleeing victims of computer-guided missiles, such disassociation has reached a very high level.

    By getting kids into games earlier, and especially into games which allow multiple "lives" with very little cost for respawn, we can teach them to better separate their feelings towards others from their actions.

    I can see only good things for military planning and warmaking coming from this.
    • by Qzukk (229616)
      I can see only good things for military planning and warmaking coming from this.

      So, should the story be tagged endersgame or laststarfighter?
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:24AM (#21182771) Journal

      Calling your enemies dogs and infidels, inferior beings who deserve to die because God said so? That has worked very well in the past and is still actively used.

      Getting your own side to view the enemy as less then human, yeah lets blame that on the americans and video games, it is not like that hasn't happened since mankind decided there was US and THEM.

    • by khallow (566160)
      Yea, this is what Jack Thompson has been talking about for years. It's nice to see some people are actually coming to their senses.
    • by kabocox (199019)
      The idea that you can train someone to disassociate the "person" from the "target" is well known and well applied in the modern military. Especially in the modern American military where nighttime raids are carried out in pitch darkness with only moving infrared blips representing the fleeing victims of computer-guided missiles, such disassociation has reached a very high level.

      By getting kids into games earlier, and especially into games which allow multiple "lives" with very little cost for respawn, we ca
  • Hmmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by porcupine8 (816071) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:00AM (#21182467) Journal
    Transferring knowledge acquired in one context to another is a pretty hard problem. "Problem solving," "reasoning," and "critical thinking" skills seem to be one of the hardest things to transfer. Just because you're really, really good at logic problems doesn't mean you'll approach other things in life with the same logic all the time. I have to wonder how much these game-learned skills will really transfer to the business world; it would probably depend on there being enough surface similarities between a game situation and a business situation to act as a trigger.

    Another point not mentioned in the article is that, yes, these people are more used to working in groups thanks to MMOGs and such. But group work is also far, far more prevalent in schools (from kindergarten straight through college math classes) than it was 20, even 10 years ago. More and more, students come out of school being thoroughly used to working in groups, delegating tasks, collaborating on the final product, etc. Some of this has been due to bottom-up pressure from educational researchers saying this works well, some of it has been top-down pressure from employers saying that this is a skill they want in their workforce. Either way, I'm not sure you can give video games all of the credit.

    • by Americano (920576)

      Transferring knowledge acquired in one context to another is a pretty hard problem. [ . . . ] I have to wonder how much these game-learned skills will really transfer to the business world.

      I for one can't count the number of times I've thought, "You know, this customer issue is *perfectly* suited to a plasma grenade or a Spartan Laser..." :)

      In all seriousness, I think you're right... and I think the extent to which "game-learned" skills will transfer is vanishingly, astonishingly low. And I think it

    • >>Transferring knowledge acquired in one context to another is a pretty hard problem.

      Especially when you spend all your time playing video games. They are a big time sink that can limit your experience in adapting knowledge to different situations.

      Some kid who tried to run a lawn mowing business would probably be a much better manager than some kid who stayed locked up in his room playing video games all day.
  • Yet for some reason after only 11 comments the dicussion is already focused on these... what does this tell us about the slashdot readership?

    OTOH, I for one welcome our BFG-toting million-polygon new overlords.

    Hmph, I might change my title from Services Director to Services Masterchief.
  • We need to find a Moon Master to defeat the Gorgotron somehow! Think of the Mooninites!
  • Overheard from military war room: "I can dance all day! I can dance all day! Try and hit me! Try and hit me!"
  • AID: "Mister president! the terrorists just keep coming! what should we do?"

    President: " easy, have some snipers camp around their spawn points and take them out. Come on guys this is basic stuff... you did tell the army about my circle strafe right?"

    Oh yeah, I see this is gonna be fun!
  • Let's just say that games are, quite simply, "entertainment" and leave it at that - rather than having to analyse & re-analyse everything at great depth.

    How about we just recognise that since his very dawn, man has filled his life with things he *MUST* do in order to survive (i.e. eat, hunt, have sex, etc.) & things he *LIKES* to do when he's not doing the things he *MUST* do (i.e. eat, play games, have sex, etc.) so that computer games are just another facet of the the things man has always done

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by ddrichardson (869910)

      *MUST* do in order to survive (i.e. eat, hunt, have sex, etc.) & things he *LIKES* to do when he's not doing the things he *MUST* do (i.e. eat, play games, have sex, etc.)

      Good point, but I noticed you put "have sex" twice - that's more than I get in a lifetime.

  • Ah yes, the folks who spend their lives glued to the blinking lights and canned music of the latest and greatest video game are quietly honing their UBER L33T Skilz. The 80 plus hours a week spent in the dark, alone, bereft of actual human contact - the pizza guy doesn't count, clearly develop the necessary and vital skills that the rest of the world is lacking. And in due time, the next video game will come around and those few, dedicated gamers will rise to the digital challenge and dominate the world.
  • Only when they stop gaming, get out from behind their screens and DO something.
    The gamers I know prefer games over real-world politics.
  • Just because I've 'beaten' the game many, many times, does not make me a master architect. Nor does it make me a master economist, accountant, PR rep, yadda...

    Games involve a rule set that must be satisfied in order to succeed. When it comes down to it, it's literally a pre-defined set of button pushes that allow you to win the game (obviously, many different sets), with graphics, music, sound FX, and the like wrapped around it to make it fun. I've known this for a long time, and ignore like everyone else

    • by ErikZ (55491) *
      The sims is the computer version of playing with dolls. It's not that complicated.

      Plus, any simulated reality is MUCH MUCH cheaper than going outside and doing things. And more convenient.
  • didn't they write a book about this?
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ender's_Game [wikipedia.org]

    If you haven't read it - it's about training children to become future leaders through video games.
  • ...if some guy finds all the corporate easter eggs, he gets to be CEO? :P
  • Orson Scott Card was Right!
  • Why would this be a 21st century phenomenon? In my ancient opinion games today are easier and more linear then yesterday's finest (and it didn't get us anywhere, did it?).

    Try to have a kid today figure out one of Infocom's or Sierra's best adventure games from the 80's...they neither have the patience nor the attention span for it.

    A kid today trying to play twelve hours of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suspended [wikipedia.org]? No chance for the future.
    • A lot of the earlier adventure games taught non-linear thinking (thinking outside the box, etc.).

      Given these random facts, can you think sideways to make the connection and come up with the answer.

      Games todays are more linear.

      Collect facts 1,2,3,4,5. The logical conclusion is "Blah". It may be hard to come to that conclusion but it is logical.

      The early games on the other hand were more zen like. Their logic made sense once you got it, but 1,2,3,4,5 did not lead to "blah" it lead to "bird attacks dragon"
  • To be a leader, you actually have to leave the house and interact with other human beings once in awhile.
  • by l3v1 (787564)
    I cry bullcrap. Give me one who writes the games these people play over all the players that play the game, anyday. Besides, I wouldn't hire anyone who spends potentially productive hours of the day by gaming. Anyway, although there might be some connection between a certain kind of creativity and being good in certain types of games, I wouldn't prefer a gamer over a non-gamer just based on the gaming habits. As always with such opinions, one can find just as many counter-examples and pro-examples. Even I p
  • by hey! (33014) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @08:40AM (#21182957) Homepage Journal
    for producing problem solving leaders, for the simple reason that the supply of individual problem solving ability has always exceeded the number of leadership slots. The real difficulty is getting the problem solving individuals into those slots, then training them on how to exploit their problem solving capabilities in the real world.

    There are two kinds of people: those who want to find a good enough solution as quickly as possible, and those who want to find the best solution and are willing to take as long as it takes. Neither extreme is right. Their's an art to making decisions, and much of that art is knowing when you don't have enough facts, and when gathering more facts will put you behind the pace at which a situation develops.

    An effective problem solving leader not only has to find an artful compromise, he has to find a way to make it work where everybody who has to make it happen has a different idea of what the ideal compromise should be. In other words a problem solving leader has to build a flexible, problem solving organization. President Clinton was not my idea of a great president (unless we grade on a curve), but he had a saying that is very true that went something like this: people are policy.

    I think computer games have some value in training problem solving, but I don't think they will produce a generation of superior problem solvers, so much as give superior problem solvers of the generation a different and not necessarily superior set of games than their predecessors. Imagine that one of the presidential candidates was a master of three games: chess, poker and bridge. Wouldn't that be just as intriguing as if he were a master of FPS games, strategy games and tetris?
  • Generation G" could well offer the answer to unlocking great 21st century strategists and leaders.

    And all those new execs will prefer the superior sound quality of vinyl records [slashdot.org]

  • I've seen a lot of posts here going on about the pasty faced kids or 30somethings locked away in their parents bedrooms etc. and the total lack of social skills. This isn't always the case and from some of the things I have seen from playing online games for 10-15 years now I can see some very real similarities between the business world and running long term guilds. I'm not talking about organizing a few raids in WoW, I'm talking about what it takes to start and keep a guild running for more than a few mon
  • by ToxicBanjo (905105) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @09:03AM (#21183209)

    Great Britain Representative: That "AssMan24" is just a pathetic camper! Look at him! Camper!

    Russian Delegate: In Soviet Russia Base Camps You! Hahaha... I AM THE ASSMAN!

    US Appointee: Fucking nubs, you better turn on teh ha40rs cuz I'm gunna pwn you all next round!

    UN President: Hey! No talk of hacks! I'm demorecording this and it will be reviewed. If I see any sign of cheating your entire team will be banned from competition!

    Yep... it's going to happen.

  • Yeah, games can make you a good strategist. But simply studying strategy is much faster for someone with talent.

    Its the same as with languages. For an average person, living in a country which speaks another language will be an effective way to learn it. But for someone with talent, studying 8 hours per day will actually be many, many times faster (probably contrary to popular belief). A combination is obviously best, but if you have to choose, hard study is actually the fastest way to learn these kinds of
  • The time won't be far away when you won't be able to find a non-gamer, leader or not.
  • A leader is only as good as the people they surround themselves with. Holds true in gaming and real life. Put the best leader in the world in WoW to lead a raid with a bunch of noobs, and they won't accomplish anything. Put an idiot in charge of the raid with a bunch of experience, well geared people and they will probably succeed despite the leader... making him look good.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @09:41AM (#21183729) Homepage
    Chess has been a popular metaphor for war, life, strategic thinking, etc. for centuries, but I don't recall many national leaders drawn from the ranks of the Laskers, Capablancas, and Fischers.

    Football (both U. S. and Rugby) are often thought to be good training for leadership. Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, famously did not "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton," but even if he had, I don't think there's much evidence for correlation between football prowess and skill at national leadership.

    As with football, to the extent that video gaming is ubiquitous among today's youth, it is vacuously true that our future leaders will probably have played video games, with varying degrees of skill.

    But in seeking our future leaders, one might just as well look to today's [ cell phone users | Harry Potter fans | bottled water drinkers ].
  • by Urusai (865560) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @09:54AM (#21183877)
    ...time to export some more democracy!
  • Unfortunately. The leaders are those that do not posess valuable skills and compensate with being very competitive. Often I have the impresseion that some people only raise to leadership, because nobody wants to work with them. Look at them. Most do not understand how the world works and have no skills besides aquiring and keeping power. One of the major reasons for the sad state the world is in.
  • Unfortunately, success in the real world is far more dependent on social skills than technical skills. So, even if gaming produces the best analytical minds, it makes no difference if they can't climb up the political/military/corporate ladder.
  • Yeah, just like 1970s resumes featured a litany of acid trips and other drug experience, in the heyday of people overachieving in those virtual worlds looking to cash in during the "squaretime" necessary to pay the rent.
  • You kids and your fancy pants "WOW" "raids". As a child of the 70s and 80s I learned all the leadership training I needed from Pong and Zork. Served me well in grad school. Of course, now I'm a dice polisher for TSR^H^H^HWizards of the Coast.
  • by autophile (640621) on Wednesday October 31, 2007 @03:35PM (#21188443)

    The lessons learned from playing adventure games should work well in real life:

    1. Take everything that isn't nailed down.
    2. Touch everything.
    3. Put everything on everything until something happens.