All Those Quarters Weren’t Wasted!

by Joe Lavelle on May 14, 2012

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When you were growing up, did your mom ever say to you, “Turn off those video games and go read a book!”  Or, did you spend hours at the local arcade, perfecting your hand-eye coordination in front of Pac Man or a pinball machine?  Turns out, you were developing important career skills!

Well, maybe the goal of getting Frogger safely across a four-lane highway isn’t exactly what major corporations have in mind, but more and more of them are using gaming as a way of discerning possible recruits for their companies and as a point of measurement for those who desire to move up within the ranks.

According to a recent survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. and as reported on CNN’s website, “Some 70% of the world’s top 2,000 companies will use game techniques as a behavioral motivator to recruit, train, and enhance employee performance, as well as to encourage new ideas, improve employee health, or build customer loyalty, among other goals.”

A reflection of today’s culture and the fact that many of the twenty-somethings in our country today grew up on video games, recruiters are grabbing hold of this tool of competition as a way of testing candidates’ analytical skills through math problems, word games, hypothetical workplace scenarios, and more.  If you perform well in a game that is designed, however subtly, to uncover the skill sets needed for a particular profession, it is hoped that you will do well in the office.

So, what do you think of proving your professional mettle through gaming as opposed to the traditional resume and strong handshake?  Can you imagine sitting down in an interview room, being handed a wireless game console, and hearing from your potential boss, “Play this for a few minutes and I’ll come back in a bit to discuss what your high score could mean for our company!”

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