My New Management Book: "WWMTSD?" ("What Would My Tauren Shaman Do?")

Amongst the Cheeto-stained sweat-panted ranks of hardcore MMORPG enthusiasts today, there is concern about the state of the economy and the job market. No, not the market for Greater Astral Essence at the Ironforge Auction House. The actual, meat-world economy. Specifically, can you be a hardcore MMORPG gamer, a reliable guildie, a go-to raid partner, and still get a job, pretending for the moment that you ever actually intended to in more than a theoretical sense?

A poorly-sourced rumor has some irrationally worried that the answer is no.

Forum poster Tale over on the f13 forums relates an experience with a recruiter in the online media industry, who reacted negatively to his conversational admission that he had spent too much time playing MMORPG games.

He replied that employers specifically instruct him not to send them World of Warcraft players. He said there is a belief that WoW players cannot give 100% because their focus is elsewhere, their sleeping patterns are often not great, etc. I mentioned that some people have written about MMOG leadership experience as a career positive or a way to learn project management skills, and he shook his head. He has been specifically asked to avoid WoW players.

Anecdote aside, I doubt the employers and recruiters have put out the word "no Blood Elves need apply." Do hardcore MMORPG folks suffer from sleep deprivation, impaired judgment, and dramatically divided priorities? Yes. But so does a much larger group in the employee pool. We're called parents. And our seven-year-old woke us up before six practicing the piano in his underwear, and our two-year-old woke up supernaturally grouchy and kicked us in the nads while we were taking her out of the car at day care. Some dude who stayed up until three in the morning leveling his mage is still in better shape than us to greet the day.

The anecdote does, however, illuminate a job-hunting risk for MMORPGers. If one is so immersed in MMORP culture — and so divorced from the way the rest of us talk to each other — that one thinks that it's a good idea to talk enthusiastically during interviews about "what this computer game taught me about management," then one had better not be applying anywhere else other than a hardcore gaming company.

Hat tip.

Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. says

    I've got a tenant (an electrical engineer) who plays WoW.

    I get up at 6am and he's just going to bed. I walk the dogs, and get back and cook breakfast, and he's getting up … at 8:30.

    I can't imagine that he's delivering a hell of a lot of brainpower to his employer.

    Having seen that, I'd not hire a serious WoW-er.

  2. Dave (ND) says

    While it's probably not good form to talk about it, the management skills required to keep 25 people focused on raiding 10-15 hours a week appears far greater than running the group that I work with.

    (I neither lead the raid, nor the department.)

  3. Derrick says

    I'd hire some dude who's quoting his WoW experience over some other guy who's using his experience as a forum moderator.