Missouri University Study Shows How 'WoW' Players Become Successful Employees [Video]


The stereotypical view of gamers is that they are lazy, sloppy and unprofessional. However, a new study by Missouri University of Science and Technology (MST) researchers found that playing "World of Warcraft" ("WoW"), a massive multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), can equip players with the skills and traits to become successful employees.

The study found that gamers who were successful in working as a team in "raids," a mode in "WoW," had qualities that can translate to success on virtual workplace teams. These qualities are called the Big Five personality traits namely, extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. The gamers also had advanced computer-mediated communication skills and technology readiness.

In a post on its official website, it was reported that the MST researchers surveyed 288 "World of Warcraft" gamers from the MMORPG's servers who had the game's fifth expansion set "Warlords of Draenor." The respondents varied in age, race, sex, class, occupation and location.

The average survey participant played "WoW" eight hours a week and worked 38 hours a week. This is an important factor since the team wanted to survey those who had full-time jobs that had the potential to involve teamwork.

They were asked 140 questions about motivation, communication skills, preferences for teamwork and personality. Most questions were related to the Big Five personality traits.

The researchers compared a player's survey answers to their character's statistics. Elizabeth Short, a graduate student in industrial-organizational psychology who compiled data for the study, said that a player's group achievement points point to how much group gameplay they were able to participate in and how successful they were.

She added that they wanted to study virtual teamwork and what characteristics a person had in-game that could be translated to real life, especially in the workplace. One of the strongest correlations was in technology readiness.

This meant that, the more technologically ready a player is, the more resilient around technology they are and they become more adaptable - leading to more achievement points in the game. Moreover, these players are more tech-savvy in real life which is an advantage for those in virtual communication teams and workplaces.

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