Does playing video games help you get a better job?

A startup is advancing in the idea that the skills acquired in video games, during years of training and «battles», can be applied to real-life work situations. Therefore, Game Academy – an organization that helps players improve their skills – recognizes that this belief is backed by verifiable data.

According to the company, quoted in a BBC report, «if you like puzzle video games like Portal or defense games like Defense Grid, information technology workers play with them more than average. But if you prefer Civilization, Total War or X-Com, where strategy and resource management are key, then you could have more in common with managers».

That said, Game Academy analyzes the habits of the players from their game profile and offers courses of specific skills that reflect their aptitudes and skills that they can practice and perfect in the game. Along the same lines, Hays agrees: «There are many social skills that players can use in a professional environment, such as teamwork, problem solving and strategic planning», says Ryan Gardner, regional director of the recruiting company.

In 2017, a study from the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, suggested that «video games could make students more successful» although «the research has failed to cause a change in mentality, at least not yet», says Matthew Barr, one of the authors of the report. «For now, I think the stigma around video games means that saying that you are an expert player will probably hurt your chances of getting a job», he said.

Making living from the game

A simple game can become a way of life. And such is its job opportunity that even a team of gamers has a staff responsible for different care, from strategy, training and even nutrition. This situation is part of a new global trend that seeks the professionalization of the gamer sector.

One of the main promoters of this professionalization is Mediapro through its eSports division, dedicated to electronic games and sports. They are responsible for organizing the Professional Videogames League in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Mexico and London. In them, the company is committed to making the sector and its industry a sustainable way of life for the players.

There are about 1.5 million gamers in Argentina only; it is not about casual players, but about users who dedicate a good part of their daily routine to Counter-Strike, FIFA, NBA and Fortnite. «Different games are like disciplines. Comparing, the League of Legends, the most played worldwide, is like football in popularity», said Juan Diego Garcia, country manager for Argentina, Chile and Peru.

The group of experts that are part of the Professional Video Games League is only fifty people. Each team has five starting players and two substitutes. The exclusivity does not only lie in the format of the competition, with an opening and closing tournament played between eight teams, but they influence a series of competitive and organizational factors.

To be part of that select group, it is necessary to form as a company, presenting brand development, sponsorship and administration plans, among other requirements. In less corporate terms, playing soccer with friends is not the same as integrating a club. Although it is videogames, it is required as formally as possible to compete.

Those who are part of the Professional Videogames League, who can receive financial support from different sponsors, achieve estimated earnings between 20,000 and 120,000 dollars, depending on their competitive level. In Argentina, for example, the tournament champion earns $ 40,000, according to Garcia.

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