Looking for a few gamers

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The gaming industry is larger than films and music combined, yet few of us are likely to put our Fortnite playing achievements on our CVs. But why not? Businesses are waking up to the skills gamers can bring to the workplace.

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One start-up is convinced that the skills learned playing games - hard-won through years of training and battle - can be applied to real-life work situations. And Game Academy reckons its belief is backed up by hard data. Do you enjoy unusual puzzle games like Portal, or tower defence games like Defense Grid?

The team has found that IT workers play those more than average. But if you prefer Civilization, Total War, or X-Com, where strategy and resource management are key, then you might have more in common with managers. Game Academy's idea is simple: analyse gamers' habits from their online gaming profile, and offer courses in valuable skills that reflect their aptitudes - skills they can practise and refine in-game.

And there is already a growing acceptance that gaming skills are transferable. Those skills are part of what the RAF is looking for "in a variety of roles". But does that really mean your top ranking in Overwatch should go down on your CV? Two years ago, a Glasgow University study made headlines for suggesting gaming could make students more successful.

More Technology of Business. But "the research hasn't really changed minds, at least not yet," says one of the authors of the study, Dr Matthew Barr. He's now writing a book on the topic.

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Playing games casually - without thinking much about the skills you're using - is unlikely to help your career prospects. But part of Game Academy's pitch is to transform casual gamers into "conscious" ones, applying critical thinking to developing their skills.

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There are already plenty of gamers out there who know that their hobby has made them who they are. Often made fun of in gaming circles as a "spreheet simulator", the economy of the fictional Eve universe is driven by real market principles. If you want to build a new spaceship, the raw material has to be mined by another player. Manufacturing costs come into effect, and commodities fluctuate in price based on demand and haulage distance.

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Mr Ricci, who had always dreamed of being the boss of his own company, ran an in-game corporation comprising hundreds of players. Eventually, he realised he could transfer his skills to real-life business - instead of doing it for free.

He restructured Zentech, once a taxation vehicle for his father's business, and it is now in its fourth year helping international brands enter the Canadian market. Eve teaches skills like creativity, leadership, organisation, and conflict resolution, he maintains. He credits his success to his family, his obsession with running his own business - and "a damn good company in Iceland that made a damn good game".

Digital entrepreneur and business consultant Mia Bennett says: "In more traditional settings, gaming is still imagined to be the pursuit of teenage boys - a waste of time. But there are some links to skills like "decision-making, the ability to anticipate and scenario planning," she says.

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Twelve years into his career, Mark Long, a radiotherapy physicist with the NHS in Surrey, doesn't get as much gaming time as he used to. Instead, he credits old-school games like Palace of Magic, on his father's Acorn Electron, with exposing him to computers. Every new gaming upgrade improved his knowledge of how they worked.

Gaming also encouraged a competitive streak - and that, he believes, translates. It's about "repeating the process, but each time doing something slightly different to improve the result". Not unlike achieving a high score or a perfect run. Over at Game Academy, Mr Barrie is aware they still have a mountain to climb.

Even the military is hiring gamers. Making classic cars go faster with old Tesla motors If one drone isn't enough, try a drone swarm. Related Topics. Careers Gaming Employment.

Looking for a few gamers

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The Air Force Is Looking For A Few Good Gamers