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How to Turn Stats into Skills

In the gaming realm, our character's strength, intelligence, charisma, and much more come from a mechanic known as "Stats". The higher your stats are in one category, the more refined and powerful it is. Most gamers can recognize the strengths / weaknesses of their character just by a quick glance but fail to do so outside of the virtual world. With a quick change of perspective, many gamers can easily turn their in-game stats into real world skills.

There are numerous categories where gamers excel over people who do not play games. One example of this is their ability to learn and adapt to a given situation. To understand what I mean, let's take one of gaming's most treasured classics: Super Mario Brothers. On the first bootup of Mario, a player goes into the game with zero knowledge on how to play. The player must figure out how to move, figure out the objective, and avoid obstacles. In Mario, the objective is to reach the end of the level, hit the flag, and avoid all the turtles and mushrooms spread about the level. But why does this matter?

On the surface level, this might seem to be the person playing the game improving at the game. They made it farther in the game and that’s all. But if we do a little more digging you’ll see that there’s a reason why they’ve improved at the game. The person playing the game has taken into consideration the dangers, obstacles, and objective. This small, repetitive loop that happens so frequently in a short span of time is teaching valuable skills without even feeling like it. The most obvious of these is to overcome trials and difficulties. Yes, people do overcome challenges, but there’s more to it than just that. On top of overcoming their challenges, they are taking into consideration risks, difficulties, and an overall goal and they are achieving it. Now let’s look into applying those principles into a corporate environment.

Companies love to see people who have these soft skills. People who have experienced these situations are more likely to respond quickly and better than someone who has not. The biggest difference between the gaming world and the real world is the rules and the overall objective. In gaming, the objective is usually clear, printed in front of you, and is typically fun. If the game was not fun, who would play it..? So when it comes to the real world, the biggest difference is that these experiences won’t be the same nor will they be as fun as they are on the gaming device. This is when personal commitment and passion towards the task comes into play. Without passion, most people will not put in a lot of work, nor will they try their hardest. This is a concept we’ve seen with a lot of entrepreneurs. They do not like their day job, so they shift to making their own business in something they are more passionate in, and they become successful. This is the same with gamers. Games are fun, doing work will most likely not be fun, but finding the right environment to use these hidden skills is the key to becoming successful.

A comical representation of the intelligence stat you gain from gaming.

A comical representation of the intelligence stat you gain from gaming.

After speaking on the performance that gamers have and their slight advantage they’ve gained from playing games, as a gamer how do you identify the skills you’ve gained and apply them into your life:

First, figure out what your overall goal is. Let’s say you are working in the IT environment as a person who helps people with their tech related problems directly. Your goal would be to listen to the user, assess the issue, then troubleshoot, and then eventually you will gain enough skill to do it at an increased rate. In the case of an IT employee, the process is very similar to a game. The “listening” is the controls of the gamer, the issue would be the overall objective, and the troubleshooting portion would be you learning to achieve the problem. Then as you start to get better you will become better at achieving your goal / identifying a different problem.

There are no “hidden talents” that gamers magically possess over people who do not play games, but with a change in perspective, applying the scenarios in a situation where gamers will understand better, and by comparing concepts and skills to ones learned in the game, gamers can start to become more well-rounded, competitive candidates. There is no magic way to teach you how to learn the skills you already have, it’s just a matter of knowing they are there and applying the “stats” you’ve leveled your whole life.

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