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Learning your leadership skills from World of Warcraft

We've covered the IBM/Seriosity study before -- that's the one that said players who are able to organize and lead guilds can use those same skills to succeed in the workplace. Just recently, Computerworld sat down to chat with Seriosity co-founder Byron Reeves, who's since used his research to actually develop ways for companies to use MMO-style gameplay in the workplace, including creating a currency system to develop and manage interactions between employees.

It's very interesting stuff. Reeves says that MMO games and the leaders in them are a prime example of the environment creating the leader, not necessarily the talents of the person themselves -- when a game gives you the tools and influences necessary to have you leading a guild, you'll do a good job at it. He also says that the speed of online games can be a huge benefit to workers -- when you need to organize groups fast ingame, those skills will directly translate to running groups in real life.

Not everything is the same -- Reeves admits that the risks are much smaller when running around a virtual world (no one loses their livelihood if you don't down a boss), and there's a lot more transparency in games -- you can know characters' levels and specs, but you can't really know exactly how much experience your employees have or what they're really good at just by looking them up in the Armory. The interview is definitely an interesting read for anyone who's ever lead a guild or a workplace -- it's becoming more and more apparently that there are many lessons to be learned across both.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Guilds, Blizzard, News items

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