You Play World of Warcraft? You’re Hired!

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You Play World of Warcraft? You’re Hired!
Why multiplayer games may be the best kind of job training.
By John Seely Brown and Douglas Thomas

In late 2004, Stephen Gillett was in the running for a choice job at Yahoo! – a senior management position in engineering. He was a strong contender. Gillett had been responsible for CNET’s backend, and he had helped launch a number of successful startups. But he had an additional qualification his prospective employer wasn’t aware of, one that gave him a decisive edge: He was one of the top guild masters in the online role-playing game World of Warcraft.

Gaming tends to be regarded as a harmless diversion at best, a vile corruptor of youth at worst. But the usual critiques fail to recognize its potential for experiential learning. Unlike education acquired through textbooks, lectures, and classroom instruction, what takes place in massively multiplayer online games is what we call accidental learning. It’s learning to be – a natural byproduct of adjusting to a new culture – as opposed to learning about. Where traditional learning is based on the execution of carefully graded challenges, accidental learning relies on failure. Virtual environments are safe platforms for trial and error. The chance of failure is high, but the cost is low and the lessons learned are immediate.

Follow up:

Read more about it here, then read my share of the experience.

This is true, I for one can attest to that fact of life, gaming and real-world job. I’ve been into online gaming since 1997, first played Ansalon MUD (a text-based online game) months before Ultima Online came out. By 2003, Ragnarok Online came to the Philippines as Level Up’s 2nd Online Game and 1st MMORPG in the Philippines.

The company was looking for gamers who have an experience in online gaming and being a GameMaster. By that time, I also founded my 2nd/3rd guild – the Holy Order of the Light. Mr. Ben Colayco interviewed me the next day, after I applied as a part-time tutor for RO. The rest is history.

Now I’m working in a new company, Level Up’s competitor, Digital Media Exchange (, now an Analyst & Researcher for the company. If there’s one person I highly respect in the Philippine Online Gaming Market – it’s Mr. Ben Colayco, for being a gamer himself other than being the gameboss (head) of the Philippines 1st Online Game Publisher – Level Up!

EDIT: I forgot to mention, my resume includes everything related to organization management – my guilds, my communities, my mailing lists, from the past to the present. Did it work? Yep, absolutely.

You should do it as well if you’re a gamer. All the members and officers of the Holy Order of the Light follow the same thing, we’re proud that our members get hired because they’re a member of our guild. The same is true with this guild that really inspired me – the Lost Order of Akalabeth.

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