Playing video games is often viewed as a sedentary or slothful activity. But as educators, thought leaders and the world’s largest corporations secretly know, gaming is also potentially the best thing to happen to management training since the advent of company off-sites and career workshops. With the world’s largest firms quickly turning to principles of “gamification” to educate new recruits, be forewarned: Blistered thumbs may be a signature hallmark of tomorrow’s most successful executives.

Credit conceptual frameworks and gameplay elements that inherently teach players how to manage limited resources, respond to stressful simulations and problem-solve in real-time within a variety of both plausible and fantasy contexts. Even traditional titles found on GameStop’s shelves teach kids basic everyday management skills, claims Ian Bogost, associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and founder of software maker Persuasive Games. “Look at World of Warcraft: You’ve got 11-year-olds who are learning to delegate responsibility, promote teamwork and steer groups of people toward a common goal.” 

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