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Saturday, December 4, 2010

MMOs and the Real World

I saw the video below on Facebook this afternoon. It talks about the vast amount of gamers in the world right now and what kind of impact it has on real life. There are currently about half a billion gamers in the world right now and it is expected to increase to 1.5 billion in the next 10 years. What does this mean?

It means there is a huge amount of young people growing up in a world of computers. They are learning skills previous generations did not. They are learning ways of economics, tactics, problem solving skills, self worth, and social skills in a whole new light.

How does this have an effect on the real world? Let's start from basics.

Young people today are learning computers and electronics much sooner than previous generations. I am 31. I was born into a household with a hacker as an older brother. My first computer I experienced was in 1983 when he brought home one that talked. I was completely amazed. I then turned to Atari 2600. I learned how to count by playing Blackjack on it. Not all kids during this time had some sort of computer or gaming system to play. Today children are given computers before they can even talk. Todays generation have LeapFrog and other learning systems before they can effectively use them. Babies are being accustomed to using electronics before they can walk.

I didnt have a typing class until my freshman year of high school. In 1993 my high school only had basic typing and one DOS class. This continued until I graduated. My generation did not have the mass computer skills they do today. Because of the internet and gaming my typing words per minute is around 55 WPM with 95% accuracy. I was lucky to hit 15 WPM starting out high school. Todays kids, though they use slang, type at a much higher rate then the general populus 20 years ago. Typing skills has gone from a trade skill of middle aged women typing up papers for companies to an every day skill.

If you look at the founders of large internet businesses you will notice they are all of the younger generations. They are no longer the 50+ man who has money to throw around. They are in their 20-30s. Facebook, Myspace, YouTube. All were created by younger people. Armadillo Aerospace was founded by John Carmack, who is the creator of games like Wolfenstein, Doom, and Quake. This company has won awards for their sub orbital space craft. Since the demise of NASA, private companies are our key to space travel, exploration, and research.

At least since Everquest was popular there has been college theses papers written on the economic and social impact online games have and how they could be used to better the real world. Gamers started out with the stigma of being non social fat 30 year olds living in their mommas basement. This is no longer the case. The gamer generation has created a huge social network. Whether it be from Facebook or in game, gamers have a much larger friend base and communicate with friends than their parents had. Families and friends are much more close knit because instead of calling every you know to tell them you are sick or your child won a prize at school all you need to do it log in and say "Hey, guess what!"

Games have taught the younger generation econonimic skills. What are the mottos of auction houses and bazars? Buy low and sell high. Farm the items people need. The harder it is to get an item or the more you need of it the higher you can sell it for. A person playing Warcraft will look at a situation and come up with an idea on how to make a profit. Before the last patch people were scrambling to get Zul'Grub faction before it was taken out of the game. Getting faction items was not hard for a level 80 to do solo but it took time. Time = Money.

How can these economic skills be transfered to the real world? A person could look around and see what people need that isnt advailable to the populus. Live in a small town without a place for people to sit down and talk to neighbors? Start up a coffee shop or diner. Buy products at a lower price and resell them at a higher one. If you have any sort of craft skills you can make up a lot of product and sell them on the internet.

MMOs also teach leadership skills. There have even been reports of people putting the fact they are a guild leader or officer on resumes. If you can succesfully run a guild or be a raid leader of a 25 man you have learned how to lead a group of sometimes unruley people. A good GL/RL can lead a group of people to achieve a common goal. They can problem solve situations and turn them into a positive result. Two guildies fighting can be viewed the same as two coworkers fighting. If you have a firm grasp of leading then you can lead your guild through an instance clear in a productive manner the same as leading your team of coworkers to finishing a project by its deadline. I am not saying just because you are a guild leader you should have a production managers position just because of that fact but MMOs can give you the skills to help you achieve a supervisors position.

So what have you learned through MMOs that you feel have impacted you in your daily life?


hilywatson said...

Yes its true I m totally agree with you. New generations are speedly growing with this Gaming world and by just play they know the reality of real world.

rifa said...

nice info