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Is 'World of Warcraft' A Good Thing to Put on Your Resume?

Because virtual gold-farming may one day help in the real world economy

World of Warcraft - H 2014
Blizzard Entertainment

So much for your mother telling you that all that time spent playing video games wouldn’t amount to anything in the real world. These days, gamers are putting their digital experience on resumes, finding that the same skills that can help them defeat opposing forces in World of Warcraft can also help them find a new job.

A report in The Wall Street Journal highlights this growing trend, talking to some job hunters who have added Warcraft to their curriculum vitae. “It's a chance to stretch your leadership ability,” explained one about their decision to reference Warcraft to employers, with another suggesting that the skills learned in the game “directly apply to the kind of job I hold.”

Perhaps surprisingly, Warcraft and other gaming skills on a resume can work. Earlier this year, CNN reported on Stephen Gillett, former chief information officer at Starbucks, who credits his current position — COO of Symantec — in part on his status as a level 70 paladin and priest within the online game.

While it’s nothing new — Wired magazine reported on instances of it happening back in 2006 — it is one that’s starting to cross over into the mainstream, although as the WSJ piece points out, not mainstream enough that employers are actively looking for guild leaders just yet.

“At the end of the day, it's all make-believe,” a former hiring manager stated in the piece. Clearly not someone who’s spent a lot of time organizing fellow players on a raid of any true scale.