John Beck and Michell Wade, authors of Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever, conducted a nationwide survey of about 2500 U.S. business professionals, looking for differences between those who grew up playing video games and those who didn't.
Beck and Wade thought they'd find grown-up gamers excelling in techno-detail but lacking teamwork, leadership, and work ethic. What they discovered instead was surprising. According to an article they wrote for the Boston Globe on January 2, 2005: "Gamers turned out to be more serious about achievement, more attached to the company they work for and the people they work with; more flexible, persistent problem-solvers; more willing to take only the risks that make sense. In short, they're pretty good executives right out of the gate — and not at all what we boomers would expect."
Hmmm. No mention about the violence of gaming in this study, but these results are certainly intriguing. They make me feel a little less tense about seeing my kids hunched over controllers in front of a screen. What do you think?
Oh, and Beck and Wade made an interesting comment on the spirituality of gamers: "The gamer generation grew up in a world that is basically benevolent and predictable — or at least makes sense ... our interviews suggest the gamer generation sees the ultimate Game Designer as wanting the best for them — they expect to win and find much happiness in this life."
Gulp. If Beck and Wade are right, this generation might be heading for a rude awakening. Because the Game of Real Life is unpredictable and chaotic and can feel shockingly unfair and out of control. On the other hand, if gaming does build an unshakeable faith in the Designer's steadfast goodness, I'm not complaining. Maybe I should plug into the Game Cube myself.