How To Boost Your Career With Games

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How To Boost Your Career With Games

Unlocking Cognitive Skills, Mental Health Benefits, and Strategic Advantages for Career Growth

Paul Knulst  in  Self Improvement Jan 18, 2024 6 min read


Better than their reputation: video games are supposed to promote intelligence and health. And they can even be a career booster. How it works? We have the results of several studies.

Gamers have to deal with prejudices. Energy drinks, gambling all night long, living in the virtual world. Honestly, some clichés don't sound that unrealistic, and addictive gaming has disadvantages, which is why it should not be underestimated.

But anyone who has to repeatedly defend their enthusiasm for video games can now breathe a sigh of relief: gaming skills help us to be successful at work, support our health, and train skills, according to researchers. Several scientific studies show that even children who start playing at an early age go on to have strong cognitive skills.

Sounds too good to be true? The most important results will be summarized in the next chapters.

Improved Cognitive Abilities

In a research study from 2020, Neuroscientists were able to prove the positive effect of gaming. Children in particular who were actively involved in video games before puberty later showed improved cognitive abilities in tests, including after playing the classic “Super Mario 64” for several hours. The scientists emphasize, that study participants process 3D objects better overall and that their memory is also stronger because they can remember information.

Other scientific tests have also shown that players have good spatial thinking skills. The neuroscientists Jürgen Gallinat and Simone Kühn were able to prove, among other things, that in gamers the gray matter in the brain - also known as "gray matter" - increases with increasing gaming experience, which strengthens the ability to think spatially. The research can be found here.

Help With Depression And Loneliness

Additionally, Kühn and Gallinat come to another conclusion: Regular video games not only train our cognitive skills but can also combat depression and loneliness. One reason for this is the sense of community when gamers share experiences and successes with one another. The brain releases happiness hormones that ensure connection and satisfaction.

Topics such as fear of failure, solidarity, and challenges that are overcome in everyday life and particularly play a role in psychological problems are also present and can contribute to a positive experience. Research shows that regular play can help in many ways and the effect is often underestimated.

BUT: Gaming is not a substitute for therapy if you have serious psychological problems. Playing games can be distracting for a while and those affected can escape the negative feelings. However, video games should not be used to suppress problems because the existing problems are merely postponed but not necessarily resolved.


Professional life is by no means linear. We experience this at the latest when we realize that we have ended up in the wrong profession. Or if we drop out of our studies, have to change jobs, or are fired.

Anyone who plays games already knows the problem but has the opportunity to take creative approaches. Failure does not mean giving up completely because it can mark the start of a new life or a new possibility. Gamers sometimes have to take unusual paths until they defeat the final boss - and that's the same in real life. A wrong decision in career planning does not mean the end. Creativity and decision-making are important gaming skills that can help us make smart decisions outside of the virtual world.

Strong Learning Ability

Another fantastic research study comes to the conclusion that gamers can learn particularly quickly. The fact that quick comprehension is required in many professions is not new. In this area, passionate gamers benefit because, according to the study, they can classify their knowledge much better than non-gamers. The authors emphasize their belief that video games actively promote specific brain regions and thus contribute to learning.

The rapidly changing world of work requires a strong ability to learn in many professions and the ability to adapt quickly. Video gamers therefore have a significant advantage if we go by current studies. In general, a growth mindset and the attitude to learn from mistakes, as well as the willingness to courageously take new steps again and again, are becoming more important.

Set And Pursue Goals

Gamers always have one goal in mind: improve, build a team, or reach a new level. That's why people who are actively involved in gaming associate their hobby with meaning. Career planning and everyday work also require us to think about our goals, set them, and pursue them. Because without a concrete goal, the “why” is lost.

In particular, more and more young employees and young talents are prioritizing careers that are in line with their values and that offer meaning - because without them they are often unwilling to make a commitment. The gaming ability to prioritize and pursue your goals can therefore also help you stay steadfast and true to your principles.

Intensify Tactical Thinking

Video games not only require creativity but also that you think and act tactically. This is something you want to aim for in your everyday working life and in your career. It is important to demonstrate this ability every day. Whether you proceed analytically or imagine something abstract: tactical thinking describes how you achieve your goals by developing concrete plans and implementing them - especially in a way that is adapted to the situation.

In short: it's about the steps you take to pursue a specific strategy. You face this challenge more often when gaming. And you'll learn what to do when a plan doesn't work by developing flexible action plans. As a gamer, there is always a Plan B

Optimize Your English Skills

The world of work is becoming more international and companies are becoming increasingly cosmopolitan. It's no wonder that knowledge of the English language is not only in demand but also an advantage in many industries. Online gaming offers the opportunity to improve your own language skills. The learning effect is based primarily on voluntary action. You don't speak and write in a foreign language because you have to - but because you really want to be part of a community. English skills can therefore be improved through playing video games.

Improve Teamwork Skills

Gaming can improve the feeling of togetherness. Especially for people who have difficulty showing communication skills, approaching others, or sharing feedback and criticism, gaming offers a kind of learning opportunity to develop a sense of better team spirit. So it can't hurt to join others, open up, and celebrate successes and failures together - because all of this awaits us in our careers.

Think Critically And Independently

Whether you're alone in the gaming world or not, critical thinking is becoming an important decision-making tool for many gamers. Even at a younger age, passionate gamers develop a sensitivity for details and question what they see and experience. Thinking independently also helps at work: decisions are not made dogmatically but are self-reflected.

Closing Notes

The world of gaming offers more than just entertainment because it provides us a unique set of skills and advantages that can significantly impact our careers. However, the stigma surrounding gaming is gradually fading away as researchers consistently highlight the positive effects on cognitive abilities, mental health, and professional development.

From improved cognitive skills to enhanced decisiveness and strong learning abilities, gamers are equipped with many valuable traits that are applicable in the real world. The ability to set and pursue goals, intensify tactical thinking, optimize English skills, and improve teamwork are just a few examples of how gaming helps to personal and professional growth.

While there are downsides, such as addiction and the need for moderation, the studies presented several benefits that gaming can bring to us.

As we navigate through the rapidly changing complex world of work, the findings suggest that embracing a growth mindset, a willingness to learn from mistakes, and the ability to adapt quickly are becoming increasingly vital for everyone.

So, gaming is not just a pastime; it's a training ground for skills that extend beyond the screen. Remember this, the next time you find yourself immersed in a virtual world, you might be learning the skills that will push you forward in your career and contribute to your overall success. Embrace the positive aspects of gaming, and continue to learn and grow. Let your gaming journey be a catalyst for excellence in both your virtual and professional endeavors - it will take you to the next level.

What do you think about gaming? Are you a gamer yourself? Did you encounter something at work that you could handle better because of gaming? Is there anything else you want to add? Also, do you have any questions?

I would love to hear your feedback and your thoughts and answer all your questions. Please share everything in the comments.

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Thank you for reading, and Now Start Playing Games! ⛔🖱️⛔🖱️

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By Paul Knulst

I'm a husband, dad, lifelong learner, tech lover, and Senior Engineer working as a Tech Lead. I write about projects and challenges in IT.