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Game Your Way to a Career: Organizers

Do you want to know how you can go from a gamer to a community or team leader? Welcome to the second installment of “Game Your Way to a Career,” a blog series where we share how video games allow players to grow their future-facing skills, and how these skills transfer into different career paths! In this segment of the series, we’ll be discussing how video games and esports participation foster critical organizational and leadership skills. 

via Giphy

Passionate about video games, education, esports, or all three? Let us know your thoughts on the “Game Your Way to a Career” series on Facebook or Twitter!

The Esports Ecosystem: What is an organizer? 

In case you missed the last post in our “Game Your Way to a Career” series on strategists, the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) created the research-based Esports Ecosystem which includes four different career pathways, strategists, content creators, organizers, and entrepreneurs. See the diagram below for more details!

via NASEF 

Believe it or not, an organizer is not defined by NASEF as someone who is really good at cleaning out a closet or color-coordinating items in a fridge. According to NASEF, organizers are the members of an esports team that focus on team management, coordinating events, and supporting their fellow teammates. 

Organizers develop various skills, such as budgeting, working with vendors, customer service, resolving hardware issues, and leadership. These skills can lead to a career in cybersecurity, event planning, general team management, and more! Take a look at the graphic below for more information on organizers. 

via NASEF

Through esports, organizers become efficient with working with people and attuned to the needs of their team – two important skills that are applicable to a wide variety of jobs. 

The research speaks for itself

If you’ve checked out our recent research roundup on game-based learning and future-facing skills, you’ll know that game-based learning helps players develop their own leadership styles and a variety of leadership skills. In fact, a 2018 study found that “a game-based learning approach is an effective approach to leadership skills development and the primary skills developed were: motivation, facilitation, coaching, mindset changing, and communication.” One main role of an organizer in an esports team is to bring individual people together for the success of all. 

Another 2021 study found that game-based learning worked to “enhance leadership skill development including critical thinking, commitment, agility, innovation, creativity, motivation, conflict management, innovation, creativity, and team building.” Not only do students build vital skills by being a part of an esports team, but they also have the potential to learn a wide breadth of leadership and management skills from video games themselves. That’s only one of the reasons why the educational potential of scholastic esports is immense

Research has shown that game-based learning also improves organizational skills. For example, a 2017 study that included self-identified gamers and non-gamers found that 89% of gamers demonstrated organizational skills while 75% of respondents expressed knowledge of the rules of organizational work. The study concluded that games positively impacted both gamers and non-gamers organizational, leadership, and creative problem-solving skills. 

Organizers have a lot to juggle, from supporting their teams to coordinating events. They have to be adaptable, flexible, and confident, working with people on and off their teams to do their job well. Game-based learning can offer the future-facing skills they need to thrive! 

Video games in action: how games improve organizational and leadership skills

After looking through the research above, you may be thinking, “Okay, I know games help players build organizational and leadership skills, but how?”

The very simplest of organizational skills, such as packing a bag or backpack, are skills that are built-in to many games. Many popular commercial games, such as Stardew Valley and Fortnite, include inventories where players can only carry a limited amount of items. In these games, players have to keep their inventories organized so they can quickly get to the specific tools and items they need. More complex organizational skills, such as budgeting and money management, are also found in commercial and educational games. With video games, organizers especially interested in future careers in event planning or community organizing can practice their money handling skills in a risk-free environment.

By participating in esports leagues or through multiplayer games played at home, players must learn a variety of leadership and organizational skills to be successful. Self-control, effective communication, and conflict resolution are among the many skills that can be developed while playing video games that are transferable to school, work, and daily life tasks. 

However, you don’t have to be a K-12 student on an esports team to reap the benefits of video games and future-facing skills. If you’re in a managerial role at your workplace, playing games can be a fun and effective way to bring your team together. As Lauren Parker, Managing Editor of Atlassian’s Work Life blog puts it: “…game play often mirrors the kinds of interactions that help people work better together in the first place, like pursuing mutual goals, allocating shared resources, negotiating task ownership, and collaborating to solve problems.” She also notes that “Workplace gaming also offers significant community-building value. It’s an intuitive notion that doing fun stuff with our coworkers is good for morale, and that strong interpersonal connections are an important ingredient for more effective teamwork.” If you’re looking for a way to create stronger relationships amongst your team and encourage everyone to collaborate, games are the way to go!

Whether you’re a K-12 student, esports participant, or employee, you can learn organizational and leadership skills from video games. If you love working with other people, coordinating events, and keeping a team’s morale high, there are many benefits that video games can offer to help you become an excellent leader and organizer. Interested in creating a game that allows students or employees to strengthen their community-building and leadership skills? Reach out to us for a free consultation!

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