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In an Attractive, Modern Office Somewhere on Game and Player

In an Attractive, Modern Office Somewhere

Michael Ubaldi  //  February 11, 2009

An imagined conversation.


nterviewer. That's all I have, except for the last little details. But let me ask you one more question. I noticed this, right here, right at the bottom of Page 2 of your resume. You have listed here names, numbers — levels, it says — and some games that you've played, video games, and then down here what you "accomplished" in each.

Candidate. Yes. Resource management, leadership, teamwork, market participation, scheduling, budgeting. I — you're familiar with video games?

I. I played them, sure, in the arcades.

C. That was a long time ago. So you know they're, I mean, they're not just for kids.

I. Sure. There were adults playing beside us, too. Even businessmen, sometimes. But, I mean — but nobody was of the opinion that we had anything there other than a timewaster.

C. Well, those were pretty basic.

I. I know. And my kids, my wife and I bought them the, uh, a Nintendo one Christmas. We — I don't mean to put you down, now — it's a fun machine, the games, you know, to play, but did I ever have to work to get my kids to play outside, play sports, you know, until high school! Always them and their friends in the den, for — for hours. Ha, ha. Geez.

C. High school was — ?

I. Late Nineties. Oldest is in her mid-twenties now.

C. What did they play?

I. Oh, gosh. Oldest, she played volleyball and softball, right, you know, that crazy-fast underhand; middle wrestled, did a little hockey, some rugby and field hockey in college; youngest was soccer mostly, frisbee, ultimate frisbee, likes to play company softball with his work, too.

C. If you'll pardon me, if I, uh, could ask: have your children listed their participation in sports on their resumes?

I. Well, a few times they went to state, each one, and that can't hurt you way down the page, but I think they have because of the teamwork. And two of them made captain at some point. So, yes. You're — ha, ha. Come on, you're not —

C. I — I am. The reputation I have built, and the relationships I've cultivated, by playing video games online have prepared me for, and even in a few cases clearly aided me, with situations in real life.

I. Right, but it's a lot like the internet, isn't it? You interact anonymously for, like, ten-minute games, a lot of the time.

C. Sometimes. Less so these days. It depends on the service. If you have an account, you're liable for your actions. And even so, the temptation is to use anonymity as an excuse to treat others poorly. It means something when you have the chance to be rude and get away with it, but instead —

I. Yeah, maybe, though can you compare being nice to other players you meet for a short time to dealing with people in a face-to-face, professional setting? Day in, day out?

C. Well, remember: a lot of these are team games, and you typically build a group of friends or acquaintances, then play with them regularly. You know what contests bring out of people, good or bad. Talking about anonymity — like that saying about how your date treats the waiter? Same with how your teammate treats a perfect stranger on the other side. And there's the question of how he treats you. Some players, you'll make good friends out of. Others, you want to give a wide berth; and, you know are that way in real life.

I. Okay. So, the one at the top, here, I've heard of it. Space stuff, aliens, you shoot from the perspective of the hero. There's a league?

C. Competitive play, that's right. Four players. I've taken part once, may or may not again. It was a lot of work, and the level of acumen of some teams is just unbelievable. Like the Olympics.

I. Four players. Is that all the game allows?

C. No, for the kind of online play I described earlier, up to sixteen. And the one, the game, there, at the bottom, I played with ten or twenty-five, depending.

I. Yeah, tell me about that one. You mention an arena, battlegrounds, dungeons, instances.

C. Yes. It's fantasy but is an organized sport at its core. Players assume positions, have dedicated tasks.

I. Are they — is it a big field, or whatever? How do teams, or, uh, groups stay together?

C. You need people with leadership skills at the top, and those with discipline all the way down. And back in the day, teams would total forty.

I. And this is — wow, that's just — this is enjoyable?

C. It's a lot of fun, because it's always a challenge. This game, like others, depends on cooperation, communication, all that contributes to any group effort, you know, be it a work project or a volunteer organization or a sporting event.

I. Amazing. I honestly thought it was, well, in the den, all of that. Still, what if the top half of your resume were, I don't know, blank. Or thinner. Would this gaming experience matter as much?

C. Its value, I think, remains the same however it's associated. Meaning that if I've shown leadership in these activities, if it's evident, then I can apply it elsewhere. Now, I'll say, I hate to say it, if you don't like what you see —

I. Not the case, but I follow —

C. Thanks. If you don't like what you see as far as prerequisites, I might not have the qualifications for this job, but I'd argue I have the interpersonal experience.

I. Got it. I really do get it. And it's funny. I think — well, I'm glad you explained this to me, because I think I'm going to be evaluating a lot more prospects with video gaming credentials. And, you know, you're not the first.

C. I'm sorry?

I. Three weeks ago I interviewed a young lady from out west. Lot of accolades, sort of calculated work experience, but what struck me, a little like with what struck me about you, was that she had managed to put together a thesis — I guess, a whole degree — on video games, on the culture, the sociological import of it all. Didn't go much into it, but I asked a couple questions. Makes more sense now. Animated, sharp presentation, but, uh, we decided to pass on her.

C. Because we hadn't had this conversation yet? As a competitor, I can't say I'm heartbroken that —

I. Oh, no, no! Ha, ha! I'm sorry. We passed on her because I thought she was a psychopath. And she insisted on $7K more than our salary offering. Which . . . you'd like . . .?

C. Well, no, I only —

I. Come on, now! You've gotten this far. Starts at $73,750. That work?

C. It's just fine.

I. All right! Thank you, I'll let you know in a day or so.

C. Thank you very much, Mr. —

I. Oh, wait, before you go. I've got it typed right in Google, from your resume. Bunch of pages to read, don't have time for them all. It's the one at the top? With the title about a "Lich King"?

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