Business Acumen: Can Gaming Help Build Skills?
When it comes to gaining the skills and insights necessary to take your business to the next level, the best method is experience. Regardless of an entrepreneur’s background, educational experience, and work history within the industry, there’s no substitute for experience.
This unfortunate truth means that certain skill sets can’t be developed quickly. Only time, effort, and discipline can fill in these educational gaps. However, regardless of which industry you work in, there are a few ways that you can supplement and expedite this process. Best of all, one of these methods is playing games.
Though it might not sound intuitive, there are tons of games that touch on the skills and acumen that successful businesspeople develop. Some of these are geared specifically toward entrepreneurs, while others are simply relevant to running a business. Let’s explore which games can be used to develop business skills in a passive sense while you focus on gaining more experience.
Blackjack: Probabilities & Risk Assessment
Let’s kick off this list with the oldest game on it: blackjack. This popular card game can be found online, where platforms host virtual titles playable by thousands of people worldwide. Though not all of them are thinking about business when they sit down to play, they’ll be sharpening their probability-based thinking and their risk assessment skills.
Because blackjack is played with a set amount of cards, observant players can weigh the probability of hitting a certain card based on the game’s outlook and the cards they have. Along with weighing probabilities, blackjack players also assess the risk of each potential move, whether hitting, splitting, or folding.
Tycoon Simulations: Resource Management & Expansion
Simulations are incredibly popular games, including titles like The Sims franchise, Rollercoaster Tycoon, and Zoo Tycoon. These simulation games task players with building a successful business or stepping into the shoes of a ‘tycoon’.
Unsurprisingly, there are tons of business lessons to be learned in these games—regardless of which type of simulation you gravitate toward. To succeed, players must carefully manage their resources, meet the needs of their constituents, and then expand to grow their business reach.
Civilization Franchise: Competitive Growth & Negotiation
Let’s step into a similar simulation. In tycoon simulations, players are looking to build and expand a business. However, in the Civilization franchise (such as Civ VI, for example), players must expand a civilization that’s based on a real-life empire. This puts players into the shoes of an emperor—but they’ll need to balance dozens of considerations just like any modern entrepreneur.
Specifically, they must learn to negotiate with other empires to set up lucrative deals. Similarly, they must expand their reach using organizational skills and planning skills—all without stepping on another civilization’s toes. Here, there’s more interpersonal drama to wade through, which can be incredibly helpful for businesspeople who lack social skills.
EVE Online: Market Analysis & Expansion
EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game that takes players into the farthest reaches of space. Specifically, it allows them to explore over 7,800 star systems in one of the world’s most expansive open-world games. The emphasis is on scale, complexity, and player freedom. Players can choose from multiple paths, battling others or the environment.
They can choose to become manufacturers, explorers, traders, and more. These highly nuanced, complex, and personalized approaches allow players to stake their claim in this fictional world with a massive degree of realism. In other words, it’s like a separate universe. Depending on what type of role a player takes on, they can fully simulate careers working with an established market, unique production lines, and much more.
A Customized Approach: Specific Business Simulators
If you’re looking for a tighter relationship between business skills and gaming, then you can also look into business simulators. Unlike others on this list, these games were developed specifically for businesspeople. The goal is to introduce them to a new industry and let them get started without making real-life mistakes. These include games like Youtubers Life, Virtonomics, and even Football Manager.