The allure of video games is escapism, as well as having fun. However, there is a lot more to be gained from tackling virtual worlds be it in 2D, 3D, or VR (virtual reality). That is the skills you can learn, without even knowing it. Furthermore, these skills can translate to improve your CX skills (Customer Experience skills) or even EX (Employee Experience).
Let us take you on an adventure where we cover:
- The unseen benefits of playing videos games when you were younger (if you did).
- Playing games now.
- How the skills you indirectly gained from gaming can be used in real-life regarding CX and EX.
Unseen/ subconscious benefits of playing video games in your youth
Everyone has heard the old saying that video games improve hand-eye coordination. This makes sense since your hands, or in many cases, fingertips react to what your eyes see on the screen. However, video games added a lot more skills that you may have not known about. Even in your youth.
One of the skills that you have learnt without knowing it is problem-solving. To get over obstacles to reach the goal. This creates a form of thinking that can be applied to CX and EX.
Let’s use Super Mario Bros as an example. In the 2D platformer, you can only move left and right, as well as jump. This means that you have to figure out when to jump to avoid or kill enemies, get over gaps, etc. Later you can get a power-up in the form of fire. This adds another layer to your problem-solving abilities.
Adding gaming thinking to CX
If we apply this to CX you are given tools and a set of skills that you have to use to solve a problem. It may not be literally jumping over enemies, but it is about planning on how to get the task done to reach the goal. While you were playing the game you were learning how to think strategically and look for the best outcome.
Furthermore, different types of games can offer different ways of solving problems. The best example would be strategy type of games such as Age of Empires II. There the whole point of the game is to do something, something reacts to what you have done, and then you react to fix it.
Much like in business.
Another way games from your youth could also have helped you improve your CX skills, is when you had to interact with other characters. This is best seen in RPG (role-playing games) where you had to talk to NPCs (non-playable characters) to get a task to do. This gameplay interaction could have taught you how to make decisions to get the best outcomes.
This can be seen in the game LA Noire where the whole purpose of the game is that you play a detective who is tasked with seeing if NPCs are lying. This is seen through the way the animation (their body language) is shown. The technology used to make the game is filming and digitizing live actors to get the small details of their facial expressions (such as avoiding eye contact when in a lie) as well as their body language (such as their body’s tension up when your in-game character is close to the truth).
Benefits of playing online games now
Not everyone had access to video games in their youth. Nowadays you have the ability to play a majority of games you would ever want to. This is due to Stream for PC, multiple consoles, as well as websites that offer old-school games online. One major thing that is different from gaming back in the day to now is that the internet is faster, more stable than ever before. This means that there is online gaming. This is where you can really improve your CX skills.
You would be interacting with people from all over the world. This can give you a slight insight into how different people from different walks of life think and interact. This can be great in a group situation where you have to work together to get a task done. Such as in Grand Theft Auto 5 heists.
This gameplay lets you and your team make a plan on how to get an item. Therefore, this includes strategy, planning, teamwork as well as communication. Much needed skills for CX. However, if you are playing online games where the whole point is just to communicate, such as VRChat.
These types of games are where you can really learn about people since you are interacting with them through avatars. There is a person behind the game character that you talk to in real-time. From this interaction, you can hear how they think, what their interests are, etc. Much like a real-life conversation except it is in a virtual world.
Playing in the metaverse
VRChat is an example of a metaverse where you connect to the virtual world with a headset, and you can create or choose your favourite character to be your avatar or even a digital version of yourself. However, the metaverse aims to be more than socializing with having virtual meetings, business teams achieving goals, etc. VRChat is just about hanging out.
As well as be a safe space to share ideas outside of work. It is a safe space for people who are on the spectrum, shy or have social anxiety. Talking online gives people time to respond, meaning that they do not have to reply straight away. You can view it as a conversation exercise on what to say, how to say it, and when. This can be later applied to interacting with customers in real life allowing you to gain a 360-degree view of them.
Video game skills used in real-life regarding EX and CX
Some people would rather attend workshops, etc. However, some may be introverted, or cannot afford to go to these workshops. Therefore, learning the skills through gaming could suit them better. Plus, you are learning subconscious skills. Gaming is just about having fun where the outcome can be gaining skills without you even knowing it.
But let’s talk shop. While we have highlighted the different types of skills that video games have and can give you there is a lot more into it. These skills not only apply to CX but can also be used for EX. If you are a leader in a game then you would want to know how to motivate your team, as well as to keep them on track. Maybe even step in when things, in the game, go wrong.
This can apply to a team leader/ employer in real-life. You have to motivate, help keep your co-workers on track, as well as to step in to fix issues. Plus, communication is a bigger factor in not only CX but also EX. You would want to know how to talk to people and when to talk to them.
This may seem simple in theory, but theory and practice are two different things. The theory is often easier, it is just words. Putting it into action is the hard part.
Furthermore, the skills that you learn from playing video games, be it online or not, do not only apply to team leaders or employers. It can also be used by employees. As into improving your CX skills such as communication skills, teamwork, problem-solving, etc.
Games can impact the CX industry not only in terms of skills you have gained, or subconsciously learnt, but also due to gamification. This is where you take game mechanics and put them on your site to get people to engage with the content. Gamification can help customers feel a sense of achievement by hitting milestones, having control over their process and it can also intrigue them to stay longer. Check out this article for more information.
Last Level to improve your CX skills
Therefore, there was a lot that you have gained from gaming, in your youth (if you did) and even now (if you want to) that can have a positive impact on your CX skills as well as EX. However, the best practice when it comes to improving your EX or CX skills is by researching and interacting with people. Video games can be seen as a starting point for these types of interactions.
But you cannot deny the appeal of being able to speak to people that you would not be able to meet face to face due to the online world of gaming. If you ask the right questions, such as their views on businesses, you can get a real insight into how certain people think.
So, grab your headset, your gaming PC or favourite console and get your game on to improve your CX skills. For the betterment of CX and EX.