It’s common knowledge that video games improve hand eye coordination and reflexes, and are a great way to relieve stress. Science is always trying to prove different health and psychological benefits from playing video games, but did you know that extremely hard games like Dark Souls can actually help you have a successful career?
Recently, there has been a shift in most major industries away from the importance of a worker’s IQ and educational background to an employee’s Emotional Intelligence.
A person’s emotional intelligence involves:
- noticing details
- making judgement calls
- producing creative solutions to problems
- controlling emotions
- remaining calm under pressure
- many employers now look at an person’s emotional intelligence as a factor in hiring, promotions, and other major decisions.
So how does Dark Souls tie into all this?
Stay Alert, Stay Alive
One of the first lessons every player learns in Dark Souls is making the right judgement calls under pressure. Should you dodge this attack, try to block, or go on the offensive and attack? By making the wrong judgement call, you are punished with a swift death.
So how do you make the right judgement calls? By paying attention to the details and learning from your mistakes. Just like in Dark Souls, you will encounter tasks in your job over and over, giving you the chance to learn from mistakes and look for patterns. This leads to fewer mistakes made and a better job performance.
By playing Dark Souls, you are developing the skills to recognize potential threats. This is something employers are always looking for. Recognizing a potential risk or opportunity and alerting company leadership demonstrates an eye for detail and proper initiative.
Creative Problem Solving
Another lesson learned from Dark Souls; the apparent solution is the wrong solution. That’s why the game has such a steep learning curve. Most games now point you to the problem, hand you a solution and say “Put these two together and you win!” Dark Souls, on the other hand, says, “Here is a giant monster that can and will kill you. Good Luck.”
This forces the player to find creative solutions.
Employers for years have been looking for workers with creative problem solving. This is why schools have increased focus on teaching problem solving . Being able to take a problem a company has and independently find the solution makes employees more valuable.
Pressure, Pressing Down on Me
How do you act under pressure? Most people don’t stay calm and focused. Instead, they become stressed, angry, depressed, or apathetic.
Yet what is a Dark Souls game filled with? Pressure and stress. What do you have to do to win the game? You have to calm and focused.
One beautiful aspect of Dark Souls is that if you get angry, you lose focus and the cycle of dying increases exponentially. It forces you to take a step back, calm down, and return later to tackle your problem.
This is also the best approach to stressful situations at work. If you feel your emotions slipping negatively, take a minute and calm down. Refocusing on the problem after you have regained composure opens you up to new ideas and allows creative problem solving.
High amounts of stress can cripple an office environment, and by demonstrating the skills to handle pressure and stress shows upper management that you have the skills needed for more important tasks and maybe a more stressful and more rewarding position.
Applying Dark Souls
Simply playing the game isn’t enough to be successful, you have to mindfully apply the lessons you’ve learned. Be conscious of your surroundings, pay attention to details and try to control your emotions. Put as much work into researching solutions to problems at work as you do planning out how to beat the next boss. This practical application is what will truly improve your emotional intelligence and open up the way to a successful career.