What is objective based gaming, and why is it a great model for achieving goals in real life?

I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I can guess – gaming, the same thing that drives people to stay up all night shouting expletives in foreign languages into their headsets, being relevant to productivity? Sounds ridiculous. Well, it is ridiculous – but it’s also true.

You may or may not have heard the term “objective based gaming” before, but I’ll assume you haven’t. There are several types of multiplayer team-based games, and two of the most predominant are deathmatch and objective based gaming (OBG). You can read an article about this stuff on GiantBomb.

Deathmatch games such as Quake, Unreal Tournament, and Halo are classically simple in their design. You have two – or more – teams. These teams duke it out. Whoever reaches X kills first, or gets more kills before the timer runs out, wins. This is the kind of game that tends to reward individual skill more than collaborative play, as one good player can carry a bad team to victory.

OBG games such as League of Legends, DotA 2, and World of Warcraft are very different. You’re on a team, and you have to work together to accomplish a task or series of tasks. If you are exceptionally skilled, you may be able to pull a bad team to victory, but if even one person decides they aren’t interested in contributing or does not pull their weight, you are almost certainly doomed to fail.

You can think of an objective-based game as a hyper-condensed version of life. In your life you have to manage resources, work with currency, and complete tasks. If you can improve your efficiency in-game and then extrapolate the strategies you learned by doing so to the rest of your life, then you will be better prepared to accomplish your objectives.

The patience, persistence, and action/time management that participating in a 25-man raid requires makes working with a group for a classic project seem like nothing. Successfully organizing and leading an unruly raid group requires graduate levels of management skills.The ability to not tilt, even when your teammates make the worst decisions possible, can be vital when dealing with that one coworker who you just can’t do anything about.

At USG, we’re all trying to get the skills we need to succeed. Why not get some from video games, and have some fun while we’re at it?

I’m definitely not trying to use this blog post as a platform to validate and legitimize the countless hours I’ve spent playing video games – I would never do such a thing.

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