Crossover Lessons: Business & Finance Tips from Gaming

When it comes to professional sectors, business and finance often go hand-in-hand. To succeed in one field, a person should have a strong grasp of the other. Similarly, the skills it takes to excel in either include plenty of crossovers. Entrepreneurs and finance buffs should be analytical, thorough, and innovative, and have plenty of leadership and communication skills.

On top of these basic abilities, business and finance professionals should also have unique skills. Those working in finance need to handle data well, understand technology, and have an aptitude for studying markets. Those working in business must be able to network, think strategically for the long term, and organize their time well.

For the most part, these skills are developed incrementally over time. As professionals gain more experience, their breadth of knowledge grows. But if you like to game, you might actually be learning your lessons earlier than your peers. In fact, though created solely with recreation in mind, many digital and video games can impart useful skills to players.

Keep reading for a few of the most valuable lessons that games provide for those who work in business and finance.

From Poker: Handling Uncertainty

Though it’s not a traditional video game, online poker is one of the most-played digital titles in the world—and that’s because it challenges players in all the right ways. For those who haven’t explored the rules, the game’s premise is simple: have the highest-ranking hand in the game when it’s time for the showdown or bluff your way into forcing other players to fold.

As the game advances, players must work with subtle cues that hint whether their hand stands a chance of winning. This teaches them to make decisions efficiently and quickly while handling unknowns. They must be able to weigh and evaluate the game at every turn, which is a highly valuable skill for business and finance professionals who are working with shifting and sometimes unpredictable markets.

From Football Manager: Succeeding with Limitations

From Football Manager - Succeeding with limitationsGames like Football Manager, also known as a management simulation, are highly popular. Just like poker, they’re not a ‘traditional’ video game but are nonetheless one of the world’s most popular categories. That’s because they put players into the shoes of professional sports managers.

These managers must work with limited budgets to craft the most skilled and dangerous lineup. Unsurprisingly, this can teach players a lot about how to work with limited resources and build a successful franchise by allocating those resources correctly. Plus, the pro sports industry provides plenty of different considerations to juggle, from trainers to players to matchups.

From Age of Empires: Scaling

Let’s stick with the concept of working with limited resources for a second. Many business and finance professionals are expected to turn a meager start into a flourishing success—but how can they do that? A real-time strategy (RTS) game like Age of Empires can help develop the finer skills related to managing resources and scaling.

This game puts players into the shoes of an emperor who must grow their empire as enemy forces do the same—which pairs well with an open market economy. The game teaches players how to strategically build a stronghold with consideration to various enemies, imparting the value of understanding competitors and tailoring an approach to take them down.

From The Sims: Juggling the Balance

This example might seem a bit far-fetched. The Sims, at its simplest, is a life simulation game that requires players to keep their characters alive. Along the way, they’re allowed to customize almost every experience their character will have. And while the game doesn’t take itself too seriously, it can teach business and finance professionals the ins and outs of balancing work and life.

This is especially true for their employees. After all, business and finance professionals must work in highly complex markets that are often driven by numbers—but they’ll need a strong team around them to succeed. The Sims reminds players that there’s a lot that goes into leading a well-rounding and balanced life, which is an outlook that they should incorporate into their work lives.