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Is gaming a dirty secret in the business world?

ReusableGoreReusableGore Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
I am a senior in college, I will graduate with an accounting degree next May. This semester I have started my college's recruiting process to find an internship/job and have started brushing elbows with the top students I am competing with and recruiters for various firms. I am conflicted because I feel like my gaming history and interests would be a very bad thing to mention to a recruiter.

Gaming has been such a big part of my life there is no doubt in my mind it has helped make me who I am today. To leave that off a resume or not mention once seems not only dishonest, but disloyal to myself and the hobby. I have tried giving gaming up to become more professional, but I never can. While other students are out earning merit badges to put on their resume I'm home playing Civilization.

Are my feelings correct here? Would mentioning gaming be risking a job? Will it be something I have to hide my entire career?

ReusableGore on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I don't see why you would ever mention it in the first place. If in doubt, leave it out.

    Esh on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    i'd only mention it if it's relevant to any potential role. sure, if you're applying for a job at scea or bioware, wear it proud; but a tax job at an accounting firm? not so much.

    and it's not about gaming being a 'dirty secret'. i'm a passionate amatuer cook, and love nothing more than to experiment with my risotto recipes and masala spices; that doesn't mean i'm going to highlight it on my resume when i'm seeking unrelated jobs in publishing

    bsjezz on
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    ReusableGoreReusableGore Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i'd only mention it if it's relevant to any potential role. sure, if you're applying for a job at scea or bioware, wear it proud; but a tax job at an accounting firm? not so much.

    and it's not about gaming being a 'dirty secret'. i'm a passionate amatuer cook, and love nothing more than to experiment with my risotto recipes and masala spices; that doesn't mean i'm going to highlight it on my resume when i'm seeking unrelated jobs in publishing


    Sure, but you could mention loving to cook in an interview and probably get a positive reaction. Gaming, probably not.

    ReusableGore on
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    GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i'd only mention it if it's relevant to any potential role. sure, if you're applying for a job at scea or bioware, wear it proud; but a tax job at an accounting firm? not so much.

    and it's not about gaming being a 'dirty secret'. i'm a passionate amatuer cook, and love nothing more than to experiment with my risotto recipes and masala spices; that doesn't mean i'm going to highlight it on my resume when i'm seeking unrelated jobs in publishing


    Sure, but you could mention loving to cook in an interview and probably get a positive reaction. Gaming, probably not.

    I see that more of a creator vs consumer issue

    If you wrote games in your free time, then it might be something interesting to talk about; talking about how you enjoy playing games, though, is like mentioning that you enjoy going out to restaurants to eat - who cares? Other than showing that you have free time and spend it doing something you enjoy, it doesn't tell them that you're motivated, or that you're creative, or that you can collaborate with people to create something.

    Gdiguy on
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    CooterTKECooterTKE Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I interview people for my company and I can honestly say that gaming has never come up and pretty much would only come up if someone asked you what you like to do on your free time. Gaming in my opinion would not be answer that would knock you out but would not put you on the top of the list.

    CooterTKE on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Gdiguy wrote: »
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i'd only mention it if it's relevant to any potential role. sure, if you're applying for a job at scea or bioware, wear it proud; but a tax job at an accounting firm? not so much.

    and it's not about gaming being a 'dirty secret'. i'm a passionate amatuer cook, and love nothing more than to experiment with my risotto recipes and masala spices; that doesn't mean i'm going to highlight it on my resume when i'm seeking unrelated jobs in publishing


    Sure, but you could mention loving to cook in an interview and probably get a positive reaction. Gaming, probably not.

    I see that more of a creator vs consumer issue

    If you wrote games in your free time, then it might be something interesting to talk about; talking about how you enjoy playing games, though, is like mentioning that you enjoy going out to restaurants to eat - who cares? Other than showing that you have free time and spend it doing something you enjoy, it doesn't tell them that you're motivated, or that you're creative, or that you can collaborate with people to create something.

    Esh on
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    HeirHeir Ausitn, TXRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I wouldn't mention any non-work related activities unless the application/interviewer asks what you like to do outside of work.

    I don't think there's some stigma against being a gamer. Heck at my company we have a chatroom specifically for all the people who play WoW.

    Heir on
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    ReusableGoreReusableGore Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Gdiguy wrote: »
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i'd only mention it if it's relevant to any potential role. sure, if you're applying for a job at scea or bioware, wear it proud; but a tax job at an accounting firm? not so much.

    and it's not about gaming being a 'dirty secret'. i'm a passionate amatuer cook, and love nothing more than to experiment with my risotto recipes and masala spices; that doesn't mean i'm going to highlight it on my resume when i'm seeking unrelated jobs in publishing


    Sure, but you could mention loving to cook in an interview and probably get a positive reaction. Gaming, probably not.

    I see that more of a creator vs consumer issue

    If you wrote games in your free time, then it might be something interesting to talk about; talking about how you enjoy playing games, though, is like mentioning that you enjoy going out to restaurants to eat - who cares? Other than showing that you have free time and spend it doing something you enjoy, it doesn't tell them that you're motivated, or that you're creative, or that you can collaborate with people to create something.


    I have competed professionally, won tournaments, led guilds, created maps/add-ons, etc. One of the reasons I love gaming so much is the ability to create and compete, limited only by your imagination.

    Gaming could be used to show creativity, motivation, and collaboration all at the same time! It just seems to have a harsh stigma surrounding it that makes it an up-hill climb.

    ReusableGore on
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    EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Gdiguy wrote: »

    I see that more of a creator vs consumer issue

    If you wrote games in your free time, then it might be something interesting to talk about; talking about how you enjoy playing games, though, is like mentioning that you enjoy going out to restaurants to eat - who cares? Other than showing that you have free time and spend it doing something you enjoy, it doesn't tell them that you're motivated, or that you're creative, or that you can collaborate with people to create something.


    Not sure I'd agree w that 100%

    I do agree showing creativity has more merit. But most people could talk about how they enjoy watching mainstream sports with a hiring manager/recruiter and no one would bat an eyelash at it. Gaming, to many people, still caries a connotation of immaturity with it.

    EclecticGroove on
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    TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    There's no reason to put it on your resume. Your resume should be one page, 12pt font, front only. I don't see how you'd have room for gaming.

    Let me put it this way: I can play three different musical instruments fluently, and I can speak, read, and write Latin. These are pretty interesting skills that also have no real place on my resume as a mechanical engineer. If they come up during an interview or conversation, you can certainly mention it, but unless it's some sort of achievement that's both relevant to the job and something that's not mundane, I'd leave it off.

    Terrendos on
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    EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Motorcycles. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Gdiguy wrote: »
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i'd only mention it if it's relevant to any potential role. sure, if you're applying for a job at scea or bioware, wear it proud; but a tax job at an accounting firm? not so much.

    and it's not about gaming being a 'dirty secret'. i'm a passionate amatuer cook, and love nothing more than to experiment with my risotto recipes and masala spices; that doesn't mean i'm going to highlight it on my resume when i'm seeking unrelated jobs in publishing


    Sure, but you could mention loving to cook in an interview and probably get a positive reaction. Gaming, probably not.

    I see that more of a creator vs consumer issue

    If you wrote games in your free time, then it might be something interesting to talk about; talking about how you enjoy playing games, though, is like mentioning that you enjoy going out to restaurants to eat - who cares? Other than showing that you have free time and spend it doing something you enjoy, it doesn't tell them that you're motivated, or that you're creative, or that you can collaborate with people to create something.


    I have competed professionally, won tournaments, led guilds, created maps/add-ons, etc. One of the reasons I love gaming so much is the ability to create and compete, limited only by your imagination.

    Gaming could be used to show creativity, motivation, and collaboration all at the same time! It just seems to have a harsh stigma surrounding it that makes it an up-hill climb.

    Unless the interviewer is part of the gaming community, he's probably going to look at you like you're fucking nuts.

    Esh on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    not necessarily. interviews are more about social interaction and repoire - cooking might be generally unobjectionable, but video games too could be real leverage to build a healthy relationship even in a business context. it just takes good circumstantial judgment.

    bsjezz on
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    splashsplash Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    bsjezz wrote: »
    i'd only mention it if it's relevant to any potential role. sure, if you're applying for a job at scea or bioware, wear it proud; but a tax job at an accounting firm? not so much.

    and it's not about gaming being a 'dirty secret'. i'm a passionate amatuer cook, and love nothing more than to experiment with my risotto recipes and masala spices; that doesn't mean i'm going to highlight it on my resume when i'm seeking unrelated jobs in publishing


    Sure, but you could mention loving to cook in an interview and probably get a positive reaction. Gaming, probably not.

    You have a point. Gaming may not relate at all or may relate negatively to some people. There's a stereotype that someone who plays games a lot may not be able to socialize well, or will waste time at work, or is lazy. But I think this is due to a generational gap, not because people are in business or not. If it doesn't relate to the job I'd leave it off as people have said. I've even sometimes kept gaming off the interests of my facebook profile because certain people can stereotype you sooo wrong.

    Also, cooking is a skill, not really in the category of entertainment, so it's just gonna seem more impressive. If you want to mention gaming, mention a positive aspect of it such as getting together with friends to play games. Anyone will be likely to be able to relate to that!

    splash on
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    TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Gdiguy wrote: »

    I see that more of a creator vs consumer issue

    If you wrote games in your free time, then it might be something interesting to talk about; talking about how you enjoy playing games, though, is like mentioning that you enjoy going out to restaurants to eat - who cares? Other than showing that you have free time and spend it doing something you enjoy, it doesn't tell them that you're motivated, or that you're creative, or that you can collaborate with people to create something.


    Not sure I'd agree w that 100%

    I do agree showing creativity has more merit. But most people could talk about how they enjoy watching mainstream sports with a hiring manager/recruiter and no one would bat an eyelash at it. Gaming, to many people, still caries a connotation of immaturity with it.

    The question is, when? After they've hired you? Sure, you can talk about it. But nobody puts "Sports Enthusiast" or "Fantasy Football Expert" on their resume. If they ask what you do in your free time, being honest and saying "I play video games" probably isn't going to hurt you. But there is no reason to volunteer any information unless you're asked about it. And putting anything on your resume that's not 100% applicable to the job you're applying for is a bad idea.

    Terrendos on
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    CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Your hobbies are vastly less important to employers than your knowledge, education, experience and skills.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
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    EclecticGrooveEclecticGroove Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Terrendos wrote: »


    The question is, when? After they've hired you? Sure, you can talk about it. But nobody puts "Sports Enthusiast" or "Fantasy Football Expert" on their resume. If they ask what you do in your free time, being honest and saying "I play video games" probably isn't going to hurt you. But there is no reason to volunteer any information unless you're asked about it. And putting anything on your resume that's not 100% applicable to the job you're applying for is a bad idea.


    I agree neither has a place in a resume (unless in a related field), but people can talk about their sports team(s) of preference or just general sports talk and it's accepted as a norm. Maybe the guy interviewing you doesn't care for that sport/team or even sports in general, but it's not going to really influence his opinion of you unless you go off the deep end of the pool with it... IE: A raving sports nutjob.

    Even mentioning you are an avid gamer can inspire looks of disdain from many people. It's nowhere near as bad as it used to be, but it's still not something you can mention and be sure that it will, at the least, be a neutral impact.

    EclecticGroove on
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    ReusableGoreReusableGore Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Corvus wrote: »
    Your hobbies are vastly less important to employers than your knowledge, education, experience and skills.


    The situation I'm in, the assumption is that all applicants have the same knowledge and ability. You have to have a 3.5 before most of these recruiters will even talk to you. What these firms are interested in is who/what you are beyond that ability everyone else has. I went to a recruiting event last week and one of the most popular questions I was asked was, "What do you do when not working?"

    ReusableGore on
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    kuhlmeyekuhlmeye Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I play games. I enjoy them. I will gladly talk about them with people at work who share my interests. Hell, I've even played MW2 with co-workers.

    Despite this, I would never put gaming on my resume, or bring it up voluntarily in an interview. First reason: It is in no way a real marketable skill. This has been said earlier, but I feel it should be brought up again.

    Secondly: Though many people play games, and enjoy them (like I said, I talk with my co-workers about games we play), they do still carry a social stigma, especially in the professional world. I agree with Esh that if you were to tell your interviewer that you have won professional gaming tourneys you would probably be passed up for someone who won a design award, or spent the summer at an internship gaining work experience.

    Gaming is something I would wait to talk about until you can get a gauge on your co-workers to see if they share your interest in it.

    kuhlmeye on
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    LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Gaming in the general business world is not acceptable. Its just not. Keep quiet until you own the place, and then for a while after (that's what I'm doing). If I want to take a day off to go golfing, everyone says "have fun." If I wanted to take a day off to play Halo, people would look at me like I was going to a NAMBLA meeting.

    It is creeping towards acceptability right now. The dance around the subject is funny, because a lot of people won't own up to it initially, but when someone else makes the first comment outside of "mixed" company a lot of people will admit to gaming, whether it's Madden, Farmville or "core" gaming. 20 Years from now? I'm hoping that its an acceptable coroprate expense to take a big client out for round of Rock Band X.

    LaPuzza on
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    LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Corvus wrote: »
    Your hobbies are vastly less important to employers than your knowledge, education, experience and skills.


    The situation I'm in, the assumption is that all applicants have the same knowledge and ability. You have to have a 3.5 before most of these recruiters will even talk to you. What these firms are interested in is who/what you are beyond that ability everyone else has. I went to a recruiting event last week and one of the most popular questions I was asked was, "What do you do when not working?"

    It seems you have already reached a decision about what you are going to do, so I am not sure why you asked H&A in the first place, even when everyone is telling you that it's not relevant.

    It's OK to like games. It's OK to like gangsta rap. It's OK to get really fucking drunk at football matches and yell obscenities. Some people will respond to each one, some won't. It's not worth mentioning unless you're specifically asked. None of it is relevant to almost all job applications.

    I understand your reasoning, but you're gambling on short odds. The "what do you do when not working" question really translates to "prove to me you have a passion for this particular job". They don't care about what you do outside of work unless it directly helps you inside of work. In Computer Science positions, a right answer would be "I work on an open-source project." A wrong answer is "I play a lot of games," even though it seems like it might be a good reply.

    Lewisham on
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    starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'm in the same spot as you, accounting degree in may (Although I am battling to get my GPA high enough so a b4 'cruiter will slobber all over me). I wouldn't mention it because honestly, B4 isn't going to really give a shit unless it, as lewis said, shows a passion for your job or makes you really unique in their eyes.

    A couple examples for my situation: I love cooking so much that I went to culinary school. It helped me become a better leader, more efficient in my activities, and improved my communication skills. (Notice the point isn't that I like to cook, but that it made me a better prospective employee)

    Another is that I enjoy reading accounting blogs and following accounting and financial news. It keeps me up to date on changing economic conditions.

    The only real risk is that you're giving someone pointless information. I could tell the recruiter that I'm a big sports fan, but unless he likes Tennis/Football/MMA that part of the conversation is going to go no where.

    starmanbrand on
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    CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Corvus wrote: »
    Your hobbies are vastly less important to employers than your knowledge, education, experience and skills.


    The situation I'm in, the assumption is that all applicants have the same knowledge and ability. You have to have a 3.5 before most of these recruiters will even talk to you. What these firms are interested in is who/what you are beyond that ability everyone else has. I went to a recruiting event last week and one of the most popular questions I was asked was, "What do you do when not working?"

    And this is where you tell them what they want to hear. Gaming will not be it. You need to come up with an answer that tells them positive things about you that anyone can understand. You need to mention activities and interests that they will mentally be able to see at an instant the positive attributes those things have that translate to the work world.

    That 3.5 requirement? That's not an assumption that everyone is equally skilled or able. It's a simple way to limit the pool, not an assumption that you're all equal.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
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    NostregarNostregar Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I was in this same position recently when interviewing for a job and they asked what I like to do in my free time. I considered for a moment whether to leave video games out or not, and decided to just do what made sense: mention video games along with all the other things I like to do.

    I think the main thing here is that there is nothing wrong with playing games and they probably won't care at all that you do, provided that isn't the only thing you say.

    Give a couple of answers, not just games and you'll probably be fine. If you go on a long rant about how much you love games, you spend all your time playing them, you run guilds, you make mods, etc etc they will probably think you're crazy. If you mention that you like to play video games and also do X, Y, and Z it won't be a big deal.


    Edit: Also, after I mentioned games in my interview the CEO I was interviewing with went on to ask me what games I play and what appeals to me about them. It can provide a good opening to talk about other things, such as planning ability (RTSes), good snap judgement (FPSes), or leadership ability (guilds) provided you don't push it and you let the interviewer bring it up. If you mention it and they ignore it, don't bring it up again. However, it's not a bad thing to mention in case they are interested in discussing it.

    Nostregar on
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    LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Nostregar wrote: »
    Give a couple of answers, not just games and you'll probably be fine. If you go on a long rant about how much you love games, you spend all your time playing them, you run guilds, you make mods, etc etc they will probably think you're crazy. If you mention that you like to play video games and also do X, Y, and Z it won't be a big deal.

    A lot of old guys in suits* will also think that your gaming will cut into your work time, because you spend all your time playing those "addictive Warcraft Worlds online games"
    * lol sweeping overgeneralization lol

    Lewisham on
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    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Pretty much what Nost said. It's not your goal to show the corporate world that gaming is a legitimate and valuable hobby; it's your goal to get hired. Whether or not the (fading) stigma against gamers is warranted or not, it's not helpful to ignore that as of today, videogames are not viewed by greater society as being equal to sports enthusiasm. That'll change when more people like you are behind the hiring guy's chair.

    KalTorak on
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    DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    There was an article a year or two ago on how hiring agencies were being told specifically to avoid people who played WoW, if that information was discovered, because statistically WoW players were less reliable.

    Darkewolfe on
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    Dropping LoadsDropping Loads Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Another way to think about it: What is your expected value here?

    If you mention gaming, there is a very small chance that the person hiring you will have a positive response above and beyond what they would have had if you didn't mention it. There is a bigger likelihood that the recruiter will have a problem with it. There is far greater value to be gained by not mentioning it.

    Look, you're bringing this question to the Penny Arcade forums, the most gaming-friendly crowd in existence, and we're telling you it's not a good idea. Do you really think a random recruiter is going to be MORE positive than us?

    It's an awesome hobby, and it sucks that people don't realize the positive qualities of thought and dedication that gaming can generate, but looking for a job is not the time to try to shake up the system. Do that after you get hired =).

    Dropping Loads on
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    CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I wouldn't put anything gaming-related on your resume or bring it up in an interview unless it is specifically relevant—the same goes for any hobby, though. Don't go into an interview with the attitude that you're a "gamer", either—any more than you would go into an interview thinking you're a martial artist or a gardener (again, unless it's specifically relevant). No one wants to hire someone who's built his identity on playing games, so try not to give that impression.

    In my experience it's not particularly frowned upon in the working world; you won't have to deliberately hide it or anything. I played StarCraft with 3 other guys (all of them more senior than I am) from my project team yesterday, and a few from elsewhere in the company. I did not mention this on my resume when seeking the position, however.

    CycloneRanger on
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    RikushixRikushix VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I think we can all agree that there's a difference between the resume and the interview. If it's not relevant to the job, don't bother putting it on the resume. As for the interview however, it's very common to get asked questions that may influence work but not have much relevance to it. If an HR rep asks you what you do in your spare time, be honest. I wouldn't say "it can't hurt", because who knows, it might, but you could say that about anything you bring up in an interview. It's a great opportunity to bring to the table things that you feel are strengths but are unrelated to your employment skills and education level.

    Rikushix on
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    TerrendosTerrendos Decorative Monocle Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    But definitely don't lie. If they ask you point blank if you play video games and you say "no," then they catch some reference to you playing video games while Googling your name, that is very bad.

    Terrendos on
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    CycloneRangerCycloneRanger Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Terrendos wrote: »
    But definitely don't lie. If they ask you point blank if you play video games and you say "no," then they catch some reference to you playing video games while Googling your name, that is very bad.
    Unless you're trying to work for a certain crazy lawyer, they're not going to ask you that.

    Do not bring it up in the interview unless you can sound really smart while discussing it. If you can't, pick another of your hobbies to talk about when they ask that question.

    CycloneRanger on
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    baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Seriously, do not bring it up. I've been in the position of being a hiring manager before, and I have specifically dismissed an applicant from consideration because he was wearing an Ultima Online logo pin on his lapel; it's a red flag that says "I have a hobby that has a good potential of keeping me up late at nights and making it so I come to work tired and/or late"

    baudattitude on
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    Cultural Geek GirlCultural Geek Girl Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    MMOs are definitely stigmatized more than any other kind of gaming. There have been WSJ articles about not hiring WoW players. And I have to say it's not groundless... a lot of high end raiders treat their MMOs like a second job, and no boss wants you moonlighting for no money with a bunch of orcs. Unless you are applying for an MMO-related position, DO NOT BRING UP MMOs.

    Also, video games are one of those hobbies that "normal" people often don't understand - like comics or D&D or anime. When I'm applying for a mundane job (especially in child care) I NEVER bring up the fact that I play D&D, even though it shows team building and an ability to plan, because there's a chance the person has negative associations. I do bring up the fact that I like board games and that I play Wii, because a lot of parents want someone their kids can identify with. It makes me seem hip and child-friendly while at the same time remaining utterly nonthreatening.

    Similarly, when I'm interviewing for a games-related position I talk about all the games I've played passionately, but I try not to gush too much over their direct competitors. You just have to learn to judge your audience.

    Cultural Geek Girl on
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    Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Just going to jump on the "don't bring it up" bandwagon. If they ask you about your hobbies, then mention the generic "video games" along with everything else on the list (e.g., "playing sports, hanging out with my friends, playing video games, reading, long walks on the beach").

    Don't bring up WoW specifically, and don't try to defend your hobby or convert someone into a believer. It's not your job. You don't have a job. Your job is to get a job. Gushing about your obsessive hobby will only hurt you, and 99.99% of the time, fairly or not, that's what it will look like.

    No one is saying hide who you are or never bring up video games or WoW. Just get the job first. Then feel free to talk about your hobbies with your colleagues. Just keep in mind that for many, there is a stigma, particularly among the older generations who didn't grow up with gaming. No one wants to hear their co-worker natter on about things they don't care about, whether it be WoW, chess, triathlon racing, or basket weaving. Don't bring it up unprompted, and don't feel obligated to talk about it in anything more than a cursory mention, and even if they ask you questions, don't get all defensive or go into too much detail.

    Inquisitor77 on
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    ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I would bring it up if the person interviewing you has a LocoRoco toy on their desk, but thats about it.

    Improvolone on
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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Heir wrote: »
    I don't think there's some stigma against being a gamer. Heck at my company we have a chatroom specifically for all the people who play WoW.

    See, this is far from typical. So far from typical that I know a Gamestop manager who, point blank, will only hire somebody who mentions they play an MMORPG if they don't raid, because it's hard to get raiders to take that last push before the raid reset off to come in and do a midnight launch.

    There's enough of a stigma against video games that there's even a stigma amongst gamers about "other" gamers, be they "kiddy" Wii games, casual facebook games, or 40 hour a week raid schedules.


    It's not the only hobby that's better not to mention. You'd be surprised the negative reaction that fishkeeping can get from most people.

    Hevach on
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    Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Another vote for don't bring it up. Definitely don't put it on your resume. If you are asked what you do in your free time, THEN you mention it if you feel comfortable, but only along with other things that are sure to sound good. When that question comes up for me I mention that I play video games if I'm speaking with younger people along with saying that I play guitar and saxophone, go to the gym, and do software dev on the side. Unfortunately, "All I do outside of work is video games" sounds like a lazy bum to most people even if they would be ok with "All I do is go to the gym" or "All I do is play my instruments". Thrown in with several other hobbies that show you're a well rounded person it usually does not hurt though.

    The type of game can also make a difference. Everywhere I have ever worked in the last 5-8 years if you said "I like to get on xbox live and play Halo <insert number here> a couple times/week with friends" there's a good chance the response would be "yeah, me too". Not so much with MMOs, other RPGs, etc.

    But really, as others have said, it's not going to come up unless you bring it up. I have ever only been asked about video games in one interview where some of the sample source code I provided the company was video game related.

    Jimmy King on
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    WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I'd say don't put it on a resume, but if they ask you in an interview mentioning it alongside a few other things wouldn't be bad. For example, "What do you like to do outside of work?" "Well, I like to cook, read __________, play videogames, and jog" wouldn't quite be career suicide.

    I think the main problem with it are the words 'play' and 'games' as they seem juvenile. There really isn't a good way to discuss them in a formal situation like a job interview. Personally I'd leave them out and then once hired see if anyone else in the office is into them.

    Wezoin on
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    NylonathetepNylonathetep Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    The thing about listing hobbies and interest is for the recruiter to see if your new hire can fit into the corporate culture. They want their new employees to fit in with whoever else they are hiring. Almost everyone needs to eat and eating out everyday is not viable so cooking is definitely a shared interest amongst the lunch table, and if you are a Canadian looking to get hired into middle management chances are having an interest in Hockey is very very positive because Hockey is so engraving into the culture of that generation (age 50 to 35).

    Ultimately everyone got a few unique skills, hobbies, and experiences. However the stuff you put on your resume is the things that you think your potential employer wants to hire you over and stuff that you can add positive value to the company. You shouldn't hand in the same resume for each job, but to change things a little to suit the needs and requirement of that particular position you are hiring (but don't lie) So in fact, depending on how the corporate culture of the company, playing video games might even be a positive depending on people you'll end up working with.

    Nylonathetep on
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    EggyToastEggyToast Jersey CityRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    As someone who just wrapped up an MBA, one of my marketing classes had a final class about personal branding. Some people criticize the word as fluffy nonsense, but it is a pretty important aspect for applying for jobs, contracts, or new positions. Unlike reputation or history, a "personal brand" is what you present to others for how you'd want to be seen. This means you need to have a strong understanding of what they will perceive based on the words you use.

    As an example, I play double bass. Not professionally, but as a hobby, and it's something that I'm quite happy about and I have improved significantly over the past couple years. Does this belong on a resume? It depends. Will the people doing the hiring value creativity? Will they have similar interests, or think it's "cool" even though they aren't into music? Some of the best resumes have surprising elements, but some of the worst will completely misjudge their target. If I dabble with guitar in a garage band, I would likely not put that on a resume because most people interpret playing guitar in a bar band as a juvenile hobby. Most people interpret "contrabass" as classical music, though, which implies intelligence and creativity. Would I clarify that I may actually play contrabass with a bar band? No, that's not the impression I would want to give.

    It's similar with video games. If I read on a resume "Hobbies: Video games," I would interpret it to mean that you view it as important in your life but that you would probably call out sick on launch days or potentially come in late after your raid days. If your resume stated instead "Hobbies: Amateur coding for video games," I would interpret that to mean that you like the challenge of learning more about the details of something you're interested in. Obviously the implication is that you also play video games, but it is not the central focus -- your creative input into the hobby is.

    A resume or interview is brief and should focus on the best qualities of you as a person, which also means that you should gloss over the boring or common stuff. Someone who has tons of merit badges and frat associations isn't going to put "I really love watching Dancing With The Stars" on their resume, and it's unlikely that during an interview they would state that they spend their freetime "watching TV and drinking with friends." Video games are generally grouped in with passive leisure activities. That means that if you feel strongly about including it, you need to turn it around and show how you are active in a creative pursuit, rather than passive in leisure.

    EggyToast on
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