Games Every Entrepreneur Should Be Playing
“All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy” has always been part of my daily mantra ever since. My passion to stay engaged in doing things and keeping myself busy overwhelms my sense of balance and personal discipline. This mantra however, impacts me at a whole personal level. I mean… I am also called Johnny by my colleagues… duh? hehe Just kidding!
Anyhow, most people actually think that learning to be an entrepreneur requires a whole lot of rigid training and studying. I personally think otherwise. It all boils down to what we engage ourselves into and believe me, the games we play indeed help mold the minds of great entrepreneurs as well.
I will be recommending my top picks of games that helped mold me to what I am today. This of course is accompanied with some rationale on how it did affect my way of thinking, decision making and attitude towards life.
1. ROME TOTAL WAR
Although the Total War series of games will definitely fit perfectly, Rome Total War was the game that developed my strategic thinking, micro to macro scale governance, technology and economy management the most. First, this game involves faction management at a macro scale, where you could conquer cities, manage diplomacy and impose upscale strategies in a global perspective in-game. Then there is this battlefield perspective where you impose quick decision making on how to outwit and outmaneuver the opposing faction on the battle field.
Each time I play this game, I tend to apply my personal “economy-first” idea where you build your wealth before getting all aggressive. It would be fine, however, I tend to be more defensive around my comfort zone than making a move. This game taught me otherwise due to the fact that staying “economy-first” involves a certain ounce of aggressiveness while keeping on the defensive stance of calculating risks. This means that in order to expand economically, it is important to play as the aggressor to grab strategic economic zones or industries if we’re looking at it in a business perspective.
There is no better game to apply Sun Tzu’s Art of War principles other than this game; or this franchise rather. Knowing that the Art of War principles do apply in business warfare as well, it is fairly important to master these principles through this great game while having fun.
2. World of Warcraft (WOW)
Ah! The famous World of Warcraft! Although I haven’t played the retail version of this game (the cheap-ass that I am), I have played this game on private servers. Well… Where do I start? Amidst the beautiful scenic views of the game. The nostalgic sense of surrealism and fantasy that engulfs your inner soul. The off-world experience that engages players. What could I say? It is a beautiful game!
Imagine being inside the movie avatar while fighting demons, monsters and different players. Yeah! That’s what it is!
Okay, so enough of me endorsing the game (Blizzard should pay me for this!). Let’s get back to business!
Playing this game developed my attitude of “studying the system” and using leverage to gain an advantage. What I did here was I learned how to gain wealth the easy way, how to manipulate the market and how to manage people. Believe me or not I also developed my leadership skills through this game (being assistant guild master and all). I realized how hardworking I was when I never missed a raid, a PVP(player-versus-player) schedule, a battlefield instance, omg! that was how addicted I was! As a matter in fact, I did organize dungeon raids and faction offensives (raiding Alliance cities and killing those poor bastards). Despite developing my leadership and organizational skills here, leadership is nothing if you don’t have a clear directive. In game, your directives are determined when you know the system fairly well to the point where you can use it to your advantage. I am specifically referring to the Market System in the game. Whenever you go on dungeon raids or even PVP warzones, you gain certain credit rewards. These credits can be used to buy certain items which you can craft with and sell for a better price. Now the market manipulation here happens during the selling part.
In WOW, they have what we call an “Auction-house.” This is a place where people trade items. Now the problem with this is the fact that a lot of other players could be selling exactly the same item you may be selling. What this situation develops is the idea of winning a valuable amount of market-share through a price-war. So when selling an item, you can sell it quicker at a lesser price than your competitors. When competitors see you selling at a lower price, they cut their prices to stay competitive. This is what you call “Market Manipulation.” You are in control of the market. A great place to understand the concept of supply and demand.
Okay John! This is sooo marketing related? Where else can you apply this to? You fellas need not look far! This is so applicable in the stock market or even in forex trading. Understanding the stock market was a fair breeze for me after playing this game.
Note: Any other Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games may fit the job description but WOW definitely made the impact on me.
*grins* I’ll be very biased on this coz I grew up with Starcraft. For almost 20 years have I been playing this game and to be honest, this is where I learned to cheat my way out of tight situations. Hahaha
That was then, ah those glorious Starcraft 1 days! Now that we have Starcraft 2 out, I apply my “cheating” methods on a different limelight now. So instead of typing cheats like “show me the money(instant wealth)” or “power overwhelming(god mode),” I learned to be cunning and devious when approaching situations.
I learned how to keep the odds always on my favor. Take for example in the corporate ladder. The best person to please the most is your boss to keep things in your favor in the office. In school, the person you have to please the most would be your teacher coz they hold you by the neck through your grades. In business, the person you’ll have to please the most are your customers coz the bring you the money and the market. Most people call this “cheating” or “ass-kissing,” but I defer on that claim.
Sun Tzu once said, “The best victory is won by not even having to get into conflict.” So that’s that!
This game also amplifies my development in micro-scale management, strategic flexibility and quick-wit approach on situations. During multiplayer games, one strategy never applies for all scenarios. You are responsible for poising yourself to gain an advantage against the opponent’s unit chemistry. Building the right unit chemistry for your army is crucial to winning the game. In application, building a team with the right set of people who’s got skillsets needed to get the job done is important to win in business.
Note that any strategy game again fits the job description.
4. Call of Duty Modern Warfare & Ghosts
Guns blazing, huge explosions, the jam-pack action you get! I’ve always been a sucker for it! hahaha
Actually any first person shooter (FPS) game would be recommended. It’s just that I am a Call of Duty (COD) fanboy so… haters gonna hate! 😛
What would this game be doing here you ask? Well simple! Fast-paced action is the answer! What most first person shooter games do to a person is increase their reaction time to dire situations. In these games, you are often expected to act without even thinking first which all boils down to muscle memory. Reality could bite you in the ass knowing that life moves so fast and we need to cope with changing events. Moving into action quick may mean the difference between success and failure, victory and defeat. In management, there will be times when you are asked to decide on the spot without having time to think things through. The best thing to do is to practice and understand the value of quick thinking and reaction and there’s no better way to do it than playing FPS games (and sports tehe -.-).
What gets COD standing out on my list is the awesome memory and feel I had when playing the game. Both the story and the experience were great for me. Plus I’m a gun enthusiast! So what the hell? hahaha
5. Defense of the Ancients (DOTA)
The infamous DOTA. There are a lot of variations of this game but this one… oho… this one’s stained some memories on me.
This game requires a lot of team effort to win and that’s what gives it away. The teamwork attitude you get when playing the game. I had a boss once who requires us to play DOTA with him after working hours. He did tell us that DOTA is a great game for team building. We get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we learn how to cover each others’ asses (that doesn’t sound right… oh well).
In life, we can’t do everything ourselves. We will always need people to back us up and compliment our weakness to ensure success and victory. A solid, effective fighting (competitive) force or team no matter how small can make a huge impact on a disorganized company or army. Team effectiveness is key to achieving organizational goals and requirements especially in business!
I’m not much of a fan of DOTA though so I don’t play it often (typically introvert me). I only played it to develop that teamwork attitude I need.
6. Assassin’s Creed Franchise
Sir Winston Churchill once said “History is written by the victors,” and I couldn’t agree more. History is written by the success of those who came before thus it takes an important toll for entrepreneurs to know their predecessors.
Formalities aside… I just really love history and parkour… so deal with it! hahaha
History is written by successful organizations or people who made a dent, even pioneering outcomes in their lifetime. Understanding how they think and lived help entrepreneurs gain their bearings when the going gets tough.
As for me? That’s the very essence why I love history and current events. There are people who I look up to and aspire to be like giving me a sense of direction in life. In assassin’s creed, you get to see history at a slightly fictional universe but with a lot of truth in it. You get to meet great people of those eras such as Napoleon, Mr Washington, Leonardo da Vinci, Machiavelli, The Borgias, etc.
Now what’s their importance in business? They were significant in their time for a reason. Even West Point military courses require students to study history a lot and for a very good reason. A general/leader who doesn’t study history is bound to repeat exactly the same mistake again. Thus the saying “History repeats itself.” That’s why it’s important to learn from the past to improve for the future. So instead of taking history classes, why don’t you play it? hahaha
Despite that, the game is a time capsule that allows you to experience the beautiful scenes and lifestyle of people during those eras. Great game!
7. Cash Flow Series
Now finally, the game that brought it all together. Cashflow! Now I won’t lie. I hate the graphics and the annoying rat and turtle speaking on the background. But I tell you guys, no matter how much I hate playing this game, I keep insisting myself to play it until I loved it.
Why? Take a look at the picture above… There is no other game out there that screams out loud saying “This is how stock market and real estate investing or financial management is like” like this game! You learn the value of being an investor, the importance of accounting and the techniques of gaining passive income for financial freedom. These games got me into investing and entrepreneurship. In reality, this game changed the way I see life and gave me a direction to pursue. As I currently breathe. As I currently speak. As I currently live my life. I live it as if I am playing this game with one goal in mind; Financial Freedom. It is the idea where you wouldn’t have to work for money anymore and that money works for you.
That is what truly defines the wealthy from the middle class and the poor.
And surely who wouldn’t want to be wealthy? That’s the reason why we stepped into entrepreneurship in the first place right?
My rationale for having financial freedom as a goal is simple. Currently as we speak, I’m stuck with work and business. I don’t have much time for family, church and even myself. I definitely want that to change. Perhaps a few years later, I may not need to work anymore to focus on things that matters more in life than just work. Things like God, Family, Friends, whoever that lady is in the future and even myself.
Anyhow, I guess that’s that!
So the next time somebody tells you you won’t learn anything just by playing games, get up, sweep some dust off your shoulders and walk away like a boss coz that person absolutely doesn’t have a clue on what they’re missing out on.
Just don’t abuse gaming alright? hahaha See yah!