THEY might not be skills you can put on your resume just yet, but what gamers learn or use to run guilds or clans can absolutely transfer over into the real world.
Whether it’s team management in the form of herding cats to keep all the clan members on the same page and focussed, or organisational (planning raids) or admin (since all those stats and membership info aspects won’t maintain themselves), the crossover between the two worlds is greater than many people would first imagine.
Australian gamer Hayden Hughes leads the Free Company (Guild) Amberlight in popular MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV and spoke with Game On Aus to share his insights into how Guild/Clan/Free Company leadership and real-world work skills crossed over in both directions.
The five-year-old Free Company Amberlight has more than 500 active members and Hayden said leading them was a rewarding experience with several highlights.
“My favourites would have to be watching strangers become best friends, being the person some turn to for advice and also the admin side of it, such as running the discord server, managing my team of officers and also watching all the new members flood in after I spend time and effort on creating a poster to attract new members,” he said.
“It’s all very satisfying to me.”
There are several parallels between leading a Free Company or Guild and being a real-life manager or team leader, with tasks including delegation, problem solving, motivation and organising collaboration – sometimes in ways people might not expect.
“As the leader of such a large Free Company, a lot of the jobs such as workshop/garden management are all delegated to Officers,” Hayden said.
“It’s pretty similar to managing labourers in my line of work. You need to be kind, show appreciation for the great job they do, so they stay really keen to help you and look forward to logging in as often as they can or showing up to work every day.”
Communication is a critical part of leadership as a Free Company or Guild leader too, Hayden said; liasing with other Free Company leaders was an important task and required similar skills and planning to a real-world job where working with other stakeholders was crucial to success.
“Every now and then we collaborate in organising massive, large-scale events which players from all over Tonberry (server) come to participate in,” he said.
“The example of this in my line of work is collaborating with other trades to complete a renovation, such as concreters and landscapers.”
The skills he has learned from his work have proven very useful in Amberlight’s success as well, with some of them directly translating into gaming.
“Managing clients, scheduling appointments and marketing have definitely played a big part in my Free Company’s success,” he said.
“In a Free Company, you manage members and assist them with their problems, schedule small and large scale events and in my case constantly advertise on an array of platforms to attract new members.
“It might sound strange, but dealing with drama within my FC has helped me a lot with being patient and understanding perspective when it comes to real world drama. It also helps me with raising my four sons in that regard as well.”
Hayden said from his perspective, real life communities and video game guilds and clans were one and the same.
“We hang out, experience all kinds of emotions together, form unbreakable bonds and some even find love,” he said.
“The only difference is that in gaming communities, most of us don’t live near one another.”
While leading a Free Company or guild can be a lot of work, Hayden said it was also very enjoyable and recommended the experience to anyone wanting to take it on.
“Leading a Free Company is a lot of fun – if anybody reading is thinking about becoming a leader of a Free Company, Guild or Clan, or even applying for a management position in your line of work, I’d tell them to go for it,” he said.
“You learn a lot about yourself and become more confident in life, and you can always find support and advice. I can speak for most leaders in saying that we will be there for support. The Australia/NZ community is great at that.”