How Firan Improved My Job Outlook
How has a text-based game improved your management skills? How have these games enhanced your ability to manage groups of people? How has a game helped you interact with differing personalities? How has an online game made you better-suited for this job? These are not the normal set of questions you would expect from a job interview. However, these are a sampling of what I was asked when I applied for several jobs and included an online roleplaying game in my references.
I entered the online world in my last few years of college. Back then, I kept everything in its own little 'pen and paper' record, and I was wary of anything that might replace this system -- a computer, especially. It didn't take long before I realized how e-mail, the internet, and gaming were already improving my life. However, I would never have counted on receiving a second job interview because of a 'game' when I first started using the internet in 1997.
I've applied for several jobs in the past few months, and on every application I've listed Firan MUX and Stephanie and Adam Dray as references. Firan MUX is an original-themed fantasy role-playing game. I stumbled upon this 'game' in 2002, some time after my original foray into the online world. At that point in time, I'd never considered the possibility of a game improving my job outlook. However, I rose through the ranks and went from player, to player helper, and finally to junior wizard. A wizard is a person on the game who is part of the administration team. They help guide the online-based group in many different tiers. From in character player management, building, code, out of character player management, to theme, each wizard has his or her own special sphere of knowledge. Nevertheless, each wizard is expected to be competent in all spheres.
During a recent job interview, I was asked, "How has this online game helped your management skills?" I answered, "After two years working as a wizard, I've learned that managing groups of people from small to large takes a certain amount of patience and application of skills. Through my work on Firan MUX, I have learned a great deal about both aspects of managing groups. Even though Firan is an online 'world', there are many people who need to be managed. From gently guiding a player back to their original 'sheet', where they roleplay according to a set rostered personality trait, to dealing with those more sensitive subjects, Firan has helped me learn how to deal better with people in general.
I put online gaming on my resume as a wild card. I really didn't think that anyone would ask me questions about this facet of my life. However, it has come up quite a few times and each time I've easily been able to answer any question asked. In general, some people still have the misconception that online gamers stare at the glow of their computer in solitude. Sometimes, it is not easy to explain that a simple 'game' can improve both your life and personality. But, I've managed to secure a second interview for a job where I'd be managing a small group of individuals. Their main job goal is to manage through the internet. The people who work for them and deliver their weekly newsletters report directly via e-mail and messaging services. In a text-based world, it is sometimes difficult to tell the feeling behind someone's words. However, I explained to my interviewer that after dealing with players on Firan MUX, I've managed to learn how to distinguish between a frustrated person and one who just needs some guidance. Face to face interaction is the way most people in jobs deal with their workers. But, more and more, electronic mail, memos, and faxes have taken over this personal interaction.
In conclusion, I believe that text-based gaming has improved my job outlook. Years ago, I would not have been able to confidently say that I can handle a group of people on the internet and manage them effectively. However, I feel quite confident in my abilities now. Mainly, this confidence has been secured through my time on Firan MUX.
Firan MUX is copyright material of Adam and Stephanie Dray.
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