“Gamers approach the business world a bit more like a game. They see the different companiesâ€”and maybe the people they work withâ€”as “players.” They’re way more competitive and are very passionate about “winning.” They are both more optimistic and more determined about solving any kind of problem you can imagine; they think there’s always going to be some combination of moves that will result in success. That drives them to be incredibly creative.” – Harvard BSWK
When I think about where I find examples of the gamer archetype outside of the obvious (playing games) I think of adult webmasters.
This article almost perfectly describes many of the type of people that you find in the online adult entertainment industry. Why is there such an overlay of gamers and adult webmasters?
Well for one it’s what gamers called min/max.
Min/max is gamer shorthand for a strategy or even a mindset. Most games try to be balanced. So for every advantage/shortcut/strength etc that you choose, there is some compensatory drawback/resource required/flaw/weakness etc. However, when you focus on ‘winning’ ie achieving X goal, there are often places that the drawback isn’t relevant. So if being able to bring a gun to a knifefight means that your character smells bad, walks with a limp and mumbles therefore isn’t well liked (+special weapon / -charisma, -movement speed) it doesn’t matter if X = win the knifefight.
When it comes to applying this theory to life, I imagine a subconscious calculation that goes something like this:
Let X = Have the best life possible.
Best life = Happiness x Good Times
Good Times = (fun-work+ sleep) x Quality of Life
Quality of Life = (Social interaction x Satisfaction) – Drawbacks
The drawback for adult webmasters usually is found in Social Interaction.
There is a certain segment of society that will not want to openly associate with adult webmasters. However webmasters don’t particularly like to hang around with your average reactionary either so that aspect of the drawback is minimized. The isolated nature of webmastering is overcome through adult industry networking – both using the internet (message boards, IM, blogs etc) as well as industry events.
The work itself is frequently enjoyable.
When the work becomes fun the drawback (have to do) isn’t relevant in the equation because it overlaps recreation (want to do). For some it’s the fact that in essence they get paid to surf the web for porn. Further along the same axis for others it’s because their sex life/love life can overlap their career. For many going to conferences & events to network & party is a recreation or vacation. Sometimes their product or service itself is an adult game.
Many choose or fall into it because it’s one of the least life cost (work from anywhere & high returns vs time) ways to achieve their goals, and it has relatively low barriers to entry.
For those like myself, the work itself becomes a game.
What we call ‘The New Media Game’ (product/service/content/traffic development & monetization) is an incredibly rich, complex, ever evolving, real time game for high stakes. Since I have started playing it has gradually replaced MMORGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games), CCGs (Collectible Card Games), and online no limit Texas Hold ‘em poker as my recreation of choice.
There are many subgames that all combine to make the metagame.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization), TGP (Thumbnail Galley Pages), SEM/CPCM (Search Engine Marketing/Cost Per Click Marketing), social networking, business development, marketing and even industry politics can be fun to play.
A gamer mindset means you never lack for inspiration or variety in your challenges.
A gamer mindset allows you to see opportunities, and have competitive advantages that others miss. This mindset is what can drive guerilla entrepreneurism while your product/service is evolving, adapting and integrating along the way. Metagame is another bit of gamer shorthand that is also a mindset. I won’t try to summarize it here, there are plenty of articles about it floating around the web. I mention it because learning to see the metagame is a strength that ‘gamers’ bring that is often overlooked. Learning how to see the metagame allows you to take skills, knowledge, memes, strategies etc from games and apply them to your life. This both helps you to ‘play’ better, as well as enjoy your life more. By making it a game you spend more time doing what you want.