Can MMORPGs Buff Your Career Resume?

job sign

Let's talk about the job market for a moment; it sucks. I mean, it really sucks. There was a day you could graduate from high school, and at least get a decent job, and if you had a university/college degree, you were pretty well set. Nowadays, you need experience in everything, specializations in everything. A degree, plus about 20 diplomas to prove that you can string together a sentence that makes sense. Soon, you'll need a 2 month program and 3 years barista experience to get a job at Starbucks.


 There's no way MMORPGs can help my career!

Yes, they really can help. You know all those times you've taken a leadership position, and asked yourself, “Why the hell did I do this? It's so much work!”? Well, with a little creative resume work, you can change your 6 month stint as a City or Guild leader in your favourite addicting game into impressive looking volunteer work. 


For example;


The Job - Guild Secretary, City Minister, anyone with the ability to edit help files. Essentially, the person who makes sure the information being shared is accurate and up to date.

Resume Translation - Administration: Performed a variety of administrative duties for several small recreational volunteer groups.


The Job - Using your awesome motivation and morale building skills to get burnt out rpg game players to contribute the awesome ideas they're known for.

Resume Translation- People Management. Delegated a variety of different projects and general up keeping tasks, and oversaw their completion.


The Job - Minister of Culture, anyone else with the task of hosting role playing game events for an organization.  Tasked with the duty of creating fun ways to share history, or important organizational information.

Resume translation- Project Management: conceived of, and carried out a number of large and small events and projects, advertised them, and delegated people for their successful completion.


The Job - Organization Leader. Though often referred to as "baby sitter" by those who covet the role, this job is defined by the ability to do all of the above mentioned jobs, while smiling.

Resume translation – Supervision: Took on a position of leadership and took care of issues regarding regulation and discipline.


The Job - Treasurer of your rpg game organization. Because someone has to look after that stuff, and even if you don’t use the money, a big bank account makes your organization look cool.

Resume Translation – Financial Management. Managed finances for several groups by creating useable budgets and initiating fund-raising projects for volunteer recreational groups.


These are really just a few ideas to get the creative resume work going, but anyone who has taken on a position of leadership in their rpg game guild knows that yeah, it's a job. We do it for the online rpg game glory, we do it because we love the role playing games we play and want to help them prosper, or we do it because yeah, it makes us feel a little better to say you're a guild leader, and a city leader, and an Order leader, even if you make a living by telling people how to reset their modems. But with luck, and a resume pimped out by Iron Realms role playing games, you might just get a better job. Provided, of course, that you don't need to do a years fast track diploma in “Cash Management” to work a register at the corner store in a years time.


M.K. Barry is a role playing game enthusiast who enjoys the best text games from Iron Realms!


Heading to to revamp my resume right now. Thanks!

Not bad at all!

Never really thought of it working this way, definately something to ponder.

Thats a really awesome idea. I like reads like this

Yeah, this is good stuff, definitely.


I have to agree. I would like this to actully work in the RW job market

Yes! This will definitely work if you're crafty. Even if you went a whole year without a job, put down on your resume that you spent the time exploring another culture and surfing in europe. It will make you alot more interesting than the guy who put "loyal, hardworking and experienced" on his app.

I actually wrote up a new C.V./Resume a few weeks ago and added in my leadership roles from playing actually got me a few interviews, which I am still going through right now! Well written article! +10

Get a job

Every morning about this time
she get me out of my bed
a-crying get a job.

Sha na na na, sha na na na na na

I have a friend who did exactly the same thing...I think they looked at him in an odd way when he described his game experience at an interview :P

I've done the same thing as well. 'Cept it was as an admin on a game. And I was putting it off as 'I did coding and project management for this as a volunteer job, and had three people working under me'. Took a little explaining to get the guy to come around to the idea, but worked out well enough after that.

How did that end up?

I'd be leery of doing this, but if it works... Nice! :D

I think this is a splended idea! I have been wanting to add something to my resume that is fresh and shows that I have something to do in my free time. I like the use of the term volunteer, as employers look at that too!


And if they ask you WHERE you did all of these things?


That's pretty much it, the stunt only works if you're not asked to elaborate. Much like other forms of 'creative' CV padding...


Just extrapolate what your IG organisation does and make it apply to the real world, so for Achaea:


CIJ/Ty Beirdd: Drama group.

Congregation/Occultists/Empyreal: Church group.

Any monk/knight house: Martial arts.



Then you just have to hope that don't have any relevant experience in that area, ask for references or expect you to demonstrate anything.

I agree with the first two, but virtual martial arts might be stretching it a bit

Deliverance? What is that move? Can you demonstrate it for me? XD


Well, adding something like "small" or "local" might help in that case, they don't really keep track of all the organisations that could ever be :P And some googling for concrete information may help.


That would be a fun question to answer there. I learned this burning villages.

The thing with these suggestions is they are really not for experienced professionals, or even entry level grads, at least in my opinion, because it would be suspect and anything of substance generally requires a papertrail or some for of validation.  I will say that someone with an associates, or just a highschool diploma that could be that articulate would be a step above someone else, and because the scope of the job is generally minor for that level of education/experience it probably wouldn't be examined indepth.


Of course they will ask about them, so I'm not so sure about this. I mean, it should be perfectly reasonable to put them in your resume, I have read studies about how these in-game responsabilities and skills translate to genuine real life skills, and I have also seen it on myself, but I am not sure the world is ready for it and I suspect most of the employers would draw all sorts of wrong conclusions and you would end up doing yourself more harm than good (at least in the european job market).

This is right on. The advice you always hear is to tailor your resume to each job, so you need to think about if it's right to include or not.


That said, there's a lot you can learn from being in these positions. I've tried to base a lot of what I do in the Crown Merchants around things I think carry over, sort of like stealth learning.

Interesting read


Ahaha, now if only my parents would believe me when I say these things!

If they believe you, you have a silver tongue.

If only such things were recognized. I'm laughing so hard now

funny story


if only.

if serious.


No comment on this particular topic. heh

I had the same question.


I take things literally and this idea of buffing up resumes with a computer game sounds like it will have bad consequences. I can imagine in the interview the hiring team asking questions about what bad experience you had with these "administrative duties" on the job and you'll have to either be vague or say things like, "Well, my manager accused me of miscounting shards one year and I had to dig up guild records to prove I didn't." I don't know. I wouldn't do it. Or if I did, I'd be more honest and say this "recreational group" was actually a text-based game. They might appreciate it actually.

Here's the thing.  It really is very much a job.  Just because you're not part of the paid administration doesn't mean the internal IC administration isn't administration.  "I help handle administrative duties pertaining to one-sixth of the playerbase of a large-scale anachronistic storytelling group."  This is true for EVERY city/council leader in Imperian.  The fraction may change based on your game.  Just because your game of preference is a game doesn't change the fact that it is also a storytelling group, a coding group, and a social group, nor does it make the administrative duties any less real.  You don't say "My manager accused me of miscounting shards".  You say, "One of my superiors accused me of inaccuracies in my record keeping for some internal (what are shards?  Currency? Items?  Insert an appropriate descriptor here.  They don't know what a shard is, either, and they probably don't care).  In order to prove that my records were valid, I had to dig through a number of much older records kept by other volunteers on the project."  You're not lying.  You're not padding.  You're just putting it into terms they can understand.  The internet has become a major social medium, these days, AND a major work medium.  Just because a thing occurs digitally doesn't make it less valid, and most employers realize this.


Personally, I think this is an excellent idea, if handled correctly.

The coding aspect is definitely usable. It helped me grab a research assistantship one summer.


The stuff about leadership is a harder sell. It's not that it's inaccurate, but you have to be interviewed by people who will take MMORPG's seriously. That's a harder thing to find.

Awesome article

quite original

Very original, and..thought-provoking..?

This is definitely comedy, but you really can learn a lot about human interaction from these games. No doubt about it.

Definitely, we learn a lot about human interaction when limited to text so we get sensitized to the underlying currents when reading e-mails and memos. The experience with body language and voice register is difficult to get though unless the person on the other side is being diligent with his/her roleplaying.

We can learn how to be 'creative' and not get caught, right?

I wish!

When they ask, you mention that it's an online recreational group, and you ran  groups within this group. 

Oh, Sappho. <3

Thank you for the read! Nice to have a bit of humour every now and then. :)

would be nice if this would actually work. but as someone already said, theres just way too many opportunities for something to go very wrong during an interview.

With the right talent for a good spin, there are so many ways it can go so very right. Except for Lucimal of Aet. It could never end well for him, but then, it never did IG either... I still wish poor Procurio wasn't forced to see such... terrible... things.

heh heh, this was good

Yeah, quite funny :)

I think this would work until someone asked you for details, especially if you put down "Financial Manager."

What if they asked for references they could call to confirm your claims? :o Heh fun article nevertheless.

... Is actually quite relevant. To sound more credible though, I would probably only integrate these positions on IRE into my resume if I was either a) a guide, b) a mortal builder or c) a celani. It would also be great if you can get the IRE producer to be your reference!

I actually did this for some early work on Imperian when I was applying at Terminal Reality. They thought it was cool.

I agree

heh heh heh

Fewer people can claim as such, but yes. This would almost certainly work because you can about it in a reasonable context.


Other'd have to know how to spin them.

Oh, it's work...



"Will your recreational activity's responsibilities ever get in the way of coming to work?" No, I'm good until 5th of Niurian, 341  then I'm booked. How's wednesday sound though?

Awesome comment.  Still laughing.

Thanks for the tips. :)

I will SO be using some of those.

I will SO be using some of those.

In my line of work, it's not unusual to be asked to share an experience where my ability to delegate, mediate, or otherwise troubleshoot a situation is called into action.   I have shared stories about "two co-workers who were suffering some personal tensions which were then causing the rest of the team to go off track, losing sight of group goals.  After private discussions and coaching, a plan of action was created which allowed the team to not only meet the goal but exceed campaign standards by 15%".  


The human resources guy doesn't need to know that I did this all in private tells after two bitches said they refused to work with one another over some lame-assed "she didn't give me credit for thinking up this design competition" scandal.  


People looking to hire you want to hear you can recognize a problem, adress it, and get things back on track without having it escalate to upper management, or have it cause a problem for the client.   

but if I were in HR and I got these and found out where they were from, I'd be upset.

I don't understand the issue.  Is it because it's a game, or because it's digital?  It absolutely is volunteer work, and it absolutely is work experience, so the only issues can be that you volunteered for it for a game or that you volunteered for it for something digital.


This is kind of funny. Wonder if it really works!

It can! You just have to be able to spin when they ask you about it in the interview.

That's pretty cool!

Define 'cool'

Hahaha. I love this. The only volunteer activities I've got is for a theatre group and AARP tax aide.

They do really help with typing speed, which is always a bonus in todays Computer-centric world.


Though i doubt "prolific killer" is going to get you many jobs so, we'll ignore that one.

Nice one

Might be worth a try on all of this.  I could definitely defend it in an interview.

I would never hire someone that put gaming references on their resume.  In my opinion, unless you are working for a gaming company, it should be kept separate from the work world.  I could never take an application seriously with those, if I found out that the references and experience were gaming related.

hrm, perhaps this is finally a motivation to stay active long enough to actually take a role in some leadership

great ideas all!

There are some good points in this article, however, some of the 'translations' verge on an attempt to mislead the potential employer and if this is something that we get from IRE games it's not a positive sign.

I did successfully use my online game skills to get a job and did not need to go about it in a 'sneaky' way.

I wrote something to the effect that I did display leadership, strategic and diplomatic skills in a virtual context of XYZ (Not IRE) game, by leading a group of about 250 players to virtual victory.  During the interview I was able to convince the interviewer that virtual skills reflect my real life abilities and we had a very interesting conversation about it, about virtual realities and about values of online games in general. I'm certain that putting in my resume my 'virtual' skills got me an interview in the first place, giving me an opportunity to impress them in person.

I believe this would be a more straightforward and honest approach.

This is definitely the more appropriate way to go about this sort of deal, I think. Assuming, of course, that even using this sort of reference/experience is a good idea for the particular company/job you're applying for, being up-front about it is going to be a lot better for you than what is otherwise essentially lying.

I've actually used Zmud as a scripting language in my interview for my current job as a knowledge pool of understanding scripting and have given them examples of my own code.  I'm not sure sugarcoating your resume with the examples used by the OP will fly, as you can't really explain into detail on how you are an amazing administrative assistant, but actually telling them your experience with the game and understanding the functionality of being a treasurer would surely help.

I don't depends who you're interviewing with. Taking the time and effort to explain what a text RPG is much less the appeal of it to some people is an unforgiving task. I must say some of the house requirements remind me exactly of real life job interview situations, however. I suppose it isn't bad practice.


what and interesting read. 

I would have to agree. 

Definitely is.

Aye, I thought so too.

I couldn't keep a straight face making those comments.

I think it could be a useful tool, using something along the lines of volunteer work for the international company Iron Realms Entertainment.

LOL.. this article made me laugh but it is still pretty smart.

I can see where this can actually benefit a landing an interview, and even a job for that matter. There is quite a large market for administrative jobs, and through IRE and playing for so long, it can actually benefit you to actually perform the job well. Plus, you forgot one, coding. There is always a need for programmers. Once you learn one language, the rest can be easier to learn.

Never thought about applying what I've learned in Achaea to benefit me IRL.


thinking outside the box


My resume is going to now list HoN right next to my degree in education, yo.

I have used my MUD experiences in my professional life daily. When I was very young I learned a number of things about personnel management and the variety of personalities one can encounter. In my adult working life I still remember lessons learned from my time spent in Achaea.

People behave in similar ways in a House as they do in a small business. The social aspect of online games, and especially text based, can really provide a safe place to try out ideas about how to interact with people. That sort of experience should be reflected on a Resume. I would still be careful how it was listed, not every field is gamer friendly.

The idea is interesting but its mostly akin to just making things up on your resume. You have no actual job experience in what you are saying and no way to prove it.

This might help you pass the preliminary resume scanning stage in hiring, but I can honestly say it's a point on someone's resume I would highlight and ask pointed questions about in an interview.  If you do this, make sure you have some good answers or make sure you're alright with admitting you devote time to an online RPG (not necessarily a bad thing, depending on your interviewer). 

This article didn't mention COULD in fact help a lot: system scripting.  Achaea's combat system can be described as a fairly complex problem, and programming for it would fit nicely in an extra-curricular/hobbies section of a resume intended for any programming position.

works until they ask which groups.. then you tell them a MUD and they'll kick you out

Different employers will view the inclusion of a text game on your resume differently. It's definitely risky to put something like that as "work experience", but there's no doubt that you can develop a ton of transferable skills via text games. Not everyone will see that, and may stop taking you seriously once they realize you're talking about a game.

It seems even more dangerous to hide the fact that it's from a text game because, if they ask you about it, they'll realize that you were being evasive. On my resume, any blurb about job experience is under the title and location for that particular job. Information like this might be beneficial in a cover letter in combination with RL experience.


Great article!

Good ideas. Yes, this would be fine under hobbies. Organisational skills are good to read on a CV as long as everything's clear. Less likely to have to do so much elaborating here too.

I think it really depends on what sort of job your applying for. If it has nothing to do with the job I wouldn't use it most likely.

For higher

Interesting Concept but I'm not sure if it will work. Collecting your online references could be tricky

haha thats so true

I'd be tempted to try to use some of this in a resume but I'm afraid the employers wouldn't take me seriously for it. I suppose you would have to find some employer that you can connect with who has similar taste/experiences in gaming and will understand what you're getting at.

really see this happening in reality. <_<


This is an extremely helpful article, thank you! As a side note, I do a lot of my job hunting shortly after I log out of Aetolia. I've found that, after working with the responsibilities I've assumed in-game, it's easier for me to focus on the ones I have outside it. I'm a bit curious: Is this the case for anyone else?  

very fun article, i loved it.

I should test that !

An interesting article.


Best article so far!

I work in recruitment and absolutely love this article. Thanks for sharing M.K




Agreeing with Mortagona.

Hire me!


Very nice article, now days anything should be able to be considered as Experience for a job.

I'm not sure about this but interesting none the less.

don't doubt it, you know it to be true

I have run stuff in a virtual game, make me manager please.

That might just work. Nows to see if I can pull that off for a raise!

"Why sir, please tell me which projects you worked on, specifically?"


"I uh, brokered gold between parties. And corpses. I was in the corpse and gold business. But not the mafia kind, I swear."

Someone's been purloining my resume!

this reminds me of a golden girls episode

Is this article a joke?

The funny thing about this article is that it's actually true in my case. For the past 3 years I have been jobless and then out of the blue I get a job as amazingly enough a PM. Having developed very good organizational skills through IRE games has really helped in my current job.


That's good to hear. This game helped me alot in bettering my grammar skills. They're alot better than what they used to be a couple of years ago.

I laughed at this article because it's so true... and I've used the experiences in playing Iron realms in my jobs...


You could consider the game as an exercise in creative writing. That could be useful to some jobs.

I like that one.. I can use it in class too.

Yeah, managing a position of political power in a MUD can often be just as demanding as a real job

I'd even say its more demanding, or at least more tedious. Imagine everything you say or do being written down and kept by -everyone- around you!


I guess it would make politicians more honest... or maybe just more clever.

Come meet me IC in MKO to verify it if you like but... more clever. Definitely more clever.


I have been trying to do something like this, but I can see I clearly needed to rework my angle, good read!

It may work for some businesses who won't check out your resume to see if all your claims are true. But if they do want to check, how do you plan on explaining that you're talking about positions in a MUD, and more importantly, how do you expect to be taken seriously?

Put me in with the group who is a bit skeptical about this. I would be hard put to come up with an explanation about where exactly this took place. If you lie, you could be fired if they ever decide to check.

Clever, but I would take care in using it

To me that would be like putting down that I DM for my DnD group, it doesn't involve money or any serious effects on other people so I wouldn't include it.

I actually did use celani work on a resume, and got the job (content creation for EVE Online). A number of graphical MMOs (Everquest, SWG, and Ultima, most notably) had prominent MUD developers on their teams, and the same concept still holds.

If you're ever considering a job in game development, I would -highly- recommend putting IRE volunteer work (celani or mortal) on your resume. If you're applying to work at a bank or something, though, I'd think twice. Also, I would think twice about using org head work unless you were really outstanding. But if you're hurting for relevant experience, why not?

Good stuff thanks!!

This is excellent. I am bookmarking this and definitely using it. Galleus, can I add you as a reference?


Heh, I'm sure this will work!



This comes in handy!



I learned a fair bit of programming from writing systems. More than my Comp. Sci. degree ever taught me, which is a bit sad really.

Contributing to an open-source project would be much more resume-worthy though.

Agreed.  I often wondered if I could create a better client in Java but never had the time.

Now I can play Achaea with less guilt over putting off homework: I'm helping my resume!

Heh, I gotta use that.

Ha ha ha ha.


Now give me my credit (and the one that I didn't receive for digging this article)

same, digging aint working properly.

Issued myself, they said it was digg's fault

Ah, good. I thought it was just me..

lol, wtf.

Actually this is pretty hilarious.  I love it.  Quite useful as well.

I would never try this. I think the employer would frown upon you taking video games so seriously and think of it as a bad sign.


I agree, I wouldn't hire someone who put it in the resume

Obviously not to be taken literally. Highly amusing!

Haha, I'm totally adding my position as Guildmaster (in differently positioned wording) to my resume!

I think it helped me get a job offer.

Does this really work?

Does this work?  Sounds great!


Does this work?


Kee in mind that employers are just as interested in hearing your bad traits as they are your good ones... as long as you can give valid reasons on how you work around your own shortcomings and/or what you do to overcome them.

I've taken some skills from IRE and applied them in real life, though I wouldn't give IRE the credit for my successes in organising events. One thing it did set me up for was to expect the worst outcome but still hope for the best.

So, if you really want to use IRE on a resume, then either do it straightforward as Tyeher said, or forget about it and go develop some skills in real life that you can put on a resume. Like volunteer work and helping organise events at your university or some other place. Less time spent playing the game, more time interacting with your fellow human beings.

That really depends on the employer as a person and what kind of job you're applying for. Some appreciate honesty, while others want to sit in their bubble and believe that they're hiring perfect people. Some would love to hear about your charity work. Others don't care that you as a little child singlehandedly saved poverty-stricken schools from being torn down.

Wording clever is.

Seen a resume which listed "Childcare Specialist" before.  When I asked them about it, I was told they babysat as a kid.  I suppose wording is everything!


I read a resume this morning that included WoW. Made me think of this article.

It's full of win.


I'd love to be paid for gaming

Be awesome if that actually worked too..

tm the donald, all rights used in spite...



Maybe not in a interview for work, but maybe it helps a bunch for those thinking about becoming an auther or whatnot.



I -do- think some things learnt IG transfer to real life situations, so it's fair enough that you can mention them on your resume. :)

You suddenly get asked specifically where and what positions mentioned were. Do I mention them faelings and Shadowdancers. O.O

I do believe this article helped me get a raise. Yay!

My boss actually did this... He used his experience running a TRIBES server as "management experience". As odd as it sounds, it actually works...



Ahh.. I doubt bosses will accept that


I never would of thought about it in this way xD


I would say that the skills you learned in realm (diplomacy, organization, etc.) would be better demonstrated in the interview process than listed on a resume.  It is an intersting idea in any case.

I got a job because of the combat system i wrote for Achaea :) My current employer found it quite impressive.

While true that you do gain skills and such, it's a game and sould only be used on an application if your applting for a job in that type of industry. It's really all about relavence.

Well, being able to say that you're an expert in social networking, tcp communications, object-orientated database-connectivity and socio-political economics because you play a mud is also a stretch... but it does look good on a CV.


I think a Masters degree might help a bit more... and in my case, I would think it twice before putting game experience in my resume

I'll have to try to be this creative in my own resum.  I need a job too.

Haha awesome. I'm actually going to go in and add some of these to my CV :P


Great ideas, def stealing

I don't think that my employers would be very impressed with the fact that I spent months on a game... won't that give them the impression that I play alot instead of work? Heheheh... screw working for a boss anyway... I will do my utmost to never have to do that again.




Achaea has taught me a damn lot.

of course they can boost your resume, no one reads them anyways.

Another credit

In the end, it really just depends on the employer. I'm sure some might see the benefit, but refuse to take it into consideration.


"Your resume says you have worked 40 years as a volunteer in a library?" "Yes." "But you're not older than 25!" "Crap."


Just one of the hilarious situations careless euphemising could lead to.

i finally found this link again... all of these are going straight to my CV!


An MMORPG can certainly ruin a career.

I really have to keep this in mind when I create a resume later.

It's alwyas about the wording and phrasing you use. It's always nice to talk it up a bit more.


I did this with my last resume as well as a few other exaggerations! worked well :)

I'm not 100% certain describing what you did in a game passes for career experience, but if I'm ever short on things to put on my resume I'll keep this in mind.

I don't include my leadership experience, but I do describe my game coding experience and the languages I've learned just to MUD better. Interviewers do generally like to hear about these sorts of online social interactions, though.

here in a position oif hiring people? If so, would you recommend this?

I know there's precedent with big MMOs like WoW where success can translate into the real world, but I think you really have to have the right workplace and the MMo itself has to have some level of respectability, or at least notoriety.

The only problem with the job is that it takes away from my gaming time. Darn ole job.

If only you could have a job playing the game. Now that would be wonderful!

this was an unexpected read.. 

well written! 

Gauge your audience, some interviewers you're better off presenting it as 'a volunteer job' kind of thing, while others will get totally excited when you actually give them the truth. Just remember later on when you are hired which version you gave :P

It is really all in the presentation. Remember interviewers are looking to hear what they want to hear. If they come at the hobby part and they start frowning when you mention games, might not want to go further into it. Unless you are in the luxury position of having a lot of job interviews, in that case just be honest, sometimes doing that can actually have a positive effect.

Credit comment!