Eric Schmidt believes that in the future work will look like play.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt made news at the recent G-20 meeting in Pittsburgh, suggesting that multiplayer video games provide good career training — particularly in technology — where workplace collaboration stimulates innovation. “The game world is good training for a career in tech,” he said. “It teaches players to build a network, to use interactive skills and thinking.”

“Everything in the future online is going to look like a multiplayer game,” said Schmidt to this international audience. “If I were 15 years old, that’s what I would be doing right now.”

What is it about online games that makes leaders? For one thing, there are many opportunities to lead. “Online games are very iterative,” states a recent IBM report entitled “Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders.” “Leadership happens quickly and easily in online games, often undertaken by otherwise reserved players, who surprise even themselves with their capabilities.” Online games such as World of Warcraft can involve an overriding goal for a team of players — there are a series of raids or missions that make up the journey, each of which requires leadership of player groups of varying size. This gives many players the opportunity to “try on” leadership roles. The study asserts that there is no reason to think that the same cannot be done in corporate settings of various sizes, missions, and markets.

Related: The person who will be elected President in 2036 is probably in their teens or twenties right now, probably has a blog, and is probably a gamer.

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