Strategy games require certain managerial skills from players, and it has been proved by a research project. This study shows that participants who had higher skill in Civilization V were better at problem solving and organizing.

Civilization V

The study titled “Good gamers, good Managers? A proof-of-concept study with Sid Meier’s Civilization” published in 2020. It was recently spotted on Reddit and is available on Springer for free.

A group of researchers used Civilization to find out whether strategy games are “indicative of managerial skills and, if so, of what managerial skills.”

  • Fifty German-speaking business students volunteered to participate in the research project. Their average age was 24.1 years, with 75%  of them being male.
  • Participants were offered a copy of Civilization V (with add-ons) and the chance to win one of six prizes, including a notebook, tablet computer, and a Civilization board game.
  • They had one month to learn how to play Civilization V, with ten of them later asking to be withdrawn from the study.
  • The researchers organized 10 four-hour multiplayer matches, each of them included four participants under anonymous Steam accounts and usernames.
  • All of them played as George Washington on the Pangea map, with the difficulty being set at the Emperor level.
  • After that, participants were also offered to take a series of assessments to measure their managerial skills.

Key findings

  • The study suggests that games like Civilization can be used to assess problem-solving and organizing skills.
  • “Collecting and analyzing data from strategy video games can offer useful insights for profilers and recruiters in the search for talent,” the researchers concluded.
  • Strategy games can also be used to assess interpersonal and other managerial skills.
  • “We find that students who had high scores in the game had better skills related to problem-solving and organizing and planning than the students who had low scores,” the study reads.
  • It also suggests that players’ behavior in in-game chats correlates with their communication skills.

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