8 Money Lessons I Picked Up From World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft (commonly known as WoW) players certainly spent countless hours in front of the computer building up their character’s statistics and experience to help fulfill quests and tasks. But did you know that your skills in the game can also be used out of the game? Read on.

Any player of World of Warcraft worth their salt has probably heard this line countless of times: “Stop playing those silly games! You won’t get anything from them!”

You probably heard it from your parents, teachers or other more “responsible” adults. Heck, I’m sure even adult gamers have heard it too. While some fears of spending too much time on the computer are founded (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, bad eyesight and lack of physical activity are just some of the few I could mention), many are unaware of the skills they get within the game that are very useful in real life. These include managerial skills, teamwork and most of all, financial skills.

World of Warcraft has its own little economy inside the game. Virtual as it may be, it functions pretty much like a real world economy. In general, playing WoW helps you learn savvy financial skills, as majority of the gameplay revolves in earning and amassing money. Let’s break it down to more specific money-related lessons you may not realize that you’ve already learned with all those hours of playing.

1. Being patient and persistent pays off. When you first start out playing WoW, you have nearly nothing except the most basic items. Beginners will start of learning the ropes of the game, both through the controls of your computer and the system of Warcraft itself. It’s not an easy task, and this is the stage where many newbies often bow out and stop playing. However, if you persevere and patiently follow each guide and finish each quest, you’ll start getting the hang of things. Your familiarity with the game makes you a better player. The better player you become, the more quests you can do. The more quests you can do, the more items and money you can get.

In real life, no one starts of being financially savvy. Everyone starts from knowing nothing, and may need some help from someone more knowledgeable. Mistakes are made along the way, but as you keep going, you learn things about finances that make you better in managing them.

2. You won’t get anything unless you work for it. In WoW, if you want something, you have to make the effort to get it. In some instances, you get a freebie when a fellow player gives you something, but in general, you really have to find a way to get something. Want to buy that armor that increases you agility by 50 but can’t afford it now? Well, you’d better get moving and earn more gold, else someone gets it before you do. Same goes with money. No one gets rich by just living an idle life. You have to go out and find ways to become wealthy.

3. You learn the basic economic principles without even realizing it. Most of us don’t bother learning about the principles of economics. We’re familiar with some terms, such as “supply and demand” but unless it’s directly related to our jobs, we probably don’t give it a second thought. However, we don’t realize that the hours we spend playing already taught us these principles. We may not know the official terms for these principles, but when applied, we know it well.

4. You learn how to save and budget your funds. It’s not easy for new gamers to save game money. Early quests don’t pay enough for you to buy the really good stuff, so you have to keep on fulfilling quests to save up. However, you still need to buy other items like potions to increase your stats. Or perhaps items such as weapons or armor to help increase your attack or defense rate. You learn how to properly allocate your gold so that you can buy the items you need but still have enough to be able to buy the big guns when you need to.

5. Your math skills are developed. While most calculations are automated, it still helps to be able to do simple transactions in your head. I’m guessing that hardly anyone whips out a calculator while checking out items for sale (or do you?). Still, you have an idea of how much items you want will cost and how it’ll fare against your budget. You can easily add up the cost and subtract them against your gold.

6. You learn how to hunt for bargains. In WoW, there are a lot of players who sell their in-game items for gold. A shrewd player on the hunt for items would know the real value of that item, so when he spots someone selling it, he’d know if it were a bargain or not. Some more enterprising players buy cheaply priced items and sell them at a higher price, especially when they know the item’s true value.

7. You learn to maximize your resources. There are days when you find yourself in a pinch. Maybe you don’t have enough gold, or your armor and weapons aren’t enough. Unfortunately, you have no time because there’s a raid coming up and you need to be there for your team. You find ways to make sure everyone has enough resources for the battle, even if you have to do some tricky maneuvering. It also shows how good you are in managing and dealing with people. While it isn’t strictly a money related lesson, you’ll find that this skill can help you in real life when you’re negotiating a deal.

8. Playing WoW can earn you money in real life. This can range from simple dealings such as selling an in-game item for dollars, to joining tournaments and events where you win prize money if your team beats all contenders. Believe it or not, there are numerous local and international competitions where guilds compete for the honor of being called the best World of Warcraft players on the planet. Champions will not only get monetary rewards, but also free swag and bragging rights. Some even get sponsorship for products, or even college scholarships.

Spending time on a video game isn’t as worthless as it is purported to be. Sure, it takes a lot of your time when you can probably be out doing something else, but it isn’t as bad as skeptics make it to be. Intellectual and practical skills are developed, which in turn can be useful in daily life. Just remember, everything in moderation: Spend some time in the game, and spend some time in real life.

Ally is part of the team that manages Australian Credit Cards, a blog that wrote about how comparison affects decision-making. You can follow ACC on Twitter if you like to stay updated on their latest contents. Before joining ACC, Ally was a Media Planner with McCann Worldgroup Philippines, Inc., with award-winning executions, including the Levi’s 501 “Live Unbuttoned” global campaign.

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