As I mentioned on this post, one must work hard but also play hard. In other words, you need to have fun regularly if you want to stay sane and be able to work hard when it comes to it. But what if you could have fun and improve your business skills at the same time? Even better, right? Below you’ll find three games which I think achieve this purpose.
The king of strategy games, and also the game of kings. Chess dates back to the 6th century, and today it’s played by millions of people around the world. When playing the game you need to protect your resources (pieces), to find the right balance between offense and defense, to lead your opponent to make mistakes, to know when to sacrifice things and so on. As you can see, these are valuable skills to the business world as well.
In my opinion the best place to play online is Chess.com. Their technology is top notch and there are thousands of expert players around, including many national and international grand masters. You’ll also find tutorials and tips there.
As you probably heard by now, poker is not gambling. Sure, there’s some amount of luck involved, but the results of the game, especially if you consider the long term, are based on your skills as a player.
A good poker player must base his game on two building blocks: mathematics and psychology. You’ll need the maths part to figure out the odds of winning with each particular hand, the odds of your opponents having a hand that beats yours, the optimal bet size, the long term return you’ll get by playing in a specific way and so on.
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The psychology, on the other hand, will be used to analyze the behavior of your opponents. You need to read when they are strong, when they are weak, when they are bluffing and so on. You also need to know when to bluff yourself, when to represent something you don’t have, and so on. Again, all skills that you can use on business situations. In fact many successful people are also poker players, including Bill Gates and Barack Obama.
I no longer play computer games, mostly due to lack of time, but back in the day I used to play a mean Terran in Starcraft. I played some Starcraft 2 when it came out as well, and I still watch some pros playing once in a while on YouTube.
Out of all the computer strategy games Starcraft is by far the most sophisticated one. The breadth of strategical choices you have is amazing. You pick one out of three races, each with pros and cons. Then you must manage your resources, workers, structures, army units and so on, with the objective of destroying the enemy troops.
The similarities between war and business have been studied for centuries, and that’s why by playing this game you might end up improving your business skills.
Over to the readers: What other games do you think can improve one’s business skills?