Big Game Theory: Gaming as The New Job Interface

Big Game Theory-header

Tech innovations like AI, robotics, and process automation are going to become a dominant force in work activities in the coming decades. It’s clear that a seismic shift in how work is perceived and how workers are trained will be needed. 

Meanwhile, the next generation of workers continues to fall behind in an antiquated educational system that still operates as if we were preparing workers for 19th-century industrial revolution-era jobs. 

This is where my Big Game Theory comes into play. In a nutshell, this theory envisions a scenario where the education workstream partners with the industry or career workstream to develop efficient work processes that leverage automation and robotics, with gaming at the core of use. 

As I explain in my latest Forbes article, it’s up to entrepreneurs and job creators to form the workforce of the future. Fortunately, the culture has already provided a head start. 

A large number of Millennials, Gen Zs, and Gen Alphas are whiz-bang gamers who focus a great deal of time and energy on playing video games that embrace artificial intelligence and automation, two tech innovations poised to dominate in the future of work. While fiercely competing in the digital world for leaderboard positions, bragging rights, and grand master gaming status, they’re honing the very skills they will need to excel in jobs of the future. 

Rather than disparaging this generation’s focus on mastering gaming skills over the pursuit of academics, we need to embrace it by encouraging skills certification at least in parity with academic accreditation. How can this be accomplished? By pairing video game training with developments in automation.

Just think of the possibilities: 

  • Top-level gamers, using the skills they acquired from hours of playing video games like Grand Theft Auto, will be able to remotely maneuver AV 18-wheelers to warehouse docking stations using only broadband, a keyboard, and a mouse.
  • Anyone who puts in the VR gaming time and acquires the skills will be able to perform low-risk virtual robotic surgery procedures.
  • Gig workers who game their way into proficiency in any number of tasks — from moving cars around an auto rental lot to assembling electronics to preparing hamburgers at a fast food joint — can jump from job to job in virtual or real-time, as their interests and financial needs dictate. 

It’s only a matter of time before some Gen Z gig worker will be hiking in the physical world while playing a game that’s moving a robot that’s docking a truck at a warehouse in some far-off city. 

To read more about gaming as the new job interface, check out my article in Forbes