It's weird the places that Tabletop Wargaming pops up these days. Once upon a time it was the reserve of nerds and geeks (I count myself amongst them) but somehow, seemingly without my noticing, it went all mainstream! Once wargaming was its own counter culture, now its the path to a qualification.... so what the hell am I talking about? The Duke of Edinburgh Awards!
the newly qualified Jedi with A and A-Star GCSE's coming out of her ears) last night about her 6th Form studies. As well as working towards 4 A-Levels she also has some time set aside for something the school loosely terms "enrichment actives". In my daughters case this means doing a Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. The award covers several areas including Volunteering, Physical Activity, Some sort of 'Expedition' and a Skills section. When you look at this latter section to see what sort of activities can be included as a skill the list includes (to my amazement and joy) Historical Re-enactment, Table Games and War Gaming!
Of course I immediately suggested we set up a Flames of War game but for some strange reason she declined. She actually already has a hobby that can be utilised for the award. She belongs to a cake decorating club (the Sugar-craft Guild) and cake decorating is an approved skill on the list, so unfortunately she will probably choose that for her Skill section of the DofE. But for just a moment - an oh so fleeting moment - there was the possibility of teaching her to play wargames as part of her education and as an enhancement to her CV. So near, but yet so far!
Dukes of Eds had historical wargaming as an option when I was but a lad starting out in hobby back in black and white days of late 1970's. Am sure I have the award criteria sheet about someplaceReplyDelete
Well I never! So all those "wasted" hours gaming and painting as a kid were actually good for me? Who'd have thought it! LoLDelete
I actually started proudly stating my geekish activities on application forms right from the get go. In fact my first job after university was won because of my honesty on such activities. I kid you not!!!
In the interview two of the managers asked me about my wargaming hobby and what it was all about. Little did I know that both of them were HUGE historica wargamers. The third then asked about my comics, she was a reader comics. They all said that I got the post because they could imagine me fitting in with the team. No *bleep*.
However, in my field as a researcher such geeky activities just confirm you're the sort of nerd they want. It's not as big a hindrance as some might think. When I've looked at employing people myself, I've looked at similar hobbies as an indicator that someone is A) a more rounded individual and B) likely to have a certain set of problem solving skills that are very useful in policy and research work. Wargamers know how important wording is. Honestly the best and tightest policy documents are ALL written by wargamers!
I don't hide my interests from colleges any more. I made a concious decision to 'come out' about my hobbies years ago and I have never had cause to regret it. I've never put it on a CV but then I haven't needed to write a CV for over a decade now.Delete
Indeed, when you read these days about how to stand above the crowd with your CV (remember Spain's young population unemployment rate, including university graduates, close to 50%... five-zero, yes ) the generic comment is to write down some activity that would capture the attention of the interviewer. I remember to have called some years a young graduate girl or woman to an interview because she was Dan-3 level in Karate and spent a whole year traveling the world around in a bicycle... and her name came out inmediately to my eyes among 300 applications to the postReplyDelete
I think Lee that have brought to public light a very good idea. And now a serious question; aside from the "geekish" dimension of the hobby, how we translate the "skills" developed through gaming into something of potential use for a firm? . I may do a special post about this in my blog, if you don't mind that I copy-cat your idea
Go for it, if this little post sparks a good idea by all means run with it mate! Its all in the presentation. Its like job descriptions, there are no bin-men any more, they are all "Sanitation engineers". So maybe I wouldn't put "Wargamer" on a CV but something a bit more high brow... maybe "Battlefield Simulation Specialist" or "Historical Probability Engineer".Delete
Any more suggestions for how to describe being a Wargamer on a CV?
@Anibal Invictus, I've been working on a Sunday Sermon for about two months now as to whether are wargaming skills are transferable. I'd be interested in any article you have to write.Delete
I got a job partially on the back of wargaming, by pointing out in the interview the similarities between the way a set of rules works and the way a computer program works (most wargames rules are a simple program designed to moderate a game, after all).ReplyDelete
And the son of a friend of mine did wargaming as part of his DoE some 20 years ago; I assisted by teaching him WRG 7th Edition :)
It is something to be proud of and my hobby has made me a more rounded individual. I have learned to paint; plan and design projects; explored probability & maths; I've learned about history (and wars) I never even knew existed; I've made friends; widened my social circle; created, built and maintained a blog; I've visited hundreds of museums; read thousands of books and shot tens of thousands of photographs.... and all because of my geeky little hobby. You don't get all that from fishing or watching football!Delete
My son is doing the Gold D of E and he also has wargaming on the schedule.ReplyDelete
For what its worth tell him this old fart thinks that is very cool!Delete
What a great post and the comments are interesting as well.ReplyDelete
I would absolutely switch on if I saw war gaming listed on a CV from a potential candidate.
So would I, but I fear some employers still wouldn't understand. Maybe I'm wrong. I haven't had to write a CV in over a decade and its been almost as long since I last went through an interview process so I guess a lot has changed, including attitudes.Delete
That´s the problem. I used to list the hobby in my CV but over here they just don´t get itDelete
Ok, it´s a bit of a talking point, gives you the chance to tell them (bosses etc) something they haven´t a clue about but mostly, even after you´ve told them in detail, they still assume you sit at home with toy soldiers and making rat-a-tat-a-tat, bang, weeee kabooom! noises.
So..where´s my StuG...brrrum...kapow!!!
Cakes club sounds good, but I'd still prefer a FOW club!ReplyDelete
Part of Sugercraft is making decorations for cakes such as edible flowers, lacework and even miniature figures., all made from icing sugar. She could build two armies from icing sugar and as each unit is destroyed the victor could eat the vanquished!Delete
One of the chaps I'm starting a Path to Glory campaign with does cake decorating, sugarcraft and whatnot as well as wargaming - apparently his skills at sculpting are easily transferrable!Delete
I did wargaming for my DoE back in the 90's. In fact I had little idea about historical gaming but wanted creadit for playing 40k. But a friends Dad agreed to take me to his club and asses me and I am now on the comittee of the club, love historical gaming and would really know how to fill my time without it.ReplyDelete