Networking does not always take place in traditional settings like corporate events or professional mixers. It may take place on other platforms, as a networking dinner, a meetup at the pub, or even in an online multiplayer video game.
Although video game environments may seem unconventional for networking at first, they actually foster strong relationships amongst the participants. The reason is simple. Everyone shares a common interest to be there. Their love for video games. You genuinely have something to talk about, and developing a rapport comes naturally.
Of course, you may ask how is that possible? Conversations amongst gamers can be extremely toxic. Well, not really, or at least, not always. A study from Cornell University reported that the positive socio-emotional messages shared amongst gamers seem to be multiple times higher than the negative ones. 2.6 times higher to be exact. This is not surprising. It’s not unusual for gamers that have met online to develop a powerful friendship and extend it in real life too.
If you are already gaming in online environments, you are already networking. Whether you are playing WoW, LoL, Fortnite, COD Warzone, or even FIFA, chances are that you are meeting new people who hold common interests to yours. Why not extend this relationship? Find out more about them. Their work, and their professional interests. There may be a hidden synergy or opportunity you were not aware of.
As a career coach, Brad Waters, discusses in Psychology Today:
You love online gaming. You’ve been gaming with these same folks for years and, even though you haven’t met them in person, you feel like you know them better than most. Why not ask them if they have any job leads? Ask them if their company is hiring and if they could put in a good word for you. You already game with them for eight hours straight, so they know you’re loyal and can sit at a computer for long stretches!