Video game skills and a good poker face online are becoming essential job qualifications in the financial markets, especially where electronic trading arcades have replaced traditional trading pits.
At Geneva Trading, based in Chicago, students are trained to make money out of anything. But part of the assessment process also involves studying an applicant in a video game exercise.
“It is unlikely that we would hire someone who didn’t show good proficiency at a GameBoy or online poker or similar video-type game where hand-to-eye coordination is important” said Mary McDonnell, the company’s president.
The company follows small fluctuations in the market, easily missed on screens filled with fast moving numbers. Here, traders buy or sell on a mouse clicks and a reaction means more money, which is where the video games skills come in.
Expertise in online poker is another star-quality in potential recruits.
“Online poker practice helps traders to read the markets correctly. It helps to determine if people are bluffing, trying to make the market move one way or another,” said Ms McDonnell.
Professor Mark Griffiths, a gambling expert at Britain’s Nottingham Trent Unive even adds: “After all, in many workplace situations the ability to get away with white lies, to save face or be diplomatic, or to smooth over or disguise mistakes and errors, is a big advantage.”