Lessons that Product Managers Can Learn From Gaming Industry

Games can be helpful in product management career. Tabletop games, video games, role-playing games, many people are fond of them.

The author of the post about this topic on Cleverpm.com knows some benefits that come to people who play such games on a regular basis.  

In fact, many games are based in some fundamental way on reality and the lessons that we learn from gaming can easily translate into skills, knowledge, and talents. Especially for product managers.

PC role-playing games

Any good RPG consists of so many moving parts. All of them are aimed to make an effective and engaging experience.  

The system should work in a predictable and reliable way. All the game characters have to be engaging and well-defined. The story that the game tells has to move you forward and keep you invested.  

Such games deliver on some of the most core capabilities that PMs use every day:

  • How to build empathy with imaginary people
  • How to leverage the strengths of the team that you have put together
  • How to minimize their weaknesses to solve problems
  • How to make difficult decisions based on opportunity costs and so on.

Strategy games

The excitement and unpredictability built into these games make them a hotbed of learnings for PMs.

Strategy games help to build our abilities as product managers in several key ways:

  • How to manage limited resources and maximize their use to move things forward
  • How to make difficult decisions balancing opportunity and current costs
  • How to guess what your competition is, etc.


The best computer simulators have one thing in common:  complexity. And the more complex, usually the better. The nature of simulators and the manner in which they function allow us as PMs to focus on these skills:

  • How to understand complex systems and break them into the necessary component parts to make them more manageable
  • How to delegate
  • How to introduce and guide own users from simple tasks to complex processes in an approachable way.

Tabletop games

What we can learn and take from the more social and interactive means that we use to play these games opens up a lot more learning opportunities for us as product managers.  These games have some similar learnings that we can take from our encounters with them:

  • How to work in groups to determine the direction of the team or the group
  • How to handle changing conditions in high-stress situations
  • How to interpret and apply conflicting or contradictory information and work with others to apply it appropriately.

Games are perfect to broaden PM skills and abilities, as we engage with them in ways that we don’t commonly do so in the real world.

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