This is not something new – I’ve mentioned it before. But this particular article has a very good way of putting the point. It also points to actual research on the subject, and makes some extremely good statements about exactly what kinds of skills gaming can develop.
I think it’s important to note that it’s not only active raiding guild members who develop life-skills in-game. Raiding guilds and raid-leaders probably attract the same people who are attracted to corporate positions – team-building types who thrive in a group environment.
What about the solo player? This kind of person might also be able to list their experiences in-game as worthwhile skill-building items on a resume. Soloing players learn a level of problem solving and independence that is vital in certain job-types: journalism, research, teaching, are just some of the ones I can think of off-hand … where you have to rely on your own skills to get you to a goal that some people rely on a ready-charted path and hand-holding to get them through.
Anywhich way you look at it, the less we think about it as gaming and the more we think of it as a hobby the better. Like you wouldn’t put: Beat all my friends in monopoly, but you might put: trained for and won a race or something. Sport is accepted — both team sports and individual sports — well, I think WoW could be the same.