10 Retro Video Games that Can Teach You How to Be a Better Project Manager

10 Retro Video Games that Can Teach You How to Be a Better Project Manager

September 23, 2022 Off By Elma

Since Spacewar! MIT in 1962. It teaches players about resource management and risk vs. rewards through rocket fuel, proton bomboes and hyperspace jumps. In secret, video games are used to train future project managers. Except for Superman 64. The game offered no entertainment to the rest of the world.
You’ll start to notice project management lessons in videogames once you start to notice them everywhere, from hitting your milestones in Rad Racer (milestones), to checking off your boxes with Q*bert (checkpoints).
Modern games can be so complex that you can create entire feature-length films within them. We decided to stick with classic or “retro” games for this exercise.

Retro games must be at least 10 years old to be considered. Because I’m old-school, most of the games I chose are between 20 and 25 years old. This list is not based on Left 4 Dead, which teaches great lessons about project management and how to assemble a team from misfits and deal with setbacks (like the murderous infected mutants).
Retro Video Games that Can Teach You How to Be a Better Project Manager
I hope you enjoy this list. Don’t worry if you have any suggestions, you’ll be able to share them at end.
1. Pokemon

The Project: Gotta Catch’Em All! You are the player and you have to capture wild Pokemon (pocket monsters), then use them to fight other trainers and their Pokemon. When you have captured all 151 Pokemon (including the beloved Pikachu and the coveted Mewtwo), your project is complete.
The lesson: Your Pokemon are your team. You love and rely upon them even though they can sometimes feel like an expense. You must value and make use of every member of your team to be successful. Even the most humble Magikarp can become a powerful Gyarados. The weakest member of your team can become an indispensable asset.
2. Oregon Trail

The Project: You and your family choose one of eight occupations (choose Teacher at Extreme difficulty level). Next, you load your wagon with bullets and spare tongues. Then you set off for Willamette Valley, some 2,000 miles away. There are many challenges, including impassable trails, swollen rivers crossings, AWOL horses, thieves, fires and snake bites. When you arrive in Willamette Valley, your family has not succumbed to cholera, dysentery or typhoid fever, your project is a success.
The Oregon Trail is essentially project management simulator. You need to set a budget, stick to it, manage your team, make key decisions at each intersection and finish before winter sets in.
3. Pac-Man

The Project: You are Pac-Man. Avoid the ghosts, eat all the fruit and dots, and if things get too hot, you can find a Power Pellet to kick some ethereal tail. To trigger the legendary kill screen, you must complete 255 levels.
The lesson: Classic-gaming legend Billy Mitchell said, “You have the ability to navigate all the time to board 255 doing the exact same repetitive thing.” You can’t miss an opportunity to win a prize, a dot or a blue man. You can’t die once, you can’t lose focus. You must stay with it for at least four to five hours.” You also need to be agile. You can easily get killed by chasing the closest dots just because they are right there. Don’t forget your Power Pellets. Project management software can help you eliminate gremlins such as miscommunications and delays that often occur in every project.
4. Metroid

The Project: Samus Aran is a bounty hunter who works for the Project