Day Trader Learned Lessons From Games

“CIS, pronounced sis, means death in classical Japanese. The nickname is a holdover from his gaming days, when he used to crush foes in virtual wrestling rings and online fantasy worlds. ‘Games taught me to think fast and stay calm,’ he said over tea at Tokyo’s Hotel Grand Palace a few days after the SoftBank trade.”

I’ll be sure to tell my family in the future that I’m not just goofing around with video games; rather, I’m training to make billions 🙂

7 responses to “Day Trader Learned Lessons From Games”

  1. eduj

    I think what this trader says definitely has merit.

    This reminds me of when I use to play on EA’s NHL online hockey league where I would play on defense. Almost every time I hastily ‘pinched in’ in an attempt to win it all, the other team would walk around me, go on an odd-man rush and score the decisive goal. I soon learned that it’s often much better to “play the system” and not let my emotions change the way that I should be playing the game.

    In this regard, video games teaches you patience (to wait for the perfect opportunity to score the winning goal), to insist on using objective indicators to guide your decisions, and not let your emotions cloud your judgment. In a similar regard, the market is driven by two primary emotions–greed and fear, and both have the potential to get you into trouble. As a trader myself, I’d like to think that video games has trained me to be a disciplined investor and not let these emotions cloud my judgement.

  2. Ryan Vogt

    That reminds me — totally off on a crazy tangent to your comment — of an article I read years ago. It was about a research study on physicians who performed endoscopic (or something similar?) procedures. It found that physicians who were video gamers were generally better at them, for two key reasons: (a) having the experience of controlling something not directly with their hands, but with computers / controllers; and, (b) having more patience and experiencing less frustration in essentially knowing how to interact with this almost-virtual system (sort of a riff off your “play the system” comment — find the polyp?). Unfortunately, I can’t remember the details of where I read this (it was years ago), but I’ll see if I can dig something up. If anyone else remembers the details, that would be cool 🙂

  3. Jon Festinger

    Check out:
    1. “The best surgeons play video games” at
    2. “Surgeons With Video Game Skill Appear To Perform Better In Simulated Surgery Skills Course” at
    3. “Why the University of Washington Wants Its Surgeons to Play Videogames” at


  4. eduj

    The next question, perhaps, should be whether there can be too much of a good thing? Are we breeding a generation of surgeons, although good at what they do, who are incapable of appreciating real-world consequences or otherwise detached from reality?

  5. Ryan Vogt

    Thanks for the links, Jon. The topic of your second link was the story I was thinking of (different article, but same basic content).

    As for your question, eduj, I don’t think we have to worry about that possibility. I think most physicians are acutely aware of the potential consequences of their actions. I think the detachment we’re seeing here is the comfort with the physical detachment between controlling what you’re doing to a patient, and the physical contact with the instrument in question that’s actually doing that thing to a patient. One of the big conclusions of this study was that non-video-gamers weren’t as intuitively comfortable with a controller affecting the actions of a non-tactilily-connected image on a screen.


  6. Jon Festinger

    Where this is ultimately going is particularly fascinating. Remote operations through Robotics with headsets like Oculus:

    Gamer skills absolutely required. Can only imagine that one day there will be a course in medical schools teaching all this directly (if there isn’t already). Parents who want their kids to be Dr.’s will be pushing them to play Call of Duty. LOL.


  7. eduj

    COD sure beats the “Operations” game that I use to play when I was young.

    I remember speaking to a lawyer who, before deciding to go to law school, interviewed for UBC Dentistry. He brought a structure he built with spaghetti to the admissions interview to show that he is good with his hands. Long story short, he didn’t get in, but maybe one’s gaming ability will be a factor in selecting candidates for med/dentistry one day.