Leading a company demands a way to relax, and every CEO looks for a way to unwind. For some, that may mean golf or sailing, but Elon Musk, the world’s wealthiest man, finds comfort in playing video games. “Playing video games has a very calming effect on my mind. Confronting virtual challenges helps ease the turbulence in my thoughts,” the Tesla and SpaceX founder told podcaster Lex Fridman in an episode released on Friday.
The 51-year-old is a lifelong gamer who pulls all-nighters to play his favorite titles at the office. According to Fridman, he has even used gaming to make significant business decisions. For example, he once requested a statue of Vault Boy for his birthday after an intense session of the game Elden Ring, which focuses on war and empire-building. Fridman also reports that Musk has used his gaming to get into a specific “zone” that allows him to make decisions quickly and confidently.
It’s not the first time Musk has opened up about his relationship with technology and gaming. He compared the process to creating a new Star Wars character when he spoke with Walter Isaacson, the author of his acclaimed biography of Steve Jobs.
In the interview, Musk said that he “created a new character in [his] head when I was playing video games” and discussed how the game’s pixelated characters helped him envision the future of humanity. He also shared a story about how he and his cousins once learned how to hack arcade games, allowing them to play for free without purchasing coins.
Musk’s love of gaming has also led him to incorporate the technology into some of his products. For instance, Tesla drivers can play games on the center screen of their vehicles when docked at a charging station. He’s also hinted at releasing a video game allowing people to pilot his new space capsules to Mars.
One of the things that makes it so difficult to work with Musk is that he’s swift in judging and acting. As a result, his trusted team members must understand how to communicate with him and not take his harsh criticism personally. He also believes that he’s very hard on himself.
To hear more about what Elon Musk says about video games, listen to the full episode below! Subscribe to the Super U podcast to get curated tips from top performers and thought leaders. Click here to start your subscription today.