Wired Article (April 2006) about gaming skills as business skills

This is an novel article about how skills developed in gaming environments cross-over into business skills - problem solving, creative thinking, etc.  Cites the X-Plane example of a "game" with sufficient fidelity, content, etc. to have recognized value as a serious simulation. 

However, in my opinion, the cross-over from consumer entertainment product to business skill will be a little more subtle than "Wow! You are a level 999 player in Wizards of YesterYear. You must be very persistent."  I suspect it will be more like the phenomena Grady Booch commented on when he used the phrase "Nintendo Generation" in that, as a by-product of what we use casually or for amusement, we will form expectations about the things we use for serious pursuits. 

We've seen this with a variety of personal computer technologies over the past 20-30 years that start off in the niche realm of the "techie", the hobbyist or enthusiast, and then grow to become mass-market consumer items at Best Buy or part of what we expect in the workplace.  It has similarly been observed that part of the marking genius of Microsoft was selling products (e.g. a GUI manager like Windows) to a niche market or consumers and that grows to be an every-day expectation in the workplace.... whether it is necessary for work or not. 

So, it seems to me, that the cross-over between gaming technology and the workplace is more likely to be in the form of what metaphors evolve for presenting information, making decisions, etc. The challenge of delivering widely used business applications is how to draw upon the skills the user already has.  This can be as simple, and long established, as that red means "stop".  It can also be more complicated and emerging as how to pan a viewport or camera, verbally coordinating movement with others, and reading graphs for trends - all common practices in games.

 

 
 


 

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