There has been an on-going discussion and interest on gaming as a training tool, gaming as a recruiting tool, and gaming as a sales tool. But there has never been a book written so thoroughly about it than this one by David Edery and Ethan Mollick called “Changing the Game”.
The book is very well written and entertaining as it educates in context to how games truly enable businesses to become more competitive whether in recruiting, or employee training.
Some of the notable points about developing games for recruitment or training speaks to knowing how exactly games can achieve those goals. Knowing in what context are games best introduced, and what are the main benefits that the game can accomplish. And that speaks to knowing your audience. You not only should take a game development approach, but you need to take a marketing approach to selling your game to your audience as if you were selling the game itself.
Some of those benefits that games can give us in context to recruitment include giving your candidates a deeper experience online of your employer brand. For employees, it engages them into learning without the pain of learning. And of course introduce the power of social and you have a game that gets passed throughout the world as if you had a million dollar media budget. There is a nice section on our role in Second Life too.
So what is it about games that we have so much emotion for? Some argue how it is a waste of time and that it can’t be validated for business use. But now there are case studies after case studies on game usage within business objectives.
There is another great book called The Puzzle Instinct by Marcel Danesi that speaks to the instinct in humans to want to solve challenges. Not just to solve the challenge or puzzle but to supplement this “mental catharsis” in each of us. The word “catharsis came from Aristotle to describe an emotional relief that came from watching a tragic drama on stage. Unravelling a mystery or finding the answer to a puzzle seems to give a sense of relief from suspense…or mental catharsis.
So if your boss comes up to you while you have World of Warcraft on your monitor, just tell him that you are having a seizure of mental catharsis. In reality, or shall I say virtual reality, no longer should games be looked at as just games.