Office Gaming Good for Business, Claims New Book

The next big trends in business management come from video games, Xbox Live executive David Edery and MIT Business Ph.D. candidate Ethan Mollick argue in their new book "Changing the Game."

In a write-up for The Economist, Edery and Mollick present several game-inspired examples of giving employees strong incentives, improving morale, and marketing products. The two flaunt the case of Microsoft's Windows Vista undergoing testing before its release. Asking busy Microsoft employees to bug-test previous incarnations of the operating system was a tall favor to ask, but by making the mission into a game with points and prizes, Microsoft managed to quadruple employee participation in the testing.

The article also looks at other examples of gaming's success in business, such as advergaming: the creation of games like Sneak King as an advertisement for Burger King. Morale and productivity improvements have been seen among work groups that play together. Some groups even believe experience in online role-playing games like World of Warcraft is valuable experience for a resume.