IBM and Seriosity have just published a study, "Online Gaming is Good For Business." The basic thesis is that immersive, massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMPORGs) enhance productivity, innovation and leadership.
Jim Spohrer, IBM Director of Services Research at the Almaden Research Center said, “What we’ve found is that success as a business leader may depend on skills as a gamer. Smart organizations are recognizing valued employees who play online games and apply their skills and experiences as virtual leaders to their ‘real world’ jobs.”
In other words, employees should not be penalized if they are addicted to World of Warcraft. This has been talked about for the last few years, as more business people become World of Warcraft participants or played around with Second Life.
The study recommends that businesses adopt the following elements from game environments:
- Incentive structures that motivate workers immediately and longer term
- Virtual economies that create a marketplace for information and collaboration
- Transparency of performance and capabilities
- Recognition for achievements
- Visibility into networks of communication across an organization
Seriosity has developed Attent, a kind of multiplayer game for business that focuses on the problem of information overload to improve skills in collaboration and leadership. The environment creates a virtual economy with a currency (Serios). Users assign values to outgoing emails to signify importance, and recipients have the ability to prioritize messages and a reserve of currency that they can use to signal importance of their messages to others.