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Monday, May 16, 2011

Reading: Reality is Broken

I am doing some research in the area of 'gamification' and the use of games to improve serious work processes.  That and some emerging project work has led me to start reading: Reality Is Broken: What Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World:
by Jane McGonigal.
 I am a long time practitioner of industrial simulation, where it is common to ask the question 'what if'?  Always thought there was a competition dynamic that could bring together simulation and gaming, and we experimented with the idea.

There you could see executives in the enterprise  have their eyes light up when they tested an idea they had for a long time but was just too risky to test in the real world.  They were having fun! They also expressed an interest in exposing the idea to other creatives to see what they could do with their idea as a starting point. 

So far the book does an excellent job of providing the motivation for using games in this space.   Also provides lots of real world examples.  Further she mentions to ability to scale up games to let many experts, employees and even consumers participate.  Why not crowd source a simulation?  Our own in enterprise experiments with serious games were only partly successful, but the interest was there.

 I have a problem with the title of the book.  I do not think reality is broken.  It is ultimately what we must deal with.   It can be motivated, assisted, augmented and extended, and that is what we seek.   There are many opportunities here. 

See also McGonigal's Ted video.  (Thanks Dave)

There are many vendors, but take a look at Bunchball as an excellent example.

Great read so far, look forward to making some of this happen.  I will experiment with revealing some more details in this space, confidentiality allowing, as I progress.  I would appreciate any guidance from others out there.

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