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Speed Review: Changing The Game

Speed Review: Changing The Game

Speed Review: Changing The Game

How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business

by David Edery & Ethan Mollick

Changing the Game reveals how leading-edge organizations are using video games to reach new customers more cost-effectively; to build brands; to recruit, develop and retain great employees; to drive more effective experimentation and innovation; to supercharge productivity … in short, to make it fun to do business.


From Digital Distraction to Profitable Pastime

Everywhere we go these days, the ubiquitous nature of video games is hard to avoid. People are now playing them on their cell phones, home computers and even their computers at work, not to mention the many portable and home gaming systems that have completely shaken up the entertainment industry. If you think you’ve avoided the phenomenon completely, perhaps you should think back to the last time you played Solitaire on your PC. Video games are everywhere, and game industry experts David Edery and Ethan Mollick have dissected the phenomenon to reveal its potential to help those in the business world do their jobs better than ever before.

In Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business, Edery and Mollick have broken down the video game explosion into terms and ideas that can help anyone get a better grasp of the full potential of these highly entertaining (and sometimes addictive) playthings. What were once solely distracting entertainment have now become the engines of increased innovation, productivity and profit for companies that work with video games to engage their customers and employees. To show businesses how to tap the vast potential of interactive computer games, the authors clarify the phenomenon and then demonstrate how dozens of organizations use them to improve their work.

They’re Not Just for Kids Anymore

If you think these games are just for children, then you’ve missed the latest numbers. The authors point out that video games are already “on the verge of eclipsing the music industry and have already surpassed Hollywood box office revenues.” For example, Microsoft’s interactive video game Halo 3 earned $170 million on its first day of release.

With more people today playing video games than ever before, businesses need to take notice of the changing playing field on which they do business, as well as the things people do with their spare time, so they can better connect with customers and employees. Video games are transforming the business world in dozens of important ways, and the authors of Changing the Game offer valuable insights to those who want to make the most of their potential.

Playing video games is a first step to understanding how these games can help an organization enhance its business. To introduce their readers personally to the interactive connectivity of the ideas they discuss, the authors offer a Web site,, full of examples that make their ideas much easier to grasp. Filled with screen shots of the games discussed, as well as links to some of the simpler games that the authors describe, the interactivity of the site presents solid examples of how games can make any learning or working task more enjoyable and meaningful.

New Recruitment Tools

Whether you are a gamer or not, the gaming revolution has been embraced by millions of people who play Solitaire, Dance Dance Revolution or World of Warcraft on a regular basis. This revolution is about more than play, the authors explain, and affects our work lives, the ways we sell and create products, the ways people are hired, and how we do our jobs. When the U.S. Army tapped into the power of video games, it completely changed the way it brings in new recruits. The free online game America’s Army has not only become the most famous recruiting video game by enticing players into the world of military service with some hands-on experience, but it also provides the Army with feedback about what kinds of roles recruits like to play and how successful they are in those roles. The authors point out that this game has had more impact on new recruits than all other forms of Army advertising combined.

Changing the Game also provides readers with a tool kit companies can use to help them design games to successfully accomplish other types of business goals. Tips on product placement; in-game advertising; customer engagement; employee training, recruitment and motivation; community building; and even scientific collaboration through games offer readers an extraordinary abundance of great ideas for taking their businesses into the future by tapping into the power of video games.

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