Serious Business requires Serious…Games?

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“Business is a game, the greatest game in the world if you know how to play it.”

-Thomas J. Watson

 Forrester Research has recently put out a report on the use of “serious games” in the business world and how they can help to create a lighter and more effective business environment around product decisions.  The report, titled “Serious Games Uncover Serious Requirements” was put out on November 19th, 2008 and builds on a report title “It’s Time to Take Games Seriously” which was put out in late August of this year.  In the latter report, 28 vendor and user companies were interviewed to get a sense of the how these games could make inroads into the business world.  The report discusses an interesting trend in the business community but also illustrates an alternative way that research providers such as Forrester can be used to help their clients stay ahead of the competition.  By drawing attention to this trend, Forrester, and other independent providers like it, can help clients become aware of new ways technology is allowing businesses to circumvent age-old problems.

The report itself discusses the benefits that adopters of these games gain such as overcoming space, organizations structure and engagement issues.   It also discusses how currently these games are just scratching the surface and that this trend could continue to develop within the business community as the offerings become robust.

One such game profiled in the report is Idealyst, put out by Applied Marketing Science, Inc.  A demo of the game is available here.  The main point seems to be to provide a competitive and entertaining way for businesses to brainstorm ideas.  The online demo uses the idea of how airports could improve a travel experience to give a sense of the game.  Employees are generally incentivized using cash or other prizes.

Forrester Research was founded by George F. Colony in the basement of his home in Cambridge, Mass. Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent technology and market research company that provides advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester provides proprietary research, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs that focuses on the business implications of technology change. Forrester clients include marketing executives, business strategists, and IT professionals.

The original press release can be found here.

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