Friday, February 22, 2008

Update on the Learning From Games initiative

I decided to do a quick post as an update on the Learning From Games platform that Marinka Copier and I started last year. What we are working on at the moment is a format for a "gaming lab workshop" (working title) that could be used to tackle organizational problems using game design principles. However, it will take some time to get everyone on the same page about this and to agree on a format that we can experiment with. Bear with us. This is pioneering work.

Two abstracts that Marinka and I submitted were accepted. We will be presenting "The Play Element of Learning: Taking Serious Games Beyond the Magic Circle" at the Breaking the Magic Circle seminar in Tampere, Finland in April (where I participated last year as well). And we will present "The Power of Play: How Game Design Can Upset Organizations" at the Upsetting Organizations conference in Amsterdam in July. So we will be presenting our view on the analogy between game design and organization design to both sides. That should make for some interesting discussions.

Today I was interviewed by Alan Majer of New Paradigm (that's Don Tapscott's company). They are doing a research report for their clients on what enterprises can learn from multiplayer games. Besides myself they have spoken to people like Nick Yee and John Seely Brown. It was an interesting conversation, because Alan proved to have a very thorough understanding of the subject matter and the issues at play. We could get straight to the point and discuss topics such as comparing game design and organization design. We talked at length about how the design principles that cause this remarkable behavior in environments such as World of Warcraft could be applied in an organizational setting.

Apparently the right questions are slowly seeping into the minds of business leaders. I'd better get back to work on finding the answers.

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