Gaming In The Workplace

Technology at its best and worst

The workplace for most can be a very tedious place. I mean we can’t all be baseball players, video game testers, or movie stars. No, for most of us, work consists of sitting at a desk, and punching away at a keyboard. According to Margaret Robertson of BBC, the tedium of work could be changing, and video games might be the cause.

In Robertson’s article, she talks about how gaming influence has changed over the years. While gaming was seen as a taboo act in the past, companies are starting to change their views. What I found humorous was how people are starting to add their video gaming to their resumes. People who run guilds on MMORPGs are starting to add them to the applications. If you have ever run a guild on such a game, you’d know that there is a lot of administrative, financial skills that go along with it. Not to mention the social skills required to keep everyone in the guild happy.

Employers are starting to find less conventional means of discovering a person’s merit. Before, it was all up to personal interviews, and police records as to what a person is truly like. With social networking sites like Facebook, and MySpace, this is the perfect platform for employers to discover information on a potential employee. Why bother conducting an interview, if you find a picture of an employee engaging in illegal activities on their MySpace page. Robertson then extends this thought, into gamer cards that are available through Xbox Live. These cards provide a way for other people to see what games you like to play, and how often you like to play them. The information is out there folks, so be careful as to who you’re allowing to view.

Probably my favorite part of the article, is how companies are using gaming as means to motivate people to work. Labeling food containers could be a pretty tedious task. If you could somehow make a game of it, the chore can transform into a fun activity. My favorite example of this idea is with the game FoldIt. The game was developed by the University of Washington’s departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Biochemistry.

In the game, the user tries to fold protein molecules much in the same way that scientists do. Your score is based upon how well you fold the protein, and all that data is recorded by the researchers. This tedious chore has just been put into a game like setting, where people all across the world can provide assistance to scientists in mapping the human brain.

We’re pretty far from making a mail clerk’s occupation into a gaming experience. It definitely won’t be a surprise to see companies adopt gaming into their workplaces in the future though. You can believe that if a company were to tell me that I would somehow be gaming all day, my ears would definitely be perked.


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