There’s no doubt that gaming has captured the hearts and imagination not only of children, but adults as well.
In an interesting article entitled Gaming? It’s no child’s play, we are told the virtues of gaming. Very much like what Marc Prensky (the guy who popularised the terms digital natives and digital immigrants) has said in his book, “Don’t bother me, Ma. I’m learning”, gaming has come a long way in shedding its image of schoolboys hanging around LAN clubs and playing games, to becoming an activity that is seen to have educational and lifeskills training!
There are currently an estimated 100 million gamers worldwide, according to Mr Eric Lesser, associate partner, IBM Institute for Business Value. And according to two studies conducted by IBM, MIT, Stanford University and Seriosity (a software start-up), “online games can help tomorrow’s workers become better corporate leaders as the workspace becomes more distributed, collaborative and virtual in nature.”
It seems that playing massive multi-player online role playing games can actually help you to pick up interactive and communication as well as leadership skills as you interact, collaborate and compete with thousands of other gamers, on a global basis!
And with things being played out in real time, players need to make snap decisions and adapt to the ever changing environment. And such skills honed in the virtual game worlds can have real benefits and it’s suggested that employers of the future look out for people who have played games as they have picked up those requisite skills.
Hm..so it’s no longer taboo to put gaming or playing games as one of your interests in your resume!
But of course, the consequences of ‘game over’ in the virtual and real worlds have vastly different consequences and that’s something players need to be made aware of. “Leaders in the future will need to be able to tolerate and manage informed risk to be successful in an increasingly fast and complex environment,” said Mr Lesser.
In another interesting article, Avatars without borders, we learn that the creator of Second Life and IBM have joined forces to enable people’s animated online personae, aka avatars to rmove freely from one virtual world to another.
Currently, avatars are stuck in the world they inhabit, so an avatar in Second Life has to stick around Second Life worlds. Given that people spend so much time and money customising their avatars, getting new wardrobes, hairstyles, gestures, etc, they don’t really want to repeating the processes in multiple virtual worlds. This creates an obstacle to the full potential of the online universe to allow for avatars to socialise, advertise, do business and make money.
“We don’t think the future of virtual worlds is going to involve a lot of ‘siloed’ experiences competing against each other. The future is going to involve going from one world to another, ” says, Mr Yoon of Linden Lab. According to Gartner research firm, 80 per cent of the people using the Internet will have alter egos in virtual worlds by 2011. IBM also has its vision of a “3D Internet” that includes companies using virtual worlds for tasks such as recruiting, meetings and employee training. Hm..imagine your avatar going for an interview online in your future virtual company! Better start practising your online interview skills! And make sure your avatar can fly straight!
So, once again, the gaming and virtual worlds are having more and more impact on the real world we inhabit. It’s no wonder some are beginning to not know where to draw the lines.