Total Engagement: How Games and Virtual Worlds Are Changing the Way People Work and Businesses Compete

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9781422146576: Total Engagement: How Games and Virtual Worlds Are Changing the Way People Work and Businesses Compete
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Can the workplace be more productive by including avatars, three-dimensional environments, and participant-driven outcomes? This grounded and thought-provoking book by Byron Reeves and Leighton Read proves that it is not only possible, it is inevitable.

Implementing components of multiplayer computer games in the workplace will address a host of age-old problems. Games can not only stem boredom and decrease turnover, but also enhancee collaboration and encourage creative leadership. Games require extraordinary teamwork, elaborate data analysis and strategy, recruitment and retention of top players, and quick decision making. Recreating some elements of games - such as positioning tasks within stories, creating internal economies, and implementing participant-driven communication systems - can not only boost employee engagement but overall productivity.

Of course, the strong psychological power of games can have both positive and negative consequences for the workplace. That's why it's important to put them into practice correctly from the beginning - and Reeves and Read explain how by showing which good design principles are a powerful antidote to the addictive and stress-inducing potential of games.

Supported by specific case studies and years of research, Total Engagement will completely change the way you view both work and play.

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About the Author:


Byron Reeves is a professor at Stanford University, and has authored over a hundred published studies on responses to immersive features of media, including games. J. Leighton Read is a physician, inventor, successful biotechnology founder, CEO, and venture capitalist.

From Booklist:

This collaboration between a Stanford University professor and a venture capitalist, both geeks at heart, turns out to live up, quite literally, to its title. By engaging their readers via immersion into fictional characters’ work and play, Reeves and Read prove points 1 through 857: that games and virtual reality provide the right kind of business platform to solve common corporate people problems. Case one involves repetitive, boring routine work, as in call centers, being transformed in true-game environments by creating a stage, rules, and rewards that make continuous answering a compelling and intriguing job. Case two involves safety-driven video surveillance workers, when repositioned in a virtual world, becoming more attentive, more involved in the task, and, essentially, more productive. That the likes of IBM, Microsoft, and Sun are already proactively using avatars and games with style sheets as partial guidance should come as no surprise. The real amazement is that by erasing the boundaries between work and play, both these four-letter words can ring with employee passion and commitment. --Barbara Jacobs

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