Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Virtual Worlds of Work

Sometime when we all were sleeping, 70 percent of large companies and nonprofits started using video games and other interactive software to train and educate employees. That piece of relatively astonishing news came out yesterday from the Entertainment Software Association, the big kahuna of gaming industry lobbying shops. The ESA study, based on surveys of 150 large entities in March, also revealed that three-quarters of the companies not yet using games and immersive environments to train will do so in the next few years.

Strong evidence that games are getting serious. So too the growing presence of business in synthetic worlds like Second Life. For example, see the Xerox video above, and the one here:

A new report out a few days ago from Forrester Research Inc. underscores the point with an in-depth look at IBM's big roll of the dice on Web3D.

And gaming's getting big in other forms of education and training as well. The Washington Post had a Sunday story featuring former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's foray into gaming the judicial system, er, I mean using a game to explain it, of course!

There's lots more here, in a piece I did today for Nextgov.com.

And come this Thursday, I will be talking with Army simulation and training guru Roger Smith about gaming as a disruptive technology in the military simulation market. You can register for free here.

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