Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Grand Theft Corpo
TrainingPort Strategies, in conjunction with parent company BreakAway, is developing "video gaming simulations for the corporate market". The purpose of the gaming tools is to train new hires for their jobs and to transition veteran workers into new assignments. The gaming tools will "range from board games to fully customized, highly visual fidelity simulations." (Board games? Hmm... Sounds like there might still be a little room left over for Monopoly.)
A recent study has estimated that corporate employees will have played 10,000 video games by the time they enter the workforce - although they will have spent less than 5,000 hours reading books. This suggests to me that corporations and business schools would do well to make even business models, annual reports and yield curve analysis texts interactive in the future, so that MBAs-in-training can understand them.
According to TrainingPort's spokesman, corporate gaming tools are bound to be popular. Baby Boomers, downsized or otherwise, might contribute their "plethora of institutional knowledge and expertise" to the development of the games - but presumably these techno-challenged codgers won't be allowed near the actual coding. The prime target audience will be, of course, the entry level folks. "This new generation of corporate workers is part of a learning shift that has moved from a linear learning style to a hypermedia learning style."
I shudder to think what corporate video games would be like - or could become like - when you consider that the video game medium can be so mindless and violent. "Sexual Harassment Sisters" and "Workplace Violence Central" are two mutations that come to mind. I can just picture them right now, can't you? Methinks that some of the folks training on the inevitably bland actual "corporate video games" will be concocting far less innocuous versions in their heads the whole damn while. Especially if they've had a bad day with their supervisor...
On the other hand, a corporate video game on the order of "Hand Out The Pink Slip!" might actually satisfy the Pacman rapacity at the core of every gamer's being while at the same time proving quite, shall we say, "instructional".
I anticipate the inception of an underground parallel industry specializing in anti-corporate video games that will quickly outclass the straight and dreary originals that inspired them.
"Video Games To Invade The Corporate World" from QJ.net
"TrainingPort Plays Video Games With BreakAway" from Gamasutra