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Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business Hardcover – October, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Despite growth challenges in some parts of the entertainment industry, such as music and print media, the video-games industry is thriving. No longer just the providence of the first-person shooter mentality, the concept of video games has opened up with the popularity of virtual worlds such as the Sims and Second Life. “Massively multiplayer online role-playing games” such as World of Warcraft can support thousands of players simultaneously as players join forces with others to go on “quests,” slaying dragons and finding rare hidden items. The authors, who are both affiliates at MIT, discuss how games are being utilized by companies for product placement (“advergames”) and as teaching and motivational tools, making it fun to do business. The military has embraced video games in a big way, utilizing them for recruitment and battle simulation. These game enthusiasts create a compelling argument as to why games matter, because “at their best, they represent the very essence of what drives people to think, to cooperate, and to create.” --David Siegfried

From the Back Cover


Use Video Games to Drive Innovation, Customer Engagement, Productivity, and Profit!

Companies of all shapes and sizes have begun to use games to revolutionize the way they interact with customers and employees, becoming more competitive and more profitable as a result. Microsoft has used games to painlessly and cost-effectively quadruple voluntary employee participation in important tasks. Medical schools have used game-like simulators to train surgeons, reducing their error rate in practice by a factor of six. A recruiting game developed by the U.S. Army, for just 0.25% of the Army’s total advertising budget, has had more impact on new recruits than all other forms of Army advertising combined. And Google is using video games to turn its visitors into a giant, voluntary labor force--encouraging them to manually label the millions of images found on the Web that Google’s computers cannot identify on their own.


Changing the Game reveals how leading-edge organizations are using video games to reach new customers more cost-effectively; to build brands; to recruit, develop, and retain great employees; to drive more effective experimentation and innovation; to supercharge productivity…in short, to make it fun to do business. This book is packed with case studies, best practices, and pitfalls to avoid. It is essential reading for any forward-thinking executive, marketer, strategist, and entrepreneur, as well as anyone interested in video games in general.

  • In-game advertising, advergames, adverworlds, and beyond
    Choose your best marketing opportunities--and avoid the pitfalls
  • Use gaming to recruit and develop better employees
    Learn practical lessons from America’s Army and other innovative case studies
  • Channel the passion of your user communities
    Help your customers improve your products and services--and have fun doing it
  • What gamers do better than computers, scientists, or governments
    Use games to solve problems that can’t be solved any other way



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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (October 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013235781X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132357814
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,606,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Johanna Klein on October 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I blazed through the book in about five hours. I thought that it flowed
well, was logically organized, very well researched, etc. I think that, as an introduction for a manager to how to think about appropriate uses of
games in their business, it is actually a very helpful book - it doesn't
give a blueprint for what a company should do, but it definitely does make a strong case for what to consider when starting to think about the challenge. (This should be taken as very high praise, since I don't read business books, ever, preferring instead to mock them viciously.) Some stuff I particularly liked:

Given that there are two authors, the tone is amazingly consistent. I
thought the writing was excellent - I was buoyed along by how fluid and smart it was. On a related note, I loved how funny the book was - I started reading it in my gym and kept hooting with laughter on the elliptical. "Those sights include underground cities, murky swamps, troll-infested jungles, scorpion-filled deserts, and beautiful beaches - all of which seem even more remarkable when viewed from the back of a soaring griffin." (Now I, a non-gamer, want to play World of Warcraft!) "Of course, just because you want to see advertisements on the hood of a NASCAR stock car doesn't mean that the same ads belong on the side of a unicorn." I love it...

The thing that I liked best about the book, though, was sort of hard to put into words. But basically, the whole phenomenon of people playing games strikes me as immensely HUMAN.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Video games are so commonplace that you probably don't see them as a launching pad to the next frontier of innovation, but David Edery and Ethan Mollick will make you think twice about that. They present an eloquent, persuasive case for the enormous potential that video games have to transform business. The authors illustrate the way that a growing number of organizations are utilizing virtual worlds to advertise their goods and services, train their workers and attract potential employees. They'll amaze you as they recount how rapidly video games have progressed since Pac-Man and Space Invaders first appeared in bowling alley arcades. getAbstract applauds the authors' scholarship and research, and their ability to illuminate this topic for a corporate audience. Anyone involved in technology innovation, or personnel training and management, could learn a lot by playing along. Video games are serious business and they generate serious money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dan Burleigh on January 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A very good, broad view of many trends and technologies that are changing the way information is shared and value is built in business and broader society. The first part of the book was a an overview of the new technologies or mechanisms individuals and organizations are using, so it was a bit general (overview of wisdom of crowds concepts, console industry, etc) but then the authors did a very nice job of tying it all together.

You may be familiar with some of these new services or game types but probably not all of them. I was especially excited to read about Ross Smith, a test leader in the security group that I know- he really is an innovator and the reference to Ross and his work really speaks to how current and valid the research in this book is. I found the book to be very valuable and thought provoking. I highly recommend it!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Gannon on October 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
What I liked most about this book was the way it addresses pretty much every major potential use of video games in a business setting. Most other books that I'm aware of have tended to focus on a single topic, like games and education. I also like the way the authors blended corporate case studies and academic research; again, most other books on serious uses of games tend to be overwhelmingly academic.

The part I personally liked most was the final chapter, which was probably the most speculative but also the most intriguing. I love the idea of using video games to turn complex problems into fun experiences that people play voluntarily and therefore solve the problems voluntarily! The book's examples of this, like Google's "Image Labeler" game, were very good.

I suppose my main criticism of the book is that precisely because it tackles so many subject areas, it doesn't often get into the nitty gritty of game development. It does offer very useful tips at the end of every section though.

Long story short I'd call this one of the most entertaining and informative books I've read on the subject of serious games. Well worth a read, especially if you're a business person looking for insight into the practical uses of games within every day corporate life. Most game books simply aren't written with a general business audience in mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cristian Guajardo Garcia on December 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Changing the game" (chtg de ahora en adelante) parte haciendo hincapié en como la palabra "juego" adquiere una connotación negativa en la medida que crecemos.
En el trabajo "juego" es sacar la vuelta, no cumplir, perder el tiempo etc. En una palabra: procastinar.

Pero hecha esa declaración, David Edery y Ethan Mollick comienzan a demostrar con ejemplos claros y exitosos como los videojuegos transformarán la forma en que interactúamos, creando nuevas unidades de negocio, puestos de trabajo para los cuales aún no existen nombres y una nueva forma de gobernar, la que lleva por nombre tentativo gamerarcracy.

Debo decir, antes de hablar sobre el libro, que en lo personal, conocía los advergames (como el trabajo realizado por Vince Vader) y los juegos de ARG (alternative reality game) sin embargo nunca había sopesado como se usan los videojuegos en temas como la rehabilitación de pacientes, cursos de conducción, elección de personal, trabajo colaborativo o para mejorar la productividad de la fuerza laboral. Es ahi donde los autores abarcan (sin profundizar) varios temas que abren el espectro y dan riqueza, fuerza y contenido a sus argumentos. En verdad el libro abrió mi mente.

Ok, vamos con el libro:

Porque importan los videojuegos: Ya de partida, el libro se encarga de dejar en claro porque es necesario y porque es una herramienta que ayuda a esclarecer y vislumbrar el panorama actual.
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