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Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever

35 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1578519491
ISBN-10: 1578519497
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Those who are looking for a contrarian view of video games will find it in these pages. While many parents fret about their children’s minds turning to goo as they squander hour after hour absorbed in electronic diversion, the authors argue that gamers glean valuable knowledge from their pastime and that they’re poised to use that knowledge to transform the workplace. Beck (The Attention Economy: Understanding the New Currency of Business) and Mitchell (DoCoMo—Japan’s Wireless Tsunami: How One Mobile Telecom Created a New Market and Became a Global Force) base their claims on an exclusive survey of approximately 2000 business professionals. That survey, say the authors, provides the first data showing a direct, statistically verifiable link between digital games and professional behavior in the workplace. The authors express their analysis in clean, crisp prose devoid of jargon, making it accessible for non-gamers, especially non-gamers who are managers. "Gamers believe that winning matters," Beck and Wade contend, and gamers also place "a high value on competence—wanting to be an expert in the first place"—all of which makes the video game generation, estimated by the authors to be some 90 million strong, an influential force in the work place. The book touches on a handful of other ways in which gamers differ from non-gamers and provides suggestions on how employers can take advantage of their unique values and skills. Some readers may find themselves grinding their teeth at many of the authors’ upbeat conclusions about the benefits video game players will bring to the business world, but most will find the pair’s findings fascinating and provocative.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Got Game deserves credit for drawing attention to an 200 bright and breezy pages." -- The Financial Times, 21 October, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (October 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578519497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578519491
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,279,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Graeme from Waltham, MA on November 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a book comparing the attitudes and work habits of two groups of people: those who grew up playing video games and those who didn't. The basis of the book, the jumping off point for Beck and Wade's analysis, is a *lot* of data collected in surveys by the authors. The analysis is based on how much gaming you did growing up, not how much you do now -- I don't get credit for my mastery of Rise of Nations. That makes sense given the number of hours involved. I'm fifty-two, I was old when the first computer games came out, but my children don't know a world without them. They have literally thousands of hours more gaming experience than I do.

You can call this a generation gap -- the authors analyze the data by age as well as gaming experience -- but over and over again the data suggest that gaming is more important than age. I can see the parts of my own personality that resonate with games, blowing away monsters as well as solving puzzles in resource allocation, but that's a coincidence reinforced by choosing games I like. My children, the data say, have been molded by games.

Have you ever used a slide rule? My father used one routinely, but although I know how, I've never used one to solve a real problem. It's just not part of my conceptual tool bag. When you bump into a business problem, do you reach for a metaphorical slide rule, recall a metaphor from Wordsworth, or make a list? Gamers hit a key or button or mouse, and they do it as fast as they can. Trial and error (and speed!) have been built in to their wiring from their first video game on. That's not the only characteristic discussed in the book.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. David Evans on May 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
To start, it's not about how it's OK to hole-up and game all day. But it does make a solid case for gaming---and that means your current point-of-view is to going to quickly shape your reaction to this book. But hang in there...because you really can't ignore the truth of the impact on risk-taking, perseverance, innovation...and it's role in shaping managers. No matter how you feel about gaming...and whether you game or not...this book provides and insightful look into what's shaping the next crop of managers. Resource scarcity shaped my grandfather; the boundless optimism of the 50s shaped my Dad. TV and "instant solutions" (read "this quarter...") shaped me. Games are shaping my son. I think he's the one to watch.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Garth Frizzell on June 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The video game generation is growing up. If video gamers have not applied for a management position posted at your company, they soon will. When they do, will you know how many of the stereotypes of video gamers are based on fact? After all, we have received decades of hyperbole on the bad effects of video gaming. In Got Game, Harvard researchers Beck and Wade give a refreshing, social-scientific treatment of the topic. They definitively argue that gaming is not an embarrassment in your employee. In fact, if you agree with Got Game's message, you will find yourself adding "video gaming" to the list of desired skills on your next management job posting.

The book is relevant to business in my locale, central British Columbia. The conclusions are based on interviews with hundreds of business professionals in the United States, and the demographics are close enough a fit to give useful insights here. Got Game gives a roadmap to the behaviours a video gamer will bring into management.

The key insights this book asserts about gamers are:

* The gamer is comfortable in a world where they are the centre of the process. Video game entertainment is designed to make customers the center of an experience, so the concept of "the customer is always right" is ingrained early on in the gamer. Gamers are used to making decisions that have life-and-death impact; and the gamer is confident - after all, in games, they are the expert.

* For those growing up in the gamer generation, the world is not so big anymore.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joan on October 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If you are in business, especially if you are over 40, this is a must read book to gain an understanding of one of the factors shaping the next generation of workers. I am one of the ones who "dismiss" the game players, even the one in my own house, without ever really thinking about the impact of gaming on the development and attitudes of the younger generation. Why didn't I notice this, even though my son plays for hours a day? Of course it is having an influence! Got Game lays all the facts out there for you, with data backing up their research, on just how much of an influence growing up playing games has on an individual. It also tells you how gamers think and what their natural expectations are of the world around them. If we as managers do not understand the people working for us, not only will we not tap into their amazing potential but we will also lose out when they take their business else where due to dissatisfaction. This is a serious business book about an important topic, but Beck and Wade present it in an easy to understand and enjoyable manner. I would recommend this book even if you are not in business, because gamers are all around us and they are not going away!
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