- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: Portfolio (October 3, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1591844797
- ISBN-13: 978-1591844792
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,513,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Play at Work: How Games Inspire Breakthrough Thinking Hardcover – October 3, 2013
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Games and game design are all around us, from crossword puzzles to computer games to Wii and Xbox. But games permeate our lives in more subtle forms, too, like Powerball lotteries, eBay, social media sites, and even the mileage and rewards points that we win. Games provide feedback loops that stimulate dopamine, rewarding the brain’s pleasure center, but playing games can also improve our reaction time, ability to multitask, and creativity levels. Investigative journalist Penenberg examines how games can be used to modify behavior, train surgeons and military personnel, aid physical rehabilitation, transform boring repetitive tasks into fun, and even harness the computing power of human intelligence across the globe to digitize old books and translate the entire Internet into other languages. Learn how cutting-edge companies are embracing game integration to make workers more satisfied, better trained, and focused on their jobs. Penenberg’s work has appeared in the New York Times, Forbes, Wired, Playboy, and Mother Jones. He may be best known for unmasking Stephen Glass of the New Republic for journalism fabrication in 1998 and is currently a journalism professor at New York University. --David Siegfried
“Adam Penenberg’s excellent new book persuasively demonstrates the power of gaming to motivate work. Filled with great stories of companies who have made the leap into playful productivity, it should be useful and inspirational for anyone looking at how to leverage the spirit of competition.”
—DOUGLAS RUSHKOFF, AUTHOR OF PRESENT SHOCK
“In this great and often funny book Penenberg shows how everyone from entrepreneurs to scientists is using gamification to create the future today. Don’t be left behind. Read this book to learn how the rules of business and life are changing.”
—GABE ZICHERMANN, CEO OF GAMIFICATION CO.
“It’s happening all around us, but if you’re not paying attention you may miss it. Adam Penenberg provides an insightful guide into how gamification is infiltrating the marketplace and, more important, how it can be leveraged to make experiences more immersive and addictive. Read it, and prepare to see your everyday experiences through new eyes.”
—TODD HENRY, AUTHOR OF DIE EMPTY AND THE ACCIDENTAL CREATIVE
“From Tom Sawyer’s fence-painting scheme to Angry Birds, games have a unique knack for tapping the heart of engagement. Adam Penenberg takes you well beyond Zynga and through the countless, inventive ways games can be designed to bring out our best thinking. This is a fascinating and entertaining exploration of that most basic of human proclivities: play.”
—DANIEL H. PINK, AUTHOR OF TO SELL IS HUMAN AND DRIVE
“Gamification is a hot topic but few truly understand it. Engaging and filled with incredible stories, Play at Work explains how games can make us more efficient and creative. Drawing on copious research and interviews with an array of game designers, scientists, mathematicians, entrepreneurs, inventors, and government officials, Penenberg offers a new perspective on how to make play work for you.”
—ERIC RIES, AUTHOR OF THE LEAN STARTUP
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Top customer reviews
The writing style is excellent. When Penenberg asks 'what is a game', he spares us pages of rumination by quipping 'This reminds me of college dorm room debates about how you define art.' When I read this sentence I was so happy. Finally, an author on games who can cut through the fogs of definition and bring on the real research, real facts, and real effects on real people. This book has a vision. No time wasted.
The other core value of this book is that Penenberg works to cover all industries. One chapter investigates how games or simulations aid surgeons in their training. Another chapter details a successful game initiative from DARPA. One interesting note that Penenberg unpacks is that games as a form of learning have been around forever, but only lately have scientists begun to study these processes and prove them as effective, and only lately have smart businesses deployed game models as task platforms for their workers.
The book avoids and even actively critiques the 'put a badge on it' mechanics of the gamification fad, and it seeks an answer behind the process of having fun. Why does time fly when we have fun? Why is Angry Birds so addicting?
The title is doubly fitting, as Penenberg discusses how play can affect the workplace, and how 'play' itself works and operates.