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Total Engagement: How Games and Virtual Worlds Are Changing the Way People Work and Businesses Compete Hardcover – November 2, 2009
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About the Author
Byron Reeves is a professor at Stanford University, and has authored over a hundred published studies on responses to immersive features of media, including games. J. Leighton Read is a physician, inventor, successful biotechnology founder, CEO, and venture capitalist.
Top Customer Reviews
The thesis is simple. Millions of people pay each month to participate in massive multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs). I've tried them, and I have friends (and kids) that have been totally sucked into them. They punch a bunch of psychological tickets for humans: the game designers know what they're doing. The book discusses how this is done:
* an epic story line(we're saving the galaxy from the Crumlons)
* clear paths to advancement, with transparency about your skills and performance
* intensely meritocratic societies called guilds that work together in groups to accomplish major tasks
* strong social interactions with other people
* the ability to try, fail and try again rapidly, learning quickly
* the option to try on leadership roles
For many people, these games are where they come alive and truly experience their potential to solve problems, meet challenges and lead a team.
And then they go into the modern workplace, which is frequently as stultifying as these virtual worlds are thrilling. Fail!
Read and Reeves are convinced that at least some smart workplaces of the future are going to adapt some of the ways of the games to more fully engage their employees and become more effective as economic organizations.Read more ›
Passionate and enthusiastic employees outperform the average workforce. 3D virtual game environments, to do work in, is certainly the engaging and entertaining way to get work done with high productivity and quality, within organizations.
The book starts with a great introduction with excellent references in first chapter. You will be surprised by who plays and by how much, the topic of the second chapter, along with why these people play the games. Chapter three acknowledges that certain tacit work sucks and discusses corporate problems that games *might* solve (note emphasis). Chapter four describes the elements of best games. The book dedicates a chapter each to virtual currencies, teams, individuals and leaders. Another chapter discusses play and work productivity and suggests a natural convergence of work and play driven by the strong need of engaged workers in a workplace, and improvements in technology in the coming years.
I highly recommend this book. I still have to read chapters 10 and 12, but the authors in chapter 11, caution against the side effects of using games in businesses and concludes - the somewhat obvious - that not every type of work is suitable in a game environment.
Thank you, Byron and Leighton for this excellent resource!
I have always been intrigued with the notion that one's work should be challenging, and at the same time: fun. Seriously fun. So, of course, this book by Byron Reeves and J. Leighton Read caught my attention: Total Engagement: Using Games and Virtual Worlds to Change the Way People Work and Businesses Compete.
The book successfully fueled my "fun notion" with compelling business cases and research showing that gaming is not just for high school boys anymore. [Or grown-up kids such as myself.] If businesses want to compete successfully in today's culture, then we will have to overcome our taboo feelings of "playing games" at work.
I could easily write a paper around this book, but I want to keep this brief - so I'll just share three ideas from the book:
* On why people play games: In short, it's all about achievement, immersion, exploration, competition and socializing. Do you see the correlation to the business?
* On virtual money: One economics professor teaches that "economics is less about money than it is about making choices in the face of scarcity." This principle is demonstrated well in the context of gaming, and aptly applied to the art of making leadership decisions.
* On which large enterprises are already experimenting in the field: Check out IBM and Oracle Sun for starters.
If you are in a senior leadership role in your company or run your own business, I invite you to visit the book's website to read the executive reviews and the excerpts.Read more ›
Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Stanford University
Most Recent Customer Reviews
How to apply fun to work environments. This book dives into how to use online game mechanics to keep audiences engaged and participatory. It is insightful and plenty of examples. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Greg Silas
An excellent distillation on various ideas of why immersive 3D experiences are so sought after, and it makes intriguing suggestions on how those experiences can be used to enhance... Read morePublished 17 months ago by L.D.
Here are the positive points about Total Engagement (TE).
(1) The authors of TE 'get' games and 'get' business and 'get' both together. This is a rare combination. Read more
The book covers a broad base of information around gamification and MMORPG. The book is moderately interesting. Read morePublished on September 12, 2013 by Edward J. Barton
Not sure whether business will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into making work meaningful for newer generations (seldom was for other generations), but here's the... Read morePublished on May 25, 2013 by A. Walker
The book is aimed at anyone interested in the evolution and design of work, and how game psychology and technology can be applied to business. Read morePublished on May 16, 2013 by Michael Ruckman
I'd move along to another gamification book, look at Kapp... this book is a little dated. The book does do a decent job of introducing you to game theory, design principles, and... Read morePublished on February 16, 2013 by J. R. Anderson
Nowadays Gamification starts to be a buzz word. Companies and experts talk about how to use game engines and experience on marketing and business for personal and customer... Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by C. Torres
A discussion of how to use game mechanics to make work more interesting. The book's best feature is its discussion of how MMO guilds and guild raids work. Read morePublished on December 4, 2012 by Erik A. Saltwell