David Edery and Ethan Mollick on how games can benefit any workplace:
Play games at work! You might hope that's the message behind the new book, 'Changing the Game: How Video Games are Transforming the Business World' - but there's rather more to its central thesis. We cornered David Edery and his co-author Ethan Mollick by the watercooler for some pointers...
Edery – Microsoft's Worldwide Games Portfolio Planner for Xbox Live Arcade – and Mollick's exhaustive exploration is a world away from 'Lunch is for Deathmatches'. Changing the Game is actually a thorough exploration of how companies can inject some of what's special about games – interactivity, fun, structured rewards, and communities, say – into staid workplaces and business models.
Where and when did the idea for Changing the Game first originate?
David Edery: Credit for the general idea of doing the book itself belongs to our editor, Martha Cooley. Martha contacted me after discovering some articles that I had written about the social and business impact of video games, and proposed the idea of the book. I didn't think I'd be able to write the whole thing by myself in my spare time, so I asked Ethan to be my co-author – we had studied at MIT together, and Ethan has analyzed games as part of his PhD research, in addition to helping some non-profits and the military with game development. Fortunately for me, Ethan agreed to do it.