I did look at this article from three points of view, as a gamer, as an educator and as a former high-tech R&D administrator.
I agree that this article really looks at how most of our business organizations are structured, and gives a excellent comparison/contrast to the organization of MMORPG as it relates to actual play as well as to the organization and development of guilds. I personally think gamers make better entrepreneurs than they do employees, because of the ability to think on the fly, to look at short-term strategies for long-term solutions/goals. I think gamers want rapid change and flexible environments responsive to their manipulation, as well as fortuitous circumstances and events. Sometimes the real world isn’t like that.
In answer to a comment on this article that: “Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say that gamers would make the best workers if you could get them to stop gaming long enough to work? The problem is that employers generally don’t offer such a democratic, meritocratic work environment, and expecting gamers’ strengths to translate to a bona fide, traditional organization is highly unrealistic. Still, it’s nice to think that such a workplace could actual exist,” The authors answer that, “The key, we believe, is that workplaces must acknowledge and facilitate dispositions that embrace change. The gamer disposition offers one model of what must take place at multiple levels of the organization in order to meet the challenges and demands of work in the twenty-first century. “
I agree that gamers are (1) bottom-lined orientated, but they are setting their own bottom line as part of an ultimate bottom line set by the game and they don’t set the ultimate goals (bottom line) in games unless they are the game’s designer. In the real world they may not be able to decide that they want full pay for getting halfway up the company or department goal WOW is up to 90 levels, and a good article in Forbes by Daniel Tack (Jan, 2013) discusses what can be done at that level WoW at Level 90 So a gamer can decide to enjoy the game at a level 30 or 60 or whatever. They are content. Brown and Thomas are writing for business management, but who wants a level 30 or 60 “employee?” I still believe that there is a big difference between the real world and the immersive MMORPG world, the “big game achievers” in are not particularly successful in their personal or business lifes.Second Skin Documentary finally on line again (94) minutes, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V_2FycHamfA
I would agree that (2) They thrive on change, but is the change they create in the game always positive? Not necessarily, they can also create chaos and destruction. I can say that if they “thrive on change” that a professorship may not be their venue (smile). Coming from High Tech and owning my own businesses, I find that most educational changes move at glacial speed. My college moves faster than most on technology, as demonstrated by this MOOC, but still, change takes time. We talk about “implementing something in 2015 or 2017” and in high-tech R&D it would have been implemented “yesterday.”
Yes, they do (3) Understand the power of diversity, as shown by getting persons in the guild to fulfill different role, “healer” and “tank” for example. They are good at building teams, but even in my guild (StarTrekOnline) it was difficult to keep that team together because of the fluid nature of the players time and commitment. I am not sure that the idea of understanding the power of diversity translates to the real world, and I would love to see a study of MMORPG players who are wonderfully embracing of diversity in the game, and the composition of their friends and associates in real life as well as their attitudes toward someone different than they are, anyone have grant funds available? I am your anthropologist. I do see in the table top game club that I sponsor that these face-to-face encounters are very open to the diversity of the players and I see that in Magic the Gathering face-to-face tournaments. I would hope that this is the Number One skill that is transferable from gaming to real life.
Yes, (4) They marinate on the “edge,” and do explore radical alternative, they do look for a better and quicker way to achieve what they want within the game, but the alternative is that in real life that isn’t always something a business wants in an employee.
Yes, (5) They do see Learning as Fun, and I see that in my classroom, and for some odd reason when I ask a class who are gamers, 90% of those that raise their hands are sitting on the right side of the room as I face them, once it was 100% in a class of 24. Anyone have an explanation for that? I have been doing this for a few years and it is consistent. We are in a computer classroom by my choice even if we are Social Science classes. However, gamers are more interested in completing/beating the assignment, than those who aren’t. I did a people bingo icebreaker, and told them they could leave when they completed the card, the gamers were out of the room first and the non-gamers too longer and continued chatting till break. This is what anthropologists call “ethnography” or a field study and is subjective research.
I do like to use games like this for studies of Focal Vocabulary (Anthropological Linguistics) and the use of words we know but in new context is so integrated into gaming, not just online games either. I used Magic the Gathering (link) in one of my classes on Anthropology of Folklore, and we really looked at the glossary of the manuals as part of the experience. Those that knew how to play were anxious to teach the others and there was good social interaction as well as learning. Here is a slide show about what all we did in the Folklore of Anthropology class to engage the students about two years ago.
My bottom line? I don't think that most classes match their learning skills, but not all of my students are gamers! So when I set my syllabus I must keep in mind the background of all of my students, I did have a student who on finding out the first day in the Anthropology of Folklore class, that we would be going into WarHammer and maybe World of Warcraft, stand up, say her husband plays "those games" and she hates them and walk out and drop the class.
MMORPG games came ahead of smart phones so there is a change in social media and the way that persons interact with each other, facebook for many is fulfilling the basic human need for human contact and socialization that may have previously only been available in online guilds. Even texting is giving way to interfacing and communicating through other social media. And of course there is a bleed-over of gaming and social media personal exchanges and sites. Don't get me started on "Farmville." (smile).
You make some awesome points, grasshopper98 (as always)!
I also love that you use games that don't necessarily rely upon technology mediation (but can): "I used Magic the Gathering (link) in one of my classes on Anthropology of Folklore, and we really looked at the glossary of the manuals as part of the experience. Those that knew how to play were anxious to teach the others and there was good social interaction as well as learning."
I can see how many of the positive attributes of The Gamer Disposition outlined in the article would translate well in a business environment. That said, I would have to agree that individuals who have a keen sense of structure often do better in an entrepreneurial capacity.
Games Based Learning Mooc (gamesMOOC) FRCC Humanities Instructor The best combination of technophile and luddite
"Yes, (5) They do see Learning as Fun, and I see that in my classroom, and for some odd reason when I ask a class who are gamers, 90% of those that raise their hands are sitting on the right side of the room as I face them, once it was 100% in a class of 24. Anyone have an explanation for that? I have been doing this for a few years and it is consistent. We are in a computer classroom by my choice even if we are Social Science classes. However, gamers are more interested in completing/beating the assignment, than those who aren’t. I did a people bingo icebreaker, and told them they could leave when they completed the card, the gamers were out of the room first and the non-gamers too longer and continued chatting till break. This is what anthropologists call “ethnography” or a field study and is subjective research."
I've noticed the same thing in my classroom (students sitting on the right side of the room from my perspective generally being gamers). I'm guessing it's so that they can take notes (if they're right-handed) and watch my demos at the front of the class as easily as possible by glancing up from their notes. I used to set my music stand in a certain position for the same reason, so I could watch the conductor. This is just a hypothesis!
However, the door is to my right as I face my class so that might be why they're sitting over there, too!
I get a lot of gamers in my classroom because of the topic being taught (Multimedia/Design) so non-gamers tend to be the exception. I have some pretty goal-oriented students, so my assignments have to encompass a lot of options and specifics. Otherwise, I tend to get assignments that meet the bare minimums and that's it. :-D
"I get a lot of gamers in my classroom because of the topic being taught (Multimedia/Design) so non-gamers tend to be the exception. I have some pretty goal-oriented students, so my assignments have to encompass a lot of options and specifics. Otherwise, I tend to get assignments that meet the bare minimums and that's it. :-D"
How do you write up these assignments with lots of options/specifics? Students doing the bare minimum is something that has frustrated me in the past, so I'd be interested to know how you get them doing more.
It's interesting to think about this from my perspective, elementary school. I do notice the gamers tend to be the ones who finish first so they can go "play". But I also note that gamers seem to be the most eager to help someone out who is stuck, share what they have found, and stick with the game.
@grasshopper98 send the Forbes article, I read your previous one about WoW's dying game/business model. I am going to be interested to see what happens with that with the growing popularity of GW2, Neverwinter, and League of Legends. Not to mention that Star Wars the Old Republic is now F2P.
And to get back on subject, there's got to be something about the gamer disposition or using game mechanics in the classroom would not be exploding all over the place as it is. Now how do we keep it fun without turning it into boredom and fancy worksheets? Trust me, this is where the gamer disposition kicks in.
"How do you write up these assignments with lots of options/specifics? Students doing the bare minimum is something that has frustrated me in the past, so I'd be interested to know how you get them doing more."
I use a few different techniques. Since I teach graphic design / technology classes, I review design principles at least once. Part of the rubric references these principles, heading off objections against subjective grading.
I give examples of what exemplary work would look like, for example something like "Project shows evidence of additional research of tutorials aside from what's given in the course shell.".
Finally, I have them share the in-progress version of the project. (In fact, we did this today.) Peer pressure can be a great motivator. I make absolutely sure to stress that everyone is at their own level, though, as I get some people who have been using the software for years.
This is a brilliant thread,but am in bed on my mobile so my wife can fall asleep before I start snoring. will need to keep response short and read article tomorrow.
Comment on sitting on the right, so you are on the right as they look at you? Consider cognitive aspects like left and right hemispheres, along with peripheral vision preferences to right field of view.how many games fill left of screen with menu leaving "action" to play out on the middle to right? consider yourself as the action or the Nov giving instruction,right eye and ear hook up to left hemisphere (I vaguely recall) tapping into imaginative/creative rather than functional/procedural. What happens if you walk to the back of the class and ask them to face you?
on the article, can't wait to read it after Grasshopper98s review, this is my pet interest and what brought me to the MOOC. So in 2017, how many business leaders won't have played a game or be using gamification to motivate their staff?what I see is a need to harness the crossover so decisions and actions do have consequences (if you blow all your resources on a gamble, you can't just restart the business if it fails as easy as you can a game, but what if you use dynamic squads to complete projects,grouping staff on skill levels rather than personality of past experience.use a tank when you needed a healer in a negotiation, use a range weapon to deflect a threat rather than deal with it close up, recognise when a team member is in need of help while they may be too focussed on not letting the group down.these soft skills seem to be part and parcel to what makes a good gamer, and don't sound bad as leadership qualities. At present, how many gamers walk into work and assume yet another avatar, but this one is less interesting and just pays the bills, kills time until they punch out and shed the capitalist cloak to grtback into who they really are:a strategist constantly managing resources and solving problems whilst dealing with people of all different levels,races and ages.
I would love to read a collection of gamers CVs based purely on the skills they have squires through games with examples and game titles that helped (I tetrissed my storeroom and got complemented on my logistics planning...that maked me chuckle!)
"Because of the constant rate of change, simply teaching people new skills, leadership techniques, or ways of thinking is not enough. We need to figure out how to entice employees (learners)to seek out, on their own, improved ways of working and of acquiring new skills. In essence, we need to unleash the gamer disposition. This may well require a radical transformation of the workplace (learning environment), one that supports constant experimentation and allows problem solvers to define and redefine the issues as needed. "
and this was said 5 years ago...have we caught up to this yet?