This is the FINAL blog post I will have to write. Unbelievable. How does time pass so fast? I can’t believe this semester is just about over. All that’s left is finals, and then we’re home for Christmas! I hope everyone has a good break and good luck on your finals!
This last post is about the readings I mentioned earlier this week. Basically, I’m going to talk more about this idea of work and play being intertwined. Professor Anable showed us some interesting examples of this. Some companies are developing video games that double as work training. One example was Cold Stone Creamery’s ice cream serving game. It is designed to teach employees about portions and math skills needed to work in their stores. Other companies have done this as well. Another example she showed us that combines work and play is the Google office in Zurich. Its design is very different from a traditional office. One part of the office is designed with ski chalet type cubicles and fake snow on the ground. In another area there is a slide to go down to another floor.
It seems like all this fun would distract employees when they should be doing work. The point Professor Anable made is that this is actually designed to keep them at work. Sure, they may get distracted for a few minutes during the day, but they will be more willing to stay longer at work if they think of it as fun. In other words, Google is making sure their employees don’t get too disgruntled.
This is an interesting concept, incorporating play into work. I think somebody else in class mentioned how this is not necessarily a new idea. I agree. Many games that we play as kids are based on real life, so from a young age we use games as a sort of training for real life. Therefore, it is not much of a stretch to use video games when we’re older to teach us how to work better. If companies use video games as training, workers are probably going to be more excited about work, which means they are probably also going to be more productive. They are probably also more likely to absorb the information if it is in a familiar and enjoyable format like video games.
Perhaps we could use this idea to make schoolwork more enjoyable as well, such as for learning languages. I found a website for a company that has developed a video game-like program called Tactical Language. It teaches languages and cultural etiquette, gestures, etc. through a 3D video game. It is used especially by the military, and only has a few languages available, such as Arabic and French. However, this could be employed in the classroom or at least as a supplement to classroom learning in order to make learning more interesting and interactive.
As far as work goes, I like the idea of using video games because I like to play video games just like everyone else. Especially based on how popular games are with current generation, it seems like a smart idea for companies to integrate play into work. I guess we’ll see how far the idea goes.