Gamers – A New Breed of Knowledge Workers in the Making?
I love TED Talks. Really. I *do* love them. And not just because of some of the most impressive and stunning visualisations that some folks have been putting together about them, like this one, but mainly due to the fact that a good number of them are amazingly inspiring and a rather clear call to action that one cannot ignore, nor neglect, just like that! No matter what subject either! Even playing games! Have you checked out Jane McGonigal‘s Gaming can make a better world? You should!
It’s totally worth every single minute of it! Those precious 20 minutes will surely change your perception, for the better, about the entire gaming industry. If you are already a serious gamer it would help reinforce what you already knew: that playing games can surely have a huge impact not only on how we conduct business, but also how we live as a society, for the better. It surely has changed my point of view to a point where I’m going to start challenging the corporate world I have been exposed to so far about finally demolishing that assumption that games are a total waste of time; specially in a working environment. Because, clearly they are not. And if you don’t believe me, check out the following slide that Jane used at her TED Talk:
I mean, who wouldn’t want to have, as a business, an employee workforce with all of that amazing talent to perform while at work? Wouldn’t you want your knowledge workers to have such amazing qualities to make a difference in your day to day business operations? Well, I don’t know about you, but I *certainly* would! Any time!
In fact, if you take things further into the next level, these very same capabilities from gamers pretty much narrow down to some of the various different characteristics from knowledge workers who have been exposed to social computing for a long while. If you don’t believe me, go and have a 30 minute conversation with that social computing evangelist working in your team and you will see what I mean. They are blissfully productive with that special fabric that social networks permeate through all along, with an on-going and ever growing urgent optimism about wanting to make things better and with a strong sense of epic meaning, wanting to change the way the corporate world has been operating under over the last few decades!
It’s rather interesting, don’t you think? I mean, I don’t consider myself a serious gamer, although I do play games every so often (Mainly on my iPhone and iPod Touch so far…), yet, while watching Jane’s talk I just couldn’t help nodding how spot on she is on the impact of gaming on our overall capability to learn, adapt, react, apply, execute and grow. It’s tremendous how over the course of the last few decades we have kept neglecting such innate playful nature from our offspring (children and youngsters alike!) as an empowering method for upskilling and developing themselves with those continuous gaming efforts in our modern world.
Maybe it’s the time for us to stop and ponder some more about how gaming could help shape not just the corporate environment we would want to have in the 21st century, but also ourselves as part of a troubled society that clearly needs a reboot in order to get back in shape, not to the level of what we may have had in the past, but already advancing into the next one: the one where we feel we are making a difference for a better world, not just for us, but, specially, for our children as well, because, after all, I keep refusing to think that the game is over. Not for us, not for them either. So next time that someone frowns upon you when they see you playing games, go and show them Jane’s TED Talk and get them involved into playing games. Games that matter. We would all be much better off. I am sure.
Tags: TED, TED Talks, Jane McGonigal, Games, Gaming, Playing Games, Serious Games, Play, Fun, Workplace, Education, Better World, Things That Matter, The Smallest Things, Enterprise 2.0, Social Software, Social Networking, Social Computing, Social Media, Collaboration, Communities, Learning, Knowledge Sharing, Innovation, Leadership, Leaders, Networking, Social Networks, Conversations, Dialogue, Communication, Connections, Relationships, Productivity, Reboot, Game Is Over, Game Is Not Over