Work as Game

The BBC's coverage of MMOs and virtual worlds has been getting more enthusiastic of late; either they've hired a gamer, or they've noticed that articles on games get huge amounts of traffic. Some of the reports are a bit on the breathless side, like the one about multi-world avatars. However, there's a new one about the use of MMO gameplay models in the workplace. So can I be a level 70 webmaster?

Two elements of gameplay have been put into use, according to the article. One is...

"a virtual currency element to e-mail in a bid to help people cope with information overload.

Anyone sending a message adds some of their limited supply of virtual coins, called Serios, to show how important they consider that e-mail to be.

It was a more finely grained grading system than the low, medium or high importance flags found in most e-mail programs[...].

It had other benefits too[...] It revealed not just the flow of messages but also started to show who people pay attention to and who did a good job of getting responses."

This seems to draw on the idea of the attention economy as well, an idea I've been interested in for some time. I'd be fascinated to see how this works out, but I'd imagine that there would be logjams in the economy, where people in project management, or with powers of approval for projects or budgets, would end up holding a lot of coins.

The other one goes like this:

"Convinced that games can help them thrive some companies have turned work groups into guilds, rewarded staff with experience points when they complete tasks, giving out titles and badges when a guild finished a project and portraying objectives as quests."

I don't know if I'd love that or hate it. The ability to describe myself in normal conversation as a Level 43 Webmaster specced for Firefighting would be... interesting. But what would the end game be like? Raids to take down the boss?

Posted by Drew Shiel at October 22, 2007 12:16 PM

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