Saturday, March 26, 2005

Is There A Free Lunch?

An increasing number of offline institutions are realizing that online worlds can help them with training including the U.S. Army and now, currency traders in London.

Just as in The Last Starfighter, where an alien race used video games to identify top gun pilots, the companies of the future will use games to identify top candidates.

John Robb takes this principle one step further, by speculating, "Could online game story telling be adapted to generate a real-world economic activity (other than the sale of the game)? Imagine a corporate story, written into immersive software, that generated real-world economic results. If it was fun, people would play it 15 hours a day with a level of engagement you don't see in the workplace. Players from all over the world would join."

I think it's quite possible. It brings to mind an old cartoon from the original Dungeons and Dragons manuals. It shows a knight and wizard rolling dice while a priest looks on. "It's a new game called papers and paychecks. We role-play students and workers in a technologically advanced society without magic!"

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