Friday, June 15, 2007

Innov8, new IBM video game for businesses

IBM has developed a new video game for businesses. The video game is a 3-D educational simulator called Innov8, and was designed to help tech managers better understand the roles of businesspeople in an organization. Players go into a virtual business unit to test their skills at ventures such as redesigning a call center, opening a brokerage account, or processing an insurance claim.

innov8 IBM business gameThe game will be also available for free to universities around the world and will run online or on standalone PCs.

So, why is IBM encouraging businesses to play video games? According to IBM, the skills acquired playing multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft can be useful when managing modern multinationals.

Market researcher Gartner (IT) stated that, by 2012, half of all U.S. companies will have digital offices or “networked virtual environments.” The online game world will become an important place to hold meetings, orient new hires, and communicate across the globe.

innov8 business video gameIn fact IBM is not the only one experimenting with business games; top consulting firm McKinsey & Co. is using video games to test recruits for leadership potential and assess their team-building style. Royal Philips Electronics and Johnson & Johnson, meanwhile, are using multiplayer games to improve collaboration between divisions, as well as between managers and their overseas underlings.

How effective could video games be for measuring and developing leadership?