Total Engagement: How Games and Virtual Worlds Are Changing the Way People Work and Businesses Compete

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Harvard Business Press, Nov 3, 2009 - Business & Economics - 288 pages
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Can the workplace be more productive by including avatars, three-dimensional environments, and participant-driven outcomes? This grounded and thought-provoking book by Byron Reeves and Leighton Read proves that it is not only possible, it is inevitable.

Implementing components of multiplayer computer games in the workplace will address a host of age-old problems. Games can not only stem boredom and decrease turnover, but also enhancee collaboration and encourage creative leadership. Games require extraordinary teamwork, elaborate data analysis and strategy, recruitment and retention of top players, and quick decision making. Recreating some elements of games - such as positioning tasks within stories, creating internal economies, and implementing participant-driven communication systems - can not only boost employee engagement but overall productivity.

Of course, the strong psychological power of games can have both positive and negative consequences for the workplace. That's why it's important to put them into practice correctly from the beginning - and Reeves and Read explain how by showing which good design principles are a powerful antidote to the addictive and stress-inducing potential of games.

Supported by specific case studies and years of research, Total Engagement will completely change the way you view both work and play.

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getAbstract Book Review: Total Engagement
This book’s title, Total Engagement, is a tantalizing banner, but its subtitle, Using Games and Virtual Worlds to Change the Way People Work and Businesses
Compete, is a full explanation. Stanford professor Byron Reeves and physician, inventor and CEO J. Leighton Read address the possibilities games offer at work. They explain the many ways that games might change work for the better, making it more meaningful engaging, and productive. They analyze gaming’s positive and negative aspects. They are clear about the fact that since millions of people already “game” regularly, even obsessively, many changes they discuss are now under way at desks and in cubicles – everywhere that employees work with computers. Their book gives leaders the tools to use the games that are being played at their companies in a conscious, focused way. Given the broad array of topics that gaming addresses, this book can guide leaders who want to ride the gaming wave, human resources professionals who need to keep up with their shifting domain and others who are interested in workplace change (and games, of course).
To learn more about this book, check out the following link:


The Game Tsunami
Work Sucks
Ten Ingredients of Great Games
Virtual People
Virtual Money
Virtual Teams
Virtual Leaders
Play Is Not the Opposite of Work
Caught Between Fact and Fiction
Tactics for Change
About the Authors

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About the author (2009)

Byron Reeves is a professor at Stanford University, and has authored over a hundred published studies on responses to immersive features of media, including games. J. Leighton Read is a physician, inventor, successful biotechnology founder, CEO, and venture capitalist.

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