I had the opportunity to attend my first Triangle Interactive Marketing Association (@TIMA_NC) meeting this week. The speaker was Phaedra Boinodiris, Serious Games Program Manager from IBM. Now I have to admit when I saw her title I wanted to ask her, “seriously this is your title?” But after hearing her present at the meeting I was like seriously, how do I get a job like that?
So what are serious games? Phaedra explained that serious games leverage gaming technology to teach complex ideas, specifically business processes. Basically serous games allow students and professionals to hone their problem solving skills in a compelling and familiar video game format. IBM’s game is called INNOV8, a business process management simulation game. Currently it is being used in over 1,000 schools and universities. The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business MBA program has even incorporated INNOV8 into its curriculum.
Other examples included Farmers Insurance that used INNOV8 to train over 12,000 call center agents annually. Serious games have applications in other business areas including marketing, leadership, on-boarding new staff and play@work. I had to ask Phaedra what play@work meant and it deals with teamwork initiatives and programs. IBM is even developing custom games for its customers.
Take a look for yourself at the IBM web site where you can play INNOV8 online at: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/solutions/soa/innov8/index.html. You can follow Phaedra at @INNOV8game