Harvard Business Review Press
October 1, 2004
The biggest factor shaping the future business is small enough to fit in a teenager’s hand. That factor is video games – and though most of us dismiss gaming as a waste of time, more than ninety million people are ready to prove us wrong.
Got Game reveals the profound impact that the “gamer generation” (already bigger than the baby boom) will have on the future of business. While games have made this group dramatically different in terms of their attitudes, expectations, and abilities, the potential of this generation has scarcely been noticed in most organizations. But managers won’t be able to ignore gamers for long. Comprised of millions of rising professionals in the U.S. alone, the gamer generation will ultimately dominate the workforce – and they are already changing the rules of business.
Through a large-scale survey and hundreds of interviews, strategists John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade find that gaming is not a time sink, but an amazingly effective training camp for critical business skills. All those hours immersed in game culture have created masses of employees with unique attributes: bold but measured risk taking, an amazing ability to multitask, and unexpected leadership skills. Indeed, gamers are strong in exactly the areas that today’s companies need most. But to leverage the skills, today’s managers will need to understand and appreciate the very different ways in which gamers think and behave.
Beck and Wade dispel common myths about gamers and reveal them as committed, team-oriented professionals who play to win. They offer specific strategies today’s managers can use to bridge the generation gap and unleash gamers’ hidden potential.
Highlighting an important and influential new generation, this book shows why every company should make sure its people have “got game.”
John C. Back is President of North Star Leadership Group, a senior advisor at Monitor Group, and Senior Research Fellow at the Annenberg Center of the Digital Future, University of Southern California. He is co-author of The Attention Economy (HBS Press, 2001).
Mitchell Wade develops information tools and strategy for firms like Google, RAND Corporation, and Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.