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The Art of the Game

by Ross Smith on May 12, 2011


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The Art of the Game

In early May 2011, with a release featuring the words, "Projects may include . . . interactive games," the National Endowment for the Arts officially recognized interactive games as art for the first time ever.

The debate over whether games should be considered art has gone on for decades. According to, the average salary for an artist is $47,319. Game Developer magazine suggests that the average salary for video game artist/animator is $71,354. The Smithsonian just announced an exhibit of video game art for 2012.

Video games have influenced the work of the artist, and now media artists can apply for federal grants for interactive games. Many of those pursing art as a career look to the video game industry for employment.

How might games influence other professions?

As MiXer Lauren Carlson suggests in her hack, "Is Gamification the Key to Adoption of Sales Force Automation Software?."

Gary Hamel suggests in Three Forces Disrupting Management that the web is now a part of the working lives of next -gen employees. "As a child of the digital age, the Web is the operating system for your life, the indispensable and unremarkable means by which you learn, play, share, flirt, and connect. Over the coming decades, these forces will mostly destroy management as we know it."

Highlighting a few other posts that draw from the world of games and play...

In their hack "The Organisation Structure as Free Market", the IMD Team #10 proposes, "a new system which works similar to the market for professional team sports players. In a cyclical process (we propose 2 years), managers can "advertise" jobs, employees can evaluate their job options and pick the most attractive one."

Mix Maverick Julian Birkinshaw, mentions a similar approach in his post, "When it comes to project work, casting is everything."

And Lori Cane, in "We're Creating a Self-Organizing Organization" touches on the same topic. "We're all leaders who bring our whole selves to our work. Nobody's in charge."

In "Equitable Hierarchy? Turn the Pyramid on its head", Hans Dieter Schulte submits "there is something profound and real about the way leaders are chosen and once chosen how they maintain power and hegemony. Allow employees to determine who will head the hierarchy."

Another game design element that's moving in to the workplace is personalization. Video games do an amazing job of personalizing the environment for each individual player. Scores, skills, leaderboards, puzzles, virtual assets, and community are all tuned for each individual player. In a well-designed game, everyone feels a personal connection with the game play. As we move forward in "management 2.0," employees should feel that same level of connection with their employer and/or their work. A few MiX'ers touched on that aspect of the future of work.

Felicia Simmons says, "Time is an important component to have. We often put aside the fifteen minute talk with our employees, because we feel we have so little of it. But, in reality, that fifteen minutes could save you days or weeks of wasted time later. Spend time with each of your employees and listen to what they have to say. Some of them will give you an insight to what they might appreciate."

And in "Sleeping your way to the Top", Jerann Nairu proposes, "An 'in house' facility that promotes relaxation and creativity - where employees can have a little 'ME' time to relax and recharge in sound proof cubicles for timed increments of up to an hour."

Statistically, it's a pretty safe bet that most readers know about Angry Birds. Most probably know more about it than they care to admit . More than 50 million people have downloaded Angry Birds. More than 65 million have played Farmville. According to the Entertainment Software Association, 67% of American households play video games, 40% of gamers are women, and the average game player is 34 years old and has been playing for 12 years. Games are everywhere-- that's not really big news.

So as we think more about taking the work out of work, it's great to see the National Endowment for the Arts recognize games. This is a trend that will continue across occupations, disciplines, and industries. It's a key component of Management 2.0, and something that's only natural as we move into the new millennium and a new way of working. In the words of the Entertainment Software Association, "As the generation that grew up with video games enters and assumes leadership positions in the work place, computer and video games are being increasingly used to conduct business."

As we slowly shed the vestiges of Industrial Era organizational design and rethink how work works, play begins to seem less like "entertainment" and more like a core ingredient of the art of work--and works of art.

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deviprasad-mazumder's picture
deviprasad-mazumder's picture

Our World has so much to offer, but still poverty, hunger, and social  inequity persist … we brood about, try to work on it but never know how to strike out the balance, or what is the missing link. ...Could we develop thematic developmental games based on, for example, a theme: POVERTY AS A MANAGEMENT PROBLEM? ... 

In any society, learning is an important part of the process. For most of us,  it’s a pity that we grow with a lack of physical meanings of the things that relate us with each other, and/or nature, for example Ecological Literacy. Are we Mentally literate? ... This may relate us to an interactive game  <mental literacy>,

Do we have a sense of purpose to focus on the bottom line? ... This may relate us to core potential values, literacy on 3 domains, or I call it: <360Education>  Life education is not complete without it. Are we able to differentiate between our functions and operations? 

Can we identify the gaps in thinking, planning, strategizing and doing things? ....Our time has seen several paradigm shifts; subjects of studies have been undergoing a revolutionary change. If the “world” was the resultant of intellectual processes, I wonder, what would be its immediate impact upon the common sense life of ordinary people. 

How about making a new platform of Gaming4Change – as a learning-lab in between generalism and realism. I concentrate on making content-rich, knowledge-based, real-time info-oriented a KNOWLEDGE PORTAL. 

In the academic circle, our work is with the ideals. We presuppose, people take control of their own actions, we caution students not to be too smart – practice without theory is chancy.It’s good to see, some of us to reflect on our ideals, design social messages as such, WANNA PLAY? … Know The Rules Of The Games First. ..  

We love to reflect on our own ideas and feelings before we act.  I developed a haunch to browse my idea world to find solutions to almost anything, Is It? ... For example, Why reflect on Poverty? Reflect on Affluence... Poverty will be gone. as  there is no born poor in this world, and poverty is a management problem

‘What makes-up the poverty?’ … We develop cosimilar feelings, share cosimilar meanings on a seemingly incalable term... Climbing up steep-hills, leaning-towards the shanty sheds in slums in developing countries we seek to rediscover -: THE ROOT CAUSE that relates people with this men-made havoc. 

Then, we may feel a dire need to do something tangible to reduce poverty. Poverty has got a common human face, by itself. Who is better and who is worse off – it’s immaterial, as our society lacks a parameter, a working tool to wipe it off or, an instrument to practically measure.

Bangladesh is a global social lab for poverty research and a School of Life. We, in the academic field, focus on quality education, try to do our best to impart real-time information, train the minds to make use of real-time technologies in order to create human capital assets. 

I believe, poverty is a management problem and affirm my firm convictions that‘not a single person in the world is born as poor. ...

I asked my 100+ friends, Their individual average responses are in terms of : Yes, I am inclined to believe it may be the case. 

Yet, how many of us may think that ‘education may be the answer to poverty reduction’ as it all starts with a mindset – mental stature – not with the economic status of people. It is a part of edu for the educated. And, education is necessary for the educated. Here, Game can be thought of as a great aid2learning4adults as well.

I firmly believe, now is the time to do the undoable such as ‘educate to eradicate the poverty’ by using interactive games - as education is a scaler empowering tool.  

It may sound little lunatic  ... but I think, it is necessary to rewrite things ...  to create a better world. 

Currently, I am  working on my dream-work: constructing a KNOWLEDGE PORTAL  for Bangladesh, with a mission to changing image of the country through Value Added Works (VAWs). ...

Our people are familiar with VAT – Value Added Tax – that goes out-of-pocket, not with VAWs – that is added to National Image Building pursuits. With no hesitation, I would love to add  the Interactive Games as VAWs with due credit to its creator(s). ...

Bangladesh is a global social lab for poverty research. Present leadership of our Government is encouraging  to create a Knowledge Economy – By definitions, it presupposes knowledge as one of the main factors of production and constitutes the major component of economic output. 

This cannot be done without magical touch of  Intelligent Global Players - the neo-interactive gamers. If they donot exist, why don’t we create a neo-genre, or with the go of the day, become one as such. 

Why not, through games, we facilitate sharing of  info or trading knowledge products and services on its Intelligent Capital Assets – human capital represented by people – their skills, expertise and know-how etc. , structural capital and customer capital assets. 

For all of us, It may take a self-assumed role in experimenting on Interactive Game Intelligence as an expert process of identifying, measuring, and reporting on the components of intelligent games - elemental  assets <intellectual capital accounting>, capitalizing on knowledge and educating the educated to promote content-based e-business to k-business - creating marketable content in the BOP-markets and K-networking  and integration for an immediate impact upon the commonsense life of ordinary people - especially in rural areas <e.g. farmers> and <artisans> who are the all-time teachers.

Bangladesh is a virtual ‘School of Life’ – the World comes here to learn new skills - survival strategies during deadly disasters that frequent us.. We are actively considering to give a sub-link to an Online News-Portal and also an interactive game site <be our mentor> with other extra features such as news, articles, resources, links, jobs, eLearning/ mLearning,  and so on with some built-in BOP-market intelligence, linking k-community with the online markets <buyers & sellers>, human experts, customizing content and presentation, interactive documentation. 

The organization , Samriddha Bangladesh in Dhaka may take up a role of K-aggregator in the K-gamemarket. He hopes to initiate it with the existing 2G (Digital) Mobile telephony, making use of real-time information, it is expected to go a long way having BOP-access to 3G (with Wireless Internet) technologies.     

 I am convinced that our attempts to create an inclusive plural society, a national liberal mind with no-fear, and a lifelong commitment of each towards an eco-smart micro-climate, is not possible without handy working tools on mass literacy on pertinent subject matters for example on effective civil governance <good governance> and I love to add it <yours one> as a working tool. 

Together, thru development partnership, we build a safer world… So, what is important for us to do? … I can hear Einstein to say, Imagination is more important than knowledge ... Let me quote him in full:  “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” -Albert Einstein