As any gamer will tell you, people like to play. In his book Enterprise Games: Using Game Mechanics to Build a Better Business, Michael Hugos applies game mechanics to business and industry in the best argument for gamification that I’ve ever seen. I actually enjoyed reading this book. That’s right, it’s a business book, and I enjoyed reading it, not just because it imparted information that I needed to know, but because it’s well written with engaging examples of how game mechanics are good for business.
With examples from companies as diverse as Starbucks and Samsung, Hugos makes a compelling argument for using game mechanics to increase productivity and employee moral while creating more effective business practices in a leaner, meaner economy.
Anyone who has ever seriously played a complex simulation game on scale in difficulty from SimCity 5 to Masters of the World: Geopolitcal Simulator 3, can tell you that gaming can feel like a job even when you enjoy it. With an understanding that complex gaming is appealing, Hugos takes real-life corporate situations and applies game mechanics to them in unique and fascinating ways.
He also gives examples of successful gamification in major corporations. The examples are very specific in their discussion of the problem, how game mechanics were applied, and the eventual outcome.
Hugos talks about how massively multiplayer online games operate like corporations for the users. People collaborate to complete complex tasks together over vast networks. If people across several continents can collaborate to take down a goblin fortress, imagine what your employees could do on your network given the right parameters and rewards.
If it sounds too complicated or silly, or like it wouldn’t apply to your kind of work, read the book, you’ll be surprised at all the ways game mechanics can be introduced to a surprisingly diverse array of businesses. The book’s detailed index will help you find examples that suit your needs.
If you own a business or are responsible for employee moral or productivity, you should read this book. It doesn’t matter if you manufacture auto parts or have a law firm. There is something for every enterprise in this book.
At under 200 pages, it’s a compelling and quick read that will change your mind about how you see work and what you expect from your employees. It’s a fascinating look at enterprise for the 21st century. Check it out.