Soundview Executive Book Summaries

All Work and No Play Hinders Innovation
November 20, 2008, 4:02 PM
Filed under: Innovation, Technology | Tags: ,

Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Play Station, Xbox, Wii … I’m sure a few of these product names sound familiar to you. Perhaps you like to play Halo after work, or your spouse enjoys hours of the puzzle game Tetris. Maybe your kids have their friends over to “rock out” and play Harmonix’s incredibly addicting game Rock Band. Needless to say, I’m sure you’re familiar with video games.


Enter authors David Edery and Ethan Mollick, the minds behind Changing the Game: How Video Games Are Transforming the Future of Business. Divided into thirds, the book discusses the use of video games in (1) advertising and marketing, (2) recruiting and training employees, and (3) boosting morale and increasing productivity.


A number of cutting-edge companies already use video games in one of those three ways, and Edery and Mollick pack Changing the Game with case studies and best practices. Don’t think your company has what it takes to use video games? Consider an example from Microsoft that Edery shares in the book, as well as in an interview with


“The Windows Defect Prevention team created an extremely simple game called The Beta1 Game; to play, all you needed to do was install an early ‘beta’ version of the Vista software. Doing this would earn you a ‘b’. Voting on the version would earn you an ‘e’, and running your version overnight would earn you a ‘t’, and so forth. Everyone who participated in the game could see the letters earned by everyone else who participated. Beta1 doesn’t sound like much, but it quadrupled participation in the Vista testing effort.”

If interested in more information, check out the interview of Edery and Mollick conducted by Owain Bennallack for


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