IBM opened its headquarters doors at the Research Triangle Park in Raleigh, North Carolina to discuss and promote serious games on February 10, 2009. The event included an expert-panel discussion, a Q&A session and game demonstrations as the first in a series of Serious Games Day conferences set to take place around the world.
Bringing together hundreds of industry professionals, academic experts and students, the event explored the value of serious games as experts defined them as video games that use a combination of simulation and narrative to transfer skills.
"Any process that can be articulated can be depicted," said Jim Wexler, owner of New York-based BrandGames, a developer having created games for a number of corporations like Pepsi, Reebok, Nokia, Sirius, the NFL and Deloitte in the fields of recruitment, employee engagement and professional training. Read More...
Serious games in the workplace have the potential to improve the way business is done. They allow standard instructional training to large numbers of people while reducing the cost of travel to conferences, for example. They also let companies gather data on the performance of their employees, identifying areas needing improvement faster.
"This is the perfect storm," said Phaedra Boinodiris, IBM Serious Games Manager. "With President Obama's emphasis on a smarter planet ..., serious games can help train people in a smarter way. (…) It's these tools that help you visualize and train for jobs in the future," she added.
IBM also took the opportunity to preview one of its own serious games, the new Innov8 v.2 slated for release in May 2009. The game is used in business training to promote understanding between business leaders and IT teams in an organization.
“In one year, more than 100 universities worldwide are using (IBM’s Innov8) as a business process management teaching tool to introduce students to business process analysis and flow charts for business efficiency,” writes Boinodiris.
The dates and locations of upcoming IBM Serious Games Day events remain to be determined.