Byron Reeves has been thinking of ways to turn work into serious play. Combining the hugely popular media of gaming with the needs of our existing workforce, he says, will increase productivity while stemming the tide of growing worker disengagement. The idea that work is work and play is play and never the two shall meet is melting quite a bit. Work is a serious game!
Byron is the Paul C. Edwards Professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, and is Co-Founder and Faculty Co-Director of the H-STAR Institute (Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research) and its industry program, Media X. He is an expert on the psychological processing of media in the areas of attention, emotions, learning, and physiological responses, and has published over 100 scientific papers about media and psychology. His research has been the basis for a number of new media products at companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, in the areas of voice interfaces, automated dialogue systems, and business process simulations. He is currently working on the application of multi-player game technology to behavior change and the conduct of serious work, and is Co-Founder of Seriosity, Inc., a company building enterprise software inspired by game psychology. His latest book is Total Engagement: How Games and Virtual Worlds Are Changing the Way People Work and Businesses Compete.