Bangalore: It is a proven fact that playing chess helps a person improve his or her mathematical and intellectual ability. Today, many experts also believe that online gaming can improve the leadership qualities of an individual. And now, many CEOs are behind such games to improve themselves.
IBM's Institute for Business Value, an in-house think tank, says online gaming can provide clues as to how today's global corporations function. When interviewed 214 members of the IBM community who play games online, the institute found that nearly half believed gaming had improved their real-world leadership skills. Three quarters said that the collaboration tools available in games could have business applications in the virtual enterprise.
Eric Lesser, an associate partner at IBM's Institute, compares the modern distributed workforce to a 'quasi-volunteer army,' similar to those that form in online video games. "How do you manage an organization that is becoming more virtual? How do you provide leadership when you do not have a formal hierarchy, and what leadership behaviors are being displayed in these environments?" he asks.
According to Lee Congdon, CIO, Red Hat, Games are interesting because the right combination of technique, decision-making and risk-taking will yield success. Not all enterprises are like that.
Speaking to Computerworld, Congdon said that games have three characteristics valuable in the business world. First, they provide an environment in which trial and error, or the ability to change approaches, is available with relatively low cost. Secondly, modern games require the player to think simultaneously about the immediate objective and strategically about the long-term goal. And finally, games encourage people to be very goal-oriented.
Gareth Davis, Platform program manager, Facebook thinks different online games improve different skills of people. He says that the cooperative approach that one learn by playing Gauntlet, in which each player has a character with unique skills, helps the person in his or her career. Persistence is another quality that one can obtain by playing MouseHunt as the game often compel gamers to continually change their approach until they succeed. Davis claims that the hand-eye coordination he has learned from playing Geo Challenge helps him get through doors carrying his laptop, security card, BlackBerry and iPhone.
For some people gaming is an addiction too. Rahul Sood, Founder, VoodooPC says, "In the early years at Voodoo, we used to shut down the office and play Command and Conquer (C&C) almost every night. C&C is a real-time strategy game - a live game of chess, essentially. The type of base you build, what type of leader you are and how you handle your army all play a role in whether you will win or get crushed.