After listening to yet another report about the negative effects of computer gaming, I decided to publish today the abstract of an article about research I might undertake ten years from now.
Abstract: Today’s employees learned key computing skills while playing computer games as children. These early experiences inform their expectations of user experience with enterprise software and how easily they can acquire the skills to use the software. In our work we show how using the mental model of a player of Doom, a first-person shooter game, can be matched to the daily work of a financial accountant trying to identify problems with financial transactions in a multinational corporation. In past work we found that pinpointing and solving problems bears a striking resemblance to killing an enemy in Doom. For this work, we adapted the game mechanics of Doom to viewing, tracking, comparing, and analyzing financial transactions. First experiences with users show that they not only became more effective at identifying and solving individual problems, they also were able to maintain concentration on their work longer by adapting pacing strategies from Doom. In our preliminary study, we found that this resulted in less errors and more successfully solved cases. In future work, we will investigate the team collaboration model of Counterstrike, another first-person shooter, to the real-time identification of credit card fraud.
Reference: A. New Make (2031). “Financial Accounting Software as a First-Person Shooter Game.” In Journal of Enterprise Software, vol. 7, no. 3, pp. 67-83.
In case it isn’t obvious: This is an attempt at humor. I have never played Counterstrike. But I don’t understand the negativity of many of my generation towards computer games. They are here to stay, are fabulous at creating user experiences and effective models of operating, and hence we should learn from it. Fifteen years ago, at SAP Research, I helped some projects at gamifying enterprise software, but I guess it was too early. Hence the future perspective here.