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18 November 2012

Enterprise Games by Michael Hugos

In fitting with the subject matter this book has a lively, engaging and conversational delivery. In structure it's loosely divided into three parts.

Part one addresses the business-centric application and potential of what Hugos refers to as Game Mechanics. It stresses the need for game-like goals and rules, real-time feedback, player engagement and generating a desire to participate. Here you'll find a succession of insightful thoughts and challenges to the status quo of business operations.

The second and third sections are filled with examples to illustrate Game Dynamics in action. Examples as divergent as multi-player online games, social media, mobile apps, 3D animation and visual data analytics. These sections are quite similar in form, with the latter focusing more on the social implications.

Is the book an informative and thought provoking guide to Game Mechanics? Yes it is. Does the book contain examples of how specific companies employ Game Mechanics today to attract, engage and motivate your customers or employees? Absolutely.

However, this book doesn't answer the puzzle of how to implement Game Mechanics inside your own organisation. It's left to the reader to find their own path within the gaming framework. Such a description isn't really possible. After all, there are so many routes to take, so many options to explore, there isn't one simple formula that will work for every organisation. A positive book in nature, the optimistic highroad focus means it doesn't really explore the potential drawbacks and consequences of a game-centric approach.

The world of Game Mechanics is at an embryonic stage. Enterprise Games is a comprehensive and accomplished entry point to exploring this new world. In the coming years it will be interesting to see who's had the foresight, bravery and determination to make it work.

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