World of Warcraft School of Business
I've always felt that reading good science fiction is a good preparation for dealing with the future. We're now seeing some evidence that playing games like World of Warcraft is good preparation for life in business.
(Typical day at the office)
At Concordia University in Edmonton, student Ryan Poon credits his recent success in a business competition to his years of playing World of Warcraft.
"With both the business game and Warcraft, the thought process you have to use is kind of similar," said Poon, 21. "It helps me to see things in a certain way. I can think ahead as to how things will develop."
The competition requires student teams to run a fictional footwear company over a period of ten weeks. Everyone starts the game at the same level; students are required to make specific decisions each week. Students decide where to locate production facilities, what footwear to produce and even which celebrities to use for endorsements. The simulation software evaluates all of the input, and then gives the competitors a real world ranking.
The Concordia team finished 41st overall in a competition with 2,000 teams around the world.
Although I think that the World of Warcraft reference itself is enough of an sf tie-in, you might also consider the personality simulator from The Dosadi Experiment, a 1977 novel by Frank Herbert. The hyper-competitive Dosadi make use of a Sims-like device to try to game their competitors:
He entered a larger space full of projection-room gloom with shadowed figures seated facing a holographic focus on his left. McKie identified Jedrik by her profile, slipped into a seat beside her.
McKie recognized the subtle slippage of computer simulation. That was not a flesh-and-blood Broey in the focus.
"He's beginning to do things I didn't anticipate."
(Read more about the personality simulator)
From Warcraft skills pay off in business competition
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