Can businesses use video games for efficient and sustainable business activities?

BrownFlynn’s Principal and Co-Owner Barb Brown and I joined Bayer MaterialScience, Bayer Corp, and other consultants from across the country to find out. On June 2nd, Barb took part in the “Building the Build to Sustainable Living and Working” Conference in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. The event focused on creative, sustainable business practices. Specifically, Bayer was interested in exploring creative solutions to effectively incorporate video game technologies used every day for entertainment purposes into sustainable business activities.

The day began with an icebreaker session to show the importance of networking and clear communication channels. It was followed by a presentation by Barb Brown on the subject of Appreciative Inquiry and how it can be used to find ways to uncover possibilities in designing sustainability solutions through the virtual world and video games. I then closed the presentation with examples of companies already using video game technology such as Arrow Electronics Inc, IBM, InterContinental Hotels, and Ford Motors. (See Ford video below) Brief presentations about the Natural Step Principles, “Second Life”, and gaming design followed the BrownFlynn portion of the morning session.

The day concluded with break-out sessions to generate ideas about how to properly construct effective video game concepts around sustainable principles. Participants were divided into three teams: character or “avatar” design, video game environment design, and content. Each team used the steps of Appreciative Inquiry in attempt to come up with a concept for a viable video game that could be used as a sustainable business resource.

What did we learn about the future of video games in business? It is a very bright future. Gaming is currently being used by many corporations across the country and many more will soon to the follow. Participants at this conference were able to come up with a countless number of creative ideas that Bayer can use. From employee training games for the human resource department to creating virtual worlds for sustainability education, the possibilities are endless for Bayer, BrownFlynn and other companies across the world.