Game Impact Theory 1 Game Impact Theory: The Five Forces That Are Driving the Adoption of Game Technologies within Multiple Established Industries Roger Smith Chief Technology Officer U.S. Army Simulation, Training, and Instrumentation Abstract The computer gaming industry has begun to export powerful products and technologies from its initial entertainment roots to a number of “serious” industries. Games are being adopted for defense, medicine, architecture, education, city planning, and government applications. Each of these industries is already served by an established family of companies that typically do not use games or the technologies that support them. The rapid growth in the power of game technologies and the growing social acceptance of these technologies has created an environment in which these are displacing other industry-specific computer hardware and software suites. This paper puts forward a game impact theory that identifies five specific forces that compel industries to adopt game technologies for their core products and services. These five forces are computer hardware costs, game software power, social acceptance, other industry successes, and native industry experimentation. Together these influence the degree and rapidity at which game technologies are adopted in a number of industries. This theory is meant to be useful to managers who must make decisions about adopting, investigating, or ignoring these new technologies. Games in Society In his history of the game company Parker Brothers, Philip Orbanes demonstrates the impact that a number of games had on the social practices of the United States in the late 19thand early 20thcenturies (Orbanes, 2004). As new games were invented or imported from Europe, they changed the way the population spent its time and changed the definition of leisure activity. Through his new company, George Parker introduced board games like Dickens, Ivanhoe, Chivalry, and Mansions of Happiness. Each of these was a moderate success, but more important to this study is the fact that they defined leisure entertainment as a gathering of four to six people around a game board with colorful pieces, die, and rules of play. In defining leisure these laid the groundwork for the explosive successes of Monopoly and Sorry which would be introduced much later. Since people were gathered about the dining room table playing his board games, Parker added card games like Pit, Flinch, and Rook, each designed to make card games socially acceptable, rather than the unsavory tools of gambling that they were considered at that time. This same redefinition of leisure activities has occurred with computer games in recent years. Game companies from Parker Brothers to the present have found that it is
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