Sunday, August 06, 2006

Game Adoption Pattern

At the center of the Game Impact Theory (see previous blog posting) is the adoption pattern of the technologies. The adoption of game technologies in many industries may follow a pattern that is similar to that experienced by the military. It will begin in a niche area that is closely aligned with at least one powerful game technology. If successful there, it will be adopted for applications and activities that are not regulated. These are spaces where local groups define their own processes and measures of success. From this position, support will grow for the technology in a number of organizations and geographic areas. This will lead to some form of certified status of game technologies as an acceptable solution to specific problems. Success at this level will lead to it becoming a recommended practice in which the recognized regulating bodies will include it among the proven and preferred approaches to solving a problem. Finally, game technology may become a mandatory standard method of solving problems across the industry.

The visual, auditory, and mental stimulation that come with games are often strong motivators for adopting and promoting the technology. Along with the flexibility that is built into the tools by core developers, these come together to create a very energetic lead-user community that contributes advances to the technology. von Hippel described this enthusiasm in the open source software development community in Democratizing Innovation, and these forces appear to be even stronger in the game communities.


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