September 17, 2019 by Cindy Davis

Playing for Real In the Workplace

For nearly 40 years Baby Boomer parents have been struggling with their children’s attachment to video games. In the early 80s, shopping malls were filled with Pac-Man-crazed players. But later in that decade the launch of Nintendo and Sony’s PlayStation in the 90s would firmly move gaming into the home and often into isolated rooms forever changing the spatial and cognitive relationships between the player, the handheld controller and the graphical user interface. In 2006 Nintendo Wii reunited the family around its handheld remote controllers.

But immersing participants even further with virtual reality (VR), the first prototype of Oculus Rift and Google’s stereoscopic 3D mode for Street View in 2010, intriguing people of all generations. In 2014 VR immersion spread to the home with the launch of Sony’s PlayStation 4 (PS4) VR headset, and in 2016 the worldwide augmented reality (AR) sensation Pokémon Go saw some unwitting users walking into street signs.

Consumer technology adoption is often the harbinger of workplace technology integration. Most parents hadn’t the faintest notion that video games would prepare their screen-fixated children for today’s workplace. Not only are AR, VR, and MR being adopted in the workplace for everything from training simulations to guiding workers on manufacturing production lines, but a recent study from Brigham Young University (BYU) has found that playing video coworkers is the real path to better performance at the office.

The following gallery provides a snapshot of how fun and video games have turned into productive workplace tools and sometimes mission critical applications.


About Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been immersed in technology since dismantling her transistor radio while in grade school. For more than 20 years, she has developed and delivered content for the industry's top print and online publications as well as at live events and trade shows. Davis enjoys exploring the ethos of experiential spaces as well as diving deep into the complex topics that shape the AV/IT industry. In 2012, the TechDecisions brand of content sites she developed for EH Publishing was named one of “10 Great Business Media Websites” by B2B Media Business magazine. A lifelong New Englander, Davis makes time for coastal hikes with her husband, Gary, and their Vizsla rescue, Dixie, sailing on one of Gloucester’s great schooners, and sampling local IPAs.