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.