Well it has finally happened ; )
As part of IBM’s Global Innovation Outlook 2.0, I have been working for about a year on looking at the application of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) to learning. I have written a lot about this in earlier posts on this blog, but today I can finally point you to the research itself.
This research, done in conjunction with Byron Reeves (Stanford), Tom Malone (MIT), Seriosity, and Eric Lesser and Mike DeMarco from IBM’s Institute for Business Value (IBV), was announced at the MIT and IBM Virtual Worlds: Where Business, Technology and Society Converge conference.
Virtual World News was kind enough to liveblog the event so if you were unable to attend, you can see what was said. I’d draw your attention to the panel discussion led by Mitch Kapor where Tom Malone goes into some of the findings from the research. It can be found here.
The press was there too, Business week gave us a nice plug in the print magazine (see below) and there is even more about it in the online version that you can read here.
To get a succinct overview of the research you can listen to an 8 minute podcast here.
The first piece of work looked at gamers in their natural habitat. We used the Sloan Leadership Model to examine leader behavior in games. You can find the write up from that work here.
The second piece of work then took the findings from Virtual Worlds, Real Leaders and validated the findings via survey research with 214 IBMers who are both experienced leaders and guild leaders. You can find this write up here.
It is a privilege to work for a company that had the vision to spend the time studying this space. It was an honor to work such fantastic folks on this research. We sincerely hope that this work helps open the aperture about the possibilities at the intersection of Virtual Worlds and Learning.