Monday, January 08, 2007

How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Learning

In an intriguing work by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade (Harvard Business School Press, 2004), the authors describe the "basic principles" guiding a new generation of workers:

  • If you get there first, you win.

  • There's a limited set of tools, and it is certain that some combination will work. If you choose the right combination, the game will reward you.

  • Trial and error is the best strategy and the fastest way to learn.

  • Elders and their received wisdom can't help; they don't understand even the basics of this new world.

  • You will confront surprises and difficulties that you are not prepared for. But the sum of those risks and dangers, by definition, cannot make the quest foolish.

  • Once you collect the right "objects" (business plan, prototype, customers, maybe even profits), you'll get an infusion of gold to tide you over.

  • While there may be momentary setbacks, overall the trend will be up.

  • And the most basic rule: If you bump into a "game over," no problem. You can always either hit reset and play again just one more time, or turn off the machine and pick up normal life where you left off.

    Is this what you see in the workplace? If yes, how is it impacting training programs?

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