I wrote a piece about a year ago called Workplace Motivation and Game Mechanics which summed up some of my ideas for bringing some of the compelling character of video games to the office. Since then, some much smarter people have been doing some thinking and experimenting with similar ideas.
Jane McGonigal gave a terrific talk at TED called “Gaming Can Make a Better World”. It’s well worth the 20 minutes it takes to watch:
Additionally, I’ve started reading Total Engagement: Using Games and Virtual Worlds to Change the Way People Work and Businesses Compete. It covers the authors’ experiences in this area, starting with poolside conversations and ending up with forming a company around these ideas. It’s a good read so far.
Based on these, it looks like the invasion of games into the workplace has the potential to create some important productivity gains and is already underway. It should be fun to see what the next decade brings.