IBM has introduced a new video game designed to help university students and young professionals develop business and IT skills, introducing a serious game called Innov8 as a free downloadable to over 2,000 universities around the world.
Noting that a large number of students today have grown up playing video games, the company hopes a game will be an effective way to educate students about business, and to address what it calls a "skills shortage," after 75 percent of CEOs IBM surveyed said that a lack of qualified candidates will have the gravest impact on their business in the next 3 years.
Innov8 is an educational game that takes place in a 3D simulation environment, and IBM says it is designed to "bridge the gap in understanding between IT teams and business leaders in an organization." It's intended to be an extension on the standard for MBA programs that often involves projects that reflect how individuals and teams interact in the real world. The idea for Innov8 came from an annual IBM-sponsored competition among graduate business students at Duke University and the University of North Carolina.
IBM says the game lets users visualize business processes, identify bottlenecks and explore "what if" scenarios surrounding technology. Innov8 is designed to be delivered in a one-hour learning lab as a supplement to MBA courses, and according to the company, more than thirty colleges and universities have already incorporated the game into their program plans.
David Rejeski, director of the Washington, D.C. based Serious Games Initiative, said, "The best-kept secret in the world of computer and video games is the rise of a movement -- now in the thousands -- of gamers, universities and corporations dedicated to applying games to serious challenges such as education. IBM has established itself as a pioneer in serious gaming by enabling universities to educate students using the gaming medium they understand, enjoy and embrace."