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Can Gaming Help SOA and BPM?

IBM today launches

Innov8, a 3D virtual reality game intended to teach business types about SOA and BPM. According to IBM, it will both help align business with IT
and reduce an alleged skills shortage.

From the trailer,
Innov8 looks more interesting than the average corporate marketing.
But is a computer game really the best way to attract non-technical
people to technology?

IBM clearly anticipates a lot of skepticism. To convince people
that games are a useful teaching tool, it's working with the Serious
Games Initiative
, part of DC think tank the Woodrow Wilson
International Center for Scholars. The initiative itself looks
worthwhile, and it's a great site to bookmark for anyone whose boss
says that playing Second Life isn't a worthwhile use of company

As IBM and the SGI point out, games aren't
just entertainment
, and haven't been since the original Flight
Simulator. They're now used in applications as diverse as army
recruitment, training trauma surgeons and spreading awareness of
global warming. So why not SOA and BPM?

One reason is that the virtual environment seems to make an already complex area even more complex. IBM's demo
(not the trailer) shows avatars running around a virtual cube farm
and using virtual desktop PCs. The whole thing looks unnecessarily
recursive, and I can't help thinking the 3D avatars don't really add

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