Tuesday, February 15, 2005

802 Traveling with books

"Books I travel with. . " dangles a preposition far away from its object, so I changed the topic line. They need to be light weight, easy to pick up and restart, and attention grabbing, so I can read above (below) people chatting in airports, on cell phones, or two guys loudly watching the Super Bowl 3 ft away in my relatives' trailer/camper. This trip had a first--a woman in a bathroom stall talking on her cell phone--made me wonder what the person on the other end was hearing. Then I realized it was the janitress, so probably the callee was accustomed to hearing toilets flush, and other less gentle sounds.

But the book I took along is "Got game; how the gamer generation is reshaping business forever" by John C. Beck and Michell Wade (Harvard Business School Press, 2004). The boomers were big--affected everything about our culture, but the "gamer" demographic is bigger yet, and so is the generation gap, according to Beck and Wade.

Gamers are those who have grown up with and regularly use video grames--and here the authors include arcade games, computer games, hand held games, and digital games played on TV. The delivery platform is not important, but the nature of game playing is (you are the star, everything is possible, things are simple, the young rule, etc.).

I found this book as interesting as a good novel because it revealed another universe going on around me which I'd been completely ignoring. It's the topic I skip when "Wired" does an article on xbox, and the blog I impatiently skim when it includes a love song to the latest purchase of an interactive fantasy game.

These authors look at the gamers from a business management angle, but teachers, pastors, social workers and librarians could also benefit because the world view is very different. The 25 year old Indianapolis gamer may have more in common with a gamer from Korea, than a 30 year old from Buffalo who is not a gamer.

If you are short on time, just read the introductory material--the rest is somewhat anecdotal and repetitive. However, it includes references, data and charts, something I always appreciate (it's a librarian thing). It will prepare you for understanding the gap.

No comments: