The Benefits Of Making Video Games

Submitted By SaurabhLadha1
Words: 2463
Pages: 10

Making video games is a serious – and big business. According to the Entertainment Software Association, in 2011, the game industry had sales in excess of $10 billion and employed more than 32,000 people. The financial benefits of creating a superhit game are immense but making one takes a company 18 to 30 months!1 Since a game can only be released every two years, companies recognize that failure would mean two years’ worth of sunk cost. They work hard to maximize their chances of success and keep pushing limits to make games with lifelike graphics, involved storylines and deep characters. Understandably, creativity and constant innovation are essential, not just to produce imaginative storylines and characters, but also to apply creative problem-solving skills to demanding engineering tasks that continue to make games more sophisticated. Therefore, the game development organization is first, creative and second, where the culture drives creativity to innovation. I shall use evidence-based management techniques related to culture, rewards, motivation and employee selection to design such an organization: Interactive.
Being creative
Creativity is often perceived to be something that people are born with, however, several studies have shown that this might not necessarily be true2. Practitioners of evidence-based management argue that a company can spark innovation by selecting the right set of people3. Of course, any hi-tech company, regardless of whether it aims to be creative or not, needs to hire engineers who are likely to perform well on the job. This requires that applicants be screened for relevant skill-set and proficiency. However, if is to be a creative company, skill-set analysis is not enough. It is also important to assess how an applicant is likely to behave when faced with a task that needs out of the box thinking. Most companies interview candidates and ‘chat’ with them to get a ‘feel’ for their thought process. However, evidence has shown that this is not an effective selection process4. However, structured interviews with clear focus and simple assessment techniques have shown themselves to be highly correlated to job performance5. In Being the Evidence-Based Manager, Gary Latham recommends two kinds of structured interviews, “Situational Interviews” and “Patterned Behavioral Interviews”6. Indeed, amongst several other organizations, the Washington State Department of Personnel describes these methods to be “highly recommended interview approaches”7. Adopting this process will first identify key competencies that are needed for a role and for each key competency, create a question by describing a job-related scenario in which the competency is demonstrated. Candidates will be asked to describe past situations in which they have faced similar challenges by being specific about the actions they took. Finally, scoring rubrics developed by the specific team leaders, will be used by trained interviewers to rate a candidate’s answers. The scoring key will have clearly defined “highly desirable”, “acceptable” and “unacceptable” responses. A question for the competency, ‘Creativity and Innovative thinking’ could, for example, be: Describe a situation in which you developed a brand new idea for a product and proceeded to build it. What was innovative about your idea? What resistance did you encounter as you attempted to “sell” your idea to your colleagues, and how did you overcome it? Please cite specific actions you took.7 With consistent and focused structural interviews, ’s trained interviewers can fairly compare various candidates to one another and recruit people who embody the company’s goals. Selecting such employees, who embody the company’s goals, is more important for creative organizations than others. Creativity is something that cannot be measured through conventional monitoring systems8. It is hence essential that hire individuals who feel that the company’s culture of…