November 06, 2007 09:00 ET
IBM Introduces Video Game to Help University Students Develop Business Skills
ARMONK, NY--(Marketwire - November 6, 2007) - IBM (NYSE: IBM) today introduced a new video
game designed to help university students and young professionals develop a
combination of business and information technology (IT) skills. Thousands
of universities around the world now have access to Innov8, IBM's new
"serious game," available at no charge.
Serious games are computer and video games used as educational and training
tools. Just as airline pilots initially learn using flight simulators, many
corporations and universities see serious games as an effective way of
teaching new skills to a generation that has been brought up in the video
game era. In fact, according to The Apply Group, by 2012, between 100 and
135 of the Global Fortune 500 will have adopted gaming for learning, with
the U.S., United Kingdom and Germany leading the way.
More than thirty colleges and universities have already incorporated the
game into their program plans. Starting today, over 2,000 universities
around the world can download the game from IBM's website and begin using
it in their classrooms.
"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, training, medical treatment, or better government," said David
Rejeski, director of the Serious Games Initiative which is housed at the
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. "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."
Games in the classroom
IBM has created Innov8 as a new way to teach business students and young IT
professionals -- many whom have grown up playing video games -- about
competing successfully in business.
Innov8 is an interactive, 3-D educational game designed to bridge the gap
in understanding between IT teams and business leaders in an organization.
This type of serious gaming -- simulations which have the look and feel of
a game but correspond to non-game events or processes such as business
operations -- has emerged as a successful method to train employees or
develop new skills.
Most MBA programs are already heavily based on projects that reflect how
individuals and teams need to interact in the real world. Innov8 takes that
a step further by actually allowing students to step into a real, dynamic
business environment. The game is based on advanced commercial gaming
technologies and allows players to visualize how technology and related
business strategies affect an organization's performance. Together, users
can visualize business processes, identify bottlenecks, and explore 'what
if' scenarios before the technology is deployed.
Innov8 was designed to be delivered in a one hour learning lab to
supplement courses like Business Process Management, Corporate Strategy,
and Operations and IT Management. The idea for the game resulted from an
annual IBM-sponsored competition among graduate business students at Duke
University and the University of North Carolina.
Addressing a Skills Shortage
75 percent of CEOs surveyed by IBM cited education and the lack of
qualified candidates as the issues that will have the greatest impact on
their business over the next three years. With a growing number of jobs
and professions requiring a combination of technology and business skills,
Innov8 can be an effective way of developing this new, hybrid skill set.
A recent study also found that 56 percent of IBM customers cited lack of
skills, mainly individuals with a blending of IT technical understanding
and business process acumen, as the leading inhibitor to service oriented
architecture (SOA), a $65 billion market opportunity. Innov8 will help
students and young professionals develop these crucial skills.
"IBM views serious gaming as a new and exciting way to develop the skills
that are required as business and IT become more closely aligned," said
Sandy Carter, vice president, IBM SOA and WebSphere strategy, channels and
marketing. "Innov8 was designed to address this specific skills shortage
while also helping universities realize the benefits of using serious games
as a powerful tool for teaching today's students."
Innov8 is now available through IBM's Academic Initiative, a program
offering a wide range of technology education benefits to meet the goals of
colleges and universities. As a member of this initiative, participating
schools receive free access to IBM software, discounted hardware, course
materials, training and curriculum development. Nearly 2,000 universities
and 11,000 faculty members worldwide have joined IBM's Academic Initiative.
IBM VIRTUAL PRESS KIT: http://www.ibm.com/press/innov8
Note to Editors: Images and broadcast-quality b-roll are available for
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For more information about Innov8, go to www.ibm.com/soa/innov8
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For further information about IBM, visit http://www.ibm.com/soa