Sunday, September 23, 2007

Halo effect .. gamers and associations

Tomorrow at midnight the much anticipated release of Halo 3 happens ... and like Halo 2 release I'll be outside a game store with my 15 year old son for hours so he can get it, on a school night at midnight. Estimates over a million copies pre-sold (we're in that count) and 2.5 million copies may be sold first day. Many electronics stores have "Halo 3 Countdown" widget (pic) on web sites.

With those staggering numbers, association executives shouldn't ignore the volume who game, and potential impact as they're current/future employees, CEOs and members. "Halo effect" often refers to having a positive impression of someone or something based on a first attribute (such as being beautiful) or past experience (such as Apple products) -- where one or few positives leads to belief there are many more positive attributes.

Random observations of how Halo 3 can have a "Halo effect" ....
1. Gamers in Halo have to be collaborative to be successful. My son routinely shows others in his "clan" (gaming group) how to improve, so he can win. Also have to be good at multi-tasking and problem-solving.
2. Possible there's more "leadership development" in years of gaming than a day-long leadership seminar or retreat with instructors. Ask a gamer about leadership.
3. Failure is part of gaming experience - leads to future success. Are we willing to take chances, and "fail our way to success"?
4. Do we create a buzz for product or program releases? Where's the countdown widget on our association sites?
5. Gamers already oriented to world without geographic barriers - bring that to workforce. Online gaming is with kid next door, cousin across country, friends from class, others throughout world. Not loner experience as often perceived - broader and more interactive than most who don't game.
6. Endorsement potential for best gamers higher than many professional sports athletes. Considered cyber-sport by this generation, even if parents don't think so. If targeting demographics, have you thought about gamers?
7. Builds technical skills. Reports that surgeons who game better at technical part of certain procedures than non-gamers.
8. What will gamers think when have on-line or other experience with our associations -- for education, research and collaboration. Do we seek them out to help improve our development?
9. Gamers don't see down side to honesty, even if negative comments. Leads to improvement.

Very impressed with association executive Jason Della Rocca from International Game Developers Association (IGDA). His membership largely under 30 and industry that embraces best of gaming qualities, because it has to. Very creative association, site, approach, individual. Jason guest-blogged at ASAE2007 and posted negative (and positive) comments about programs. My guess is comments will be considered by future planning group, and reflect opinion of others who worry about "being negative" and don't post. And to give ASAE credit, they encouraged post and then made him regular guest blogger. What approach do associations often take with encouraging honesty and insight about their programs?

If many members (and employees) are likely among the huge demographic that game, do we provide a collaborative environment where they want to participate? Where's our Halo effect?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When over half the US's population game, and the average age of a gamer is ~30, we're not talking about a minority passtime anymore ;)

A great business book on the impact of games/gamer culture on the future of work and economics is:

"Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever"

Have fun with Halo3!

Jason Della Rocca