Online Gaming and Playful Organization explores the cultural impact of gaming on organizations. While gaming is typically a form of entertainment, this book argues that gaming communities can function as a useful analogue for work organizations because both are comprised of diverse members who must communicate and collaborate to solve complex problems.
By examining the impact of gaming beyond its own context, this book argues that one can apply numerous lessons from the virtual world of online games to the “real” world of businesses, schools, and other professional communities. Most notably, it articulates the concept of playful organizations, defined as organizations in which the ability to play has become so institutionalized that it is spontaneous, creative, and enjoyable.
Based on original research, Online Gaming and Playful Organization establishes an interdisciplinary framework for further conceptual and empirical investigation into this topic, with the dual goals of a better understanding of the role of online games and virtual worlds, and of the possible structural and cultural transformation of public and private organizations.
Table of Contents
1 Setting the Stage: The Emergence of Playful Organizations
2 Unfolding the Concept and Its Potential: The Playful Organization Ideal-type
3 Previous Studies Re-examined: Have Playful Organizations Already Emerged?
4 An Online Gamer Speaks Out: Playful Organizations in EVE Online
5 Let’s Ask Our Panel: Dutch Online Gamers on Their Communities
6 Building an Un-/Comfortable Bridge: Dutch Online Gamers on Their Work Organizations
7 Food for Thought: The Emergence of Playful Organizations Uncovered and Critiqued
Harald Warmelink is an Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology, as well as a manager and teacher of game design projects at HKU Utrecht School of the Arts, the Netherlands.
"This playfully written book is a timely portrayal of 'virtual' worlds and how they (could) relate to 'real' worlds. Dr. Warmelink manages to falsify the dichotomy of play and work in his own book: his enjoyment for his own research is apparent, and the book is downright fun to read. Yet, it is also thoughtful, nuanced, critical, and erudite, weaving together insights from organization studies and game studies and providing plentiful empirical evidence. I predict that Warmelink’s concept of playful organizations will become commonplace in the years to come and I highly recommend others to join his playful journey."—Casper Harteveld, Assistant Professor of Game Design, Northeastern University, USA