Not to put to fine a point on it, but this book has been like a GIANT FUCKING ALBATROSS AROUND MY NECK.
I think I borrowed this book sometime around the new year from my co-worker Bob Rebholtz and its been sitting on top of my "To Read" pile ever since. Its even on my book list if you want to take a look. However, life and my own inherent laziness conspired to prevent me from finishing this book. Fortunately, my fearless leader Vikas Ahuja has been pushing me to learn SQL, my errant mentor Jason McCullough, and his soon-to-be wife Betsy Aoki have given me several books that I need to read. So I mustered the gumption and finished the book over the past few days. And what did I learn? I learned the no matter how hard you try to analyze something, you’ll never be that thing, but you might learn something interesting about yourself and the thing/people your analyzing.
Case in point: Got Game – How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever. This is a book written by people older than the targets in the book, and definitely NOT gamers. I thought I’d give the book a shot because I’m basically who they are targeting: Youngish, gamer, entry-level workforce, and college educated. So how was the book? Well, I’ll say that certain parts of the book were actually really interesting. Its a bit unfortunate that they went over those parts so fast, but I think the book is meant to hit fast and hard, and leave the deeper intellectual contemplation to further review. It appears the book was first published in 2004, damn near 3-4 years ago, so the book’s value actually increases slightly because its at least riding the wave of the gamer generation into the workforce. So here is the cliff notes review:
Introduction: Skip it
Chapter One: Trash
Chapter Two: Only read if you think video games are a waste of time
Chapter Three: Starting to be interesting
Chapter Four: Good stuff
Chapter Five: Good stuff – pretty prophetic as far as my own penchant for scrum/agile methodologies
Chapter Six: Beating a dying horse, but O.K.
Chapter Seven: Entering forecasting – some good and some bad, think of your local weather broadcast "Cloudy, slight chance of showers" type correctness
Chapter Eight: Coda for everything, read if you’re bored.
Best Parts: Parts analyzing statistical data and pointing out trends and attitudes based on thoughtful analysis of videogames. The part about groups and attitude towards companies and self is especially true in my opinion. Even thought the words "Agile" or "SCRUM" are never mentioned, there is a part that almost word for word describes a standup meeting, and based on my own experience, younger team members tend to "get" agile philosophies more so than older team members. This is of course skewed by game playing time, so my PM Taylor totally gets everything even though he is older than me by a fair amount.
Worst Parts: The introduction and Chapter one. Chapter one is basically where they try and come up with metaphors to try and explain what "we’re" collectively thinking. Its filled with rotten tropes like the "gold == venture capital", and my favorite ( and by favorite I mean least favorite ) example of the "fighting-game" dot-commer fighting the VC pigs. God.
Recommend? Yes, w/ reservations