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Five Forces Driving Game Technology Adoption


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The computer gaming industry has begun to export powerful products and technologies from its initial entertainment roots to a number of “serious” industries. Games are being adopted for defense, medicine, architecture, education, city planning, and government applications. Each of these industries is already served by an established family of companies that typically do not use games or the technologies that support them. The rapid growth in the power of game technologies and the growing social acceptance of these technologies has created an environment in which these are displacing other industry-specific computer hardware and software suites.
This paper introduces five specific forces that compel industries to adopt game technologies for their core products and services. These five forces are computer hardware costs, game software power, social acceptance, other industry successes, and native industry experimentation. Together these influence the degree and rapidity at which game technologies are adopted in a number of industries. The military simulation industry is just one of the many industries that are being impacted by these technologies and the five forces are affecting it just as they are many other industries.
The paper extends the concepts of simulation industry disruption that were introduced by the author in the Journal of Defense Modeling and Simulation. Earlier papers have applied the innovation and disruption model of Clayton Christenson to the simulation industry and demonstrated that the industry was in the “process innovation” phase of Utterback’s innovation lifecycle model. This paper defines the forces that are driving these changes and indicates why these forces are undeniable and will permanently change the landscape of virtual and constructive military simulation products.

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Five Forces Driving Game Technology Adoption

  1. 1. Five Forces Driving Game Technology Adoption Roger Smith U.S. Army PEO-STRI [email_address]
  2. 2. Game Technology Entry Tactical Iraqi Americas Army IEWTPT Tactical Questioning Full Spectrum Warrior AMBUSH!
  3. 3. Disruptive Innovation Model (Christensen, 1992 & 1997) Market-Years Product Performance Progress due to sustaining technologies Performance demanded at the low end of the market Performance demanded at the high end of the market Progress due to disruptive technologies Market disruption opportunity
  4. 4. Simulation Industry Disruption (Smith, 2005 & 2006) Squeezed Out Niche High End Share Low End Own the Market High-end Customer Demand D 0 = Virtual Trainer SIMNET CCTT OneSAF OLIVE D 1 = PC Games America’s Army Spearhead Market-Years Product Performance Figure 2 Low-end Customer Demand
  5. 5. Multiple Waves of Disruption (Smith, 2005 & 2006) Product Performance High-end Customer Demand D 0 = Virtual Trainer SIMNET CCTT OneSAF OLIVE D 1 = PC Games America’s Army Spearhead D 2 = Console Games Xbox Live D 3 = Web Services WBT FSW Market-Years Figure 3 Low-end Customer Demand D 4 = Wireless Systems
  6. 6. Five Forces of Game Technology Adoption Industry Success <ul><li>Success of the technology in other industries </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. Military Training, Chemistry Experiments, Corporate Training, Architecture Design </li></ul>Hardware Costs <ul><li>Significant reduction in computer hardware costs required to support game-based applications </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. 10X Reduction for PCs </li></ul><ul><li>100X for Consoles </li></ul>Experimentation <ul><li>In-industry experimentation with the technology identifies areas for useful application </li></ul>Social Acceptance <ul><li>Growing social acceptance of game-rooted solutions for other industries </li></ul><ul><li>Driven by Maturing Gamers, Social Prevalence, Media Image </li></ul>Adoption Pattern <ul><li>Niche Area </li></ul><ul><li>Unregulated Spaces </li></ul><ul><li>Certified Applications </li></ul><ul><li>Recommended Practice </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory Standard </li></ul>Software Power <ul><li>Significant power of game-based software applications e.g. Intelligent Agents, 3D Worlds, Accessible GUI, Physics Models, Global Network, Persistent Worlds </li></ul>
  7. 7. Stages of Adoption Mandatory Standard Recommended Practice Certified Applications Unregulated Spaces Niche Area
  8. 8. Conclusion <ul><li>The financial and technical advantages of technologies originating in the game industry are undeniable and will continue to grow </li></ul><ul><li>Industrial need for better training tools will drive further adoption of these technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific industry acceptance levels may require separation or usurpation of the ideas (e.g. medical) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The five forces are observed and actual </li></ul><ul><li>The adoption pattern from “Niche Area” to “Mandatory Standard” is speculative </li></ul><ul><li>Never underestimate the immovability of established bureaucracies and “old experts” </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>“ a new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Max Planck </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Founder of Quantum Theory </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Nobel Prize in Physics, 1918 </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Quote from: Kuhn, T. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.