It is interesting on how video games have morphed into training applications for businesses.  Obviously, major corporations use video game technology to enhance their sales teams, simulations, etc.  Of interest, however, is the impact that games have had on traditional local businesses.

The gaming technology has impacted everything from labor businesses, local education and even basic services.  While none are typically a "game" in the sense of trying win or pass levels, the technology can help local business owners better connect with their current and prospective audiences in order to get more business and/or provide more value.

Here are just a few examples:

  • New technology is being used for hardwood flooring companies.  Using an augmented reality-based platform, people can position their mobile tablets above a piece of furniture and change the flooring style and color by sliding their fingers and seeing which floor style looks best
  • Roofing companies, especially roofing material manufacturers, can do something similar to the flooring company mentioned above
  • Same for auto painting companies
  • Local HVAC companies are starting to use gaming technology in that they may want to test future licensed professionals on their air conditioning repair skills by having them virtually "repair" different brands across different kinds of homes or office buildings
  • Moving companies may wish to do the same thing, except to test future moving employees on different things such as packing a truck or driving certain routes to minimize fuel expenditure, thereby saving the company money and/or saving the customer money -- even for local moves as high volumes of short hauls can add up in a given month
  • Driving schools are going to start to incorporate the immersive technology to help students become better drivers, akin to how airline pilots get trained

Down the road, once the technology becomes more available and prices for equipment + programming become reasonable, it may not be far fetched to see Oculus Rift and similar VR gaming technology used for things like a therapist talking with a client who is over 1000 miles away.  Should the therapist be effective then the "immersive" technology of the headset can enhance the client's interaction with the therapist, assuming that state & medical regulations will permit the use of such technology across state lines.

Most people think of games being played in apartments, suburban homes, college dorms, and even office buildings.  These are the traditional places where games are played when on a computer or console.  Of course, you have games being played on mobile devices; but they usually are being played in or near the traditional places.

With the increase of wi-fi and high speed mobile devices, new places where games are being played are starting to increase.  For example, people are playing games in medical offices where people are waiting for doctors while in the waiting room.  This is both for patients and family members who accompany them to medical facilities.

Another interesting location is on the mobile home, trailer and RV park properties around the country.  With the increase of RV parks being used as affordable extended stay lodging, and with internet being provided in these units as part of the amenities, people in RV parks are starting to play video games in some manner.  Some are even playing against each other at night on the same property as a way to have fun and build community.

Some of the other places where non-traditional players of games are starting are the coal mining camps, such as in Northern WV and SW PA and the nearby areas.  These communities typically are not known for playing of games, but the increase of mobile technology and similar features have given people in these areas access to game playing.

The types of games, of course, will vary.  Some will play games related to sports.  Others will play FPS games.  Yet others will play adventure games or MPG games.  It is interesting to see people in these areas, long considered to be non-players, and the types of games they play.

Feel free to share your stories if you live or spend time in non-traditional areas where games are starting to gain acceptance in recent years.