Where’s the Serious ROI In Serious Games?

Forrester Research recently sent us a copy of “It’s Time To Take Games Seriously,” an overview of the burgeoning “serious games” industry. As the term suggests, these are video and computer games created to achieve practical, real-world outcomes, such as education or job training; consequently, it’s a space with an eclectic spectrum of players, from universities and NGOs to the military and for-profit corporations. (Recent examples in the latter category: Ultimate Team Play for training Hilton staff workers and The Philips Simplicity Showdown, aimed at improving communication among Philips Electronics employees and management.)

The Forrester report argues that serious games are “poised to take off” in the next seven years. Why?
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Forrester Defines the Cloud, But We Beg to Differ

A new report out from Forrester takes a chart-filled look at cloud computing, offering the analyst firm’s own definition of the cloud and attempting to dispel three myths they have noticed. Since we at GigaOM buy pretty heavily into two of these so-called myths — namely that a cloud is comprised of a scalable virtualized server environment and that it’s a low-margin business — I was eager to see where we had been led astray.

But I don’t think we have been. The report takes a big tent approach to clouds, applying the cloud moniker to both the end user market and to a class of goods it calls infrastructure-as-a-service. That’s far above the hardware level where Amazon, Mosso and GoGrid sit, and includes software-as-a-service and even consumer web applications like Zillow or Flickr. Such a broad definition doesn’t really help clear any of the fog for the industry, and would likely only serve to make the term “cloud” even more of a marketing tool than it already is. Read More about Forrester Defines the Cloud, But We Beg to Differ

Get Ready for “OmniVideo”

Video will become so ubiquitous and pervasive in five years that it will be almost difficult to avoid, according to a recent study from Forrester. In the report “How Video Will Take Over the World,” James L. McQuivey lays out an “OmniVideo” scenario that doesn’t seem nefarious as much as it appears to be inevitable.
Screens in Headrests
In the report, McQuivey predicts a (not-so-distant) future in which we’ll encounter video on just about every surface we come in contact with. Alarm clocks, GPS devices, gas stations, taxis and kiosks, are just a few of the devices along with cell phones, PCs and regular ol’ TVs that will beam video to us. McQuivey predicts that, by 2013, total video viewing time will jump from four hours today to four hours a day.

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Forrester: Get More Ads in Online TV, Stat

TV networks need to amp up advertising in their online streaming, and do it fast, says Forrester analyst James McQuivey in a new, very savvy research report. He posits that online streaming of TV-like content is only going to increase, so networks should start setting expectations for more advertising now in order to avoid a backlash later.

McQuivey says that since hit TV shows can get a 50 percent premium on online CPMs vs. broadcast, they should just go ahead and sell those spots (we’ll see if it’s quite that easy once the dust settles on this week’s upfronts). Online ads can also be required viewing, unable to be skipped over, he notes. Plus they stand out more because there aren’t too many other ads cluttering viewer’s experience (until his advice takes hold, that is).

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