Hilton, Siemens, SAP play video games

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Video games have long been a staple in employee training, but now more companies are using them to improve everyday work, marketing tasks and product design, reports Rachel King at Bloomberg/BusinessWeek. Siemens, Hilton and SAP are among the companies finding creative ways to incorporate games into their employees', customers' and even board of directors' workday.

Siemens recently deployed a video game called Plantville, which stars Pete the Plant Manager. Players can redesign factory floors, install new equipment and hire new employees to make poorly performing plants more efficient. The game helps employees and customers learn more about Siemens' products and gain a broader sense of the company's portfolio. The company hopes it will inspire future plant managers.

Games are being used to enhance the work experience of all levels of employees. SAP is developing an iPad app to make it easier for board members to get reading for meetings. To help the directors better absorb different performance metrics, the app will show progress bars and leader boards, using elements of "gamification," King reports. 

Hilton's Embassy Suites recently rolled out a marketing campaign that gave loyal customers the option of playing a video game or engaging with the company in other ways, such as via email. The company found that the game was the most effective way to get guests to spend more money.

For more:
- see Rachel King's article at Bloomberg/BusinessWeek

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