WASHINGTON'S LEADING BUSINESS MAGAZINE

UW Business School Ties Up With Game Maker

New UW partnership with Novel is aimed at developing games that simulate real-life management challenges

The University of Washington is emerging as a pioneer in the emerging world of applying game technology to real life situations.

UW biochemists and computer scientists have been working for some time on ‘Foldit’, a game website now in beta, which allows any interested party to go online and play puzzle-like games while, in the process, helping to solve tough problems in molecular biology. 

 

Now UW’s Foster School of Business has established a strategic partnership with Novel, Inc. a pioneer in developing game-like simulations of what it's like to run a company. Brayden Olson, CEO of Novel Inc., says the partnership will help develop a new approach to teaching business management. 

 

In November, Novel completed Empire and State, a virtual on-line game that allows players to create and manage their own companies.

 

“Our shared goal with Novel is to become the undisputed heavy weights and thought leaders in the new enterprise simulations space,” says Dr. Bruce J. Avolio, executive director of the Foster School of Business Center for Leadership & Strategic thinking.

Avolio says that Novel is further along in this kind of enterprise simulation development and in their vision than any other company they know of. 

 

Mike Marr, Novel’s creative director, says Novel’s massive multiplayer game allows participants to explore, during a compressed time period, complex business situations involved in running a business. The outcomes of the decisions, which might play out over months or even years in real life, can be resolved in just thirty minutes while playing the game.

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