The Economist is running a feature on how the corporate world is starting to use gaming to increase productivity.
According to David Edery and Ethan Mollick, authors of "Changing the Game", the same qualities that make people excel at games can be useful in the world of work as well. Rather worryingly, they highlight MMO grinding as a prime example — which to me seems like backwards logic, as grinding is more about applying 'work' to 'games' than the other way around.
The community building aspects of gaming are also held up to scrutiny — these do seem broadly applicable to the 'real' world, and in some ways are not unlike the kind of team building exercises that hapless employees are regularly sent on. Fording a river with a pontoon made from office supplies being a bit less fun than a joining raiding party in Azeroth, mind you.
Turning work tasks into a game can be a useful tool, it seems. It emerges that Microsoft quadrupled internal bug reporting for Windows Vista by awarding points and prizes for participation. Having loads of bugs may have helped, of course.