Remember Ender's Game, the sci fi novel in which children are so good at playing military games that their "parent" society tricks them into fighting "real" wars that the kids think are just games until all is revealed in the end? This item in Business Week called "The Power of Us" contained the following niblet that reminded me of Ender (thanks to Daniel O'Connor of Catallaxis for pointing the article out):
One investment-management firm, Marketocracy Inc., even runs a sort of stock market rotisserie league for 70,000 virtual traders. It skims the cream of the best-performing portfolios to buy and sell real stocks for its $60 million mutual fund.
As Steven Johnson says in Everything Bad is Good for You, the ability to play video games is paying off in new skills and varieties of intelligence. But then we already knew that play was productive, right--or is that Protestant work ethic still hovering around, ruining all your fun? I do battle with it daily.