Monday, August 14, 2006

Recruiting in The Age of Creation Intensification

If any of you have read any of my previous posts, you've probably read a few where I bash Microsoft for some of their more block-headed moves.

Well, today I want to applaud them for a very smart move.

Today Microsoft is getting ready to announce the availability of software tools for aspiring young game developers. With this move, young generations of game lovers can create their own games on their PCs using XNA Game Studio Express...and then play them on their Xbox 360s or computers running Windows operating systems.

What's even more cool than creating your own video game? How about selling it on Xbox Live for the whole wide world to play? Call it the YouTube for video games.

Obviously Microsoft is hoping that this will create a big push behind its Xbox 360 game system. But something also occurred to me while reading articles about this announcement.

This is a great magnet for young talent.

Whether Steve Ballmer and the rest of the Microsoft crew realize it or not, they're planting seeds in the next generation of game developers with XNA. And what's the first thing that these kids will see as they create numerous editions of their own creations? The Microsoft brand, no less.

Call it a genius marketing ploy.

Or a great PR campaign.

Or...a potentially cool talent pipeline builder for years to come.

It's no different than some of these programs that firms like Deloitte or Intel run for younger generations. Deloitte participates in a program called "Virtual Enterprise" that helps high school students set up virtual businesses with the help of local businesspeople. Intel has long sponsored its "Intel Science Talent Search" in order to identify tomorrow's class of aspiring engineers and math gurus.

These initiatives are all about engaging the New Economy workforce.

And when you engage talent, you're more apt to attract talent.

So it'll be interesting to see how XNA develops through Microsoft's efforts. If Microsoft is smart, they'll figure out how to create this thing into a juggernaut of engagement for talent.

...because in the Age of Creation Intensification, talent is all that matters.

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