Computer games and organization studies

M Vesa, J Hamari, T Harviainen, HJG Warmelink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Computer games and organizations are becoming increasingly interwoven in the 21st century. Sophisticated computer games connected by networks are turning into spaces for organizing. Therefore, it may not be surprising that conventional organizations are now scrounging these games for novel ways to enhance efficiency. The result is the formation of game/organization hybrids; uneasy recontextualizations of partly incompatible ideas, values and practices. We begin this essay by elucidating what it is socially that makes something a game by exploring the notion’s anthropological foundations. We then introduce two examples of actual game/organization hybrids; raiding in computer games and gamification in formal organizations. We conclude by discussing the implications of such hybridization and suggest venues for how organization and management scholars can benefit from studying computer games and theories of play.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages12
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • computer games
  • gamification
  • raiding
  • recontextualization
  • theory of play


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