Breaking past the Sega Master System-reminiscent cover and pushing through some illusive editorial errors, Mastering the Game is easily my favorite labor of love in a sea of personal and professional self-help books. Author Jon D. Harrison has done what I (and I suppose many other professionals who enjoy video games) have been attempting to do since the inception of our favorite pastime: validate gaming. It’s obvious that Jon didn’t write his book from some ivory tower of professional exceptionalism, rather, this book came from the heart.
Covering everything from professional accountability to increasing the production of a team – all while illustrating these popular methods with video games – Jon has written a book for more than the professional who games, but also for every CEO, HR Manager, and Team Leader of a 21st century company that employs Millennials. The fact of the matter is this: if 67% of American households play games and the average age of a gamer in the US is 34, then it stands to reason that much of our workforce has been molded in some way by our favorite digital medium. Non-gamers can bury their heads in the sands, or they can buy Jon’s book and, simultaneously, buy into the future success of their company.
I said early on that I consider Mastering the Game to be a personal and professional self-help book, because Jon’s work isn’t just for the suit-strutting Monday through Friday warrior. It’s also for the gaming mom, the gaming dad, the gaming spouse, hell: even your “Player 2”! That’s because Jon rightfully recognizes that (even though gamers have been falsely accused by society as being anti-social) gaming is a very social hobby. Some of the subjects that Jon examines will help to craft a quality wife who games as much as it would help to craft a quality employee. Jon has done what few (if any) before him have done: he has validated gaming by not trying to validate gaming, but by pushing past that and answering the “what now?” question. That is to say: “most everybody games, now what can we learn while gaming?”
My hope is that, once you finish reading this, you click this link to Amazon and buy Jon’s work. Professionals who game owe it to themselves to read Mastering the Game and passing it on. Pass it on to your friends, pass it on to your spouse, your HR Manager, your CEO. The worst case scenario is not that they throw it in a corner to collect dust, the worst case scenario is that we (as gamers) do not pass this on.