An increasing number of non-gaming firms are using the popular video gaming expo to source creative and technical talent.
A curious site greeted attendees at last year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3): a slightly charred SpaceX Dragon capsule next to a tent outside the Los Angeles Convention Center, with company staff giving away free “Occupy Mars” T-shirts. What’s a real-life space firm doing at a convention dedicated to simulation?
“We’re recruiting!” explained one of employees.
“We actually hire a lot of our best software engineers out of the gaming industry,” said SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, when Fast Company posed this question during the May 29 Dragon V2 unveiling. “In gaming there’s a lot of smart engineering talent doing really complex things. [Compared to] a lot of the algorithms involved in massive multiplayer online games…a docking sequence [between spacecraft] is actually relatively straightforward. So I’d encourage people in the gaming industry to think about creating the next generation of spacecraft and rockets.”
Michael Chasen is pitching me his new app, SocialRadar, and it sounds a little creepy. “I want you to walk into a room and know how you’re connected to everyone in there, because all of that information is in the cloud,” he says. “If you go an event, it will tell you, ‘There’s 12 people here you know. Three are friends, four are coworkers, two are people from college, one is a guy you ran into on the street, and three are friends of friends. And one just got a promotion, and another one just got married.’”
It sounds creepy, but it also sounds supremely useful.