I'm quite happy that my idea to apply alternate reality game theory to doing real business and real research has made the 2008 list!
You can see all 20 breakthrough ideas online, including my article "Alternate Reality is the New Business Reality", and some other ideas I just love and think are really important -- such as Tamara Erickson's "Task, Not Time", and Dan Ariely's "How Honest People Cheat" and the "Transit Camp" (Sick Transit Gloria) project.
Here's a short excerpt of mine, which is a rather bold forecast (but one I think is actually a quite high probability):
In the coming decade, many businesses will achieve their greatest breakthroughs by playing games—specifically, alternate reality games, or ARGs. Custom-designed ARGs will enable companies to build powerful collaboration networks, discover solutions to specific business problems, forecast opportunities, and innovate more reliably and quickly.
Why? ARGs train people in hard-to-master skills that make collaboration more productive and satisfying. Playing an ARG teaches 10 collective-intelligence competencies. These include cooperation radar, a knack for identifying the very best collaborators for a given task, and protovation, the ability to rapidly prototype and test experimental solutions. Using these skills, players amplify and augment one another’s knowledge, talents, and capabilities. Because ARGs draw on the same collective-intelligence infrastructure that employees use for “official” business, games will map directly to a familiar reality—no translation required.
As these competencies mature within a business, ARGs will provide a truly stimulating framework for doing everyday work. Few meetings are as engaging as an ARG, whose emerging narrative evokes players’ shared sense of urgency and whose puzzles and clues deepen their curiosity. The structure for collaboration is clear, with players rallying around explicit goals and continually sharing theories, tactics, and results. Playing also generates compelling momentum: The puppet master monitors and rewards participants’ efforts, and times the release of new challenges so that players experience multiple cycles of success.