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This Minute at Runco

You’ve Heard of the Home Theater. What about the Personal War Room?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

By Jennifer Davis

Runco WindowWallMy husband is a gamer. He is a dedicated capsuleer in a massive multi player online (MMO) game called EVE Online. He builds ships, sells blueprints, and mines on distant fictional planets. He interacts with players all over the world. He applies his exceptional financial analysis skills to manage production and negotiate transactions. He is a member of that community. He is not alone.

In a recent book by Jane McGonigal (entitled Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World and excerpted in a recent Wall Street Journal article), she cites research that the number of hours that games worldwide have spent playing “World of Warcraft” (another MMO) alone adds up to 5.93 million years. 40% of our time on Facebook is engaged in social games (Farmville, anyone?). According to Jane, “Studies show that we like and trust someone better after we play a game with them—even if they beat us. And we’re more likely to help someone in real life after we’ve helped them in an online game.” So, perhaps social gaming can lead to world peace?

You should have seen my husband’s face when he first saw the Runco WindowWall™. His immediate reaction was “this would be perfect for Eve.” He could envision how he could have multiple windows on the screen at once allowing him to multi-task and communicate with members of his corporation. He would be able to sit-back and take it all in like a commander in a cockpit with all his dashboards and windows clearly visible. I think he is onto something. World of Warcraft has a reported 11.5 million subscribers. Others like Aion, Guild Wars Trilogy, and Lineage II all have well over a million. There are a dozen or more that boast over 300,000 subscribers. If you add in all those who use Facebook and other tools and would like a big display to manage their social networks, the number is upwards of 500 million.

The WindowWall would be a great tool for these PC application and website users to create their own personal war room. On a 3x3 wall (as shown here), they’d be able to manage multiple windows and multiple sources (up to one per display). Depending on the refresh rate that they’d like the display to achieve, a video card on a PC might be all they need to drive the display and give them a visual of all their online activity. This would be as applicable to an MMO gamer as to a marketing manager who wants to track their TweetDeck, Facebook, Google Alerts, and the like in a massive dashboard in their office. In any case, creating a war room in your own private space is now possible. And did we mention that Runco’s parent company, Planar, has sold video walls into commercial and military control rooms for years, so your war room can be as high-tech as what the cool kids at the Pentagon use.

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