20 Free, New Online Games! The New Gaming And New Games.

Check out the great package on how designers are transforming games from toys to socially rich entertainment. Helen Walters, the doyen of the Innovation & Design channel and Matt Vella have produced an amazing package of stories on the changing role of games in our society and the changing scene in the video game industry.

My favorite part is the BusinessWeek Arcade, a series of free new games you can plug into and play. You can play 20 free, indie games.

There is an analysis of 2008 gaming trends, with the most important innovators in the field. They include area/code, Nabi Studios, and Gnosis.

Some quick, serious business stats on gaming: It grew 43% in 07 to an $18 billion industry. The economic downturn doesn’t appear to be hurting it much, unlike most other industries. Mergers and Acquisitions are continuing apace, creating sizeable companies. Sales are up 27% in 08 compared to the same period last year. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony are making big profits in online video games.

I've always thought that games had the potential to be disruptive innovations in a whole series of fields--entertainment is the most obvious but education might have the most potential. The air force and army are already teaching recruits through games and I'm hopeful that the bigtime graduate teaching universities in the US--Teachers College at Columbia, and Harvard and Stanford begin to employ the brilliant game designers to design new curricula, especially for K-12. Using the breakthrough technology of gaming to give students a new learning experience and enable them to control much of their education personally is the breakthrough needed to push American education into the 21st century.

Games are serious business.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.