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Originally published Sunday, January 16, 2011 at 10:00 PM

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Interface

Developing games to be played at work

What: Novel Inc., Redmond Who: Brayden William Olson, 23, CEO Mission: Bring the entertainment and interactivity of video games into the...

What: Novel Inc., Redmond

Who: Brayden William Olson, 23, CEO

Mission: Bring the entertainment and interactivity of video games into the business and corporate world.

Employees: 20

Financials: Olson hopes the company will break even this year with revenue from agreements to develop games for specific environments, but he expects a controlled growth. "We will see how much we want to expand based on the revenue coming in," he said.

Big gamer on campus: One agreement is with the University of Washington's Center for Leadership and Strategic Thinking to collaborate on what a news release describes as "a new category of enterprise-simulation products." Olson is vague about the details but said that games can help companies assess their leadership, screen employees and create "enterprise simulations" that prepare workers for what they may encounter.

Wanting it all: Olson said games fit in the work environment because today's work force expects more from their jobs than eight hours and a paycheck. "People expect their jobs to be fun and are choosing careers that are more in line with where they want to go with their lives," he said. "They have seen so many aspects of their lives become more efficient and engaging they expect that in the workplace. And when they are having fun they are more efficient."

Green technology: Olson said his age offers an advantage for his ability to provide ideas based on more recent game trends, for a fresher product-design perspective. "A young CEO is an advantage, but it works best if you are surrounded by a seasoned team," he said. "All the major tech companies, Microsoft, Dell, Amazon and Facebook, were founded by people under 30."

— Charles Bermant

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