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Learning through play (LTP) is a concept used in education and psychology to usually describe how kids make sense of their world by playing. Although initially based on the Vygotskian scaffolding method and specifically directed at children’s development, LTP has proved its worth in the adult world as well.
The gamification of education has really brought up the importance and potency of an LTP approach to corporate training. Thus, big companies like Google, Apple, and Sony are already incorporating gamification and serious games into their learning and development (L&D) work culture. Still, you don't have to become a business giant to benefit from the plethora of perks serious games come with.
Unlike gamification, which incorporates elements of gaming into an existing training program, serious games balance learning and play. A serious game is specifically built to teach learners a skill or add to their knowledge base while enjoying the process. When you're playing a serious game you're getting the best of both worlds.
There are two main reasons why learning and development games boost productivity:
Games are engaging
Games are motivating
Serious game designers use rewards and learning goals to engage and motivate players to succeed. Through the use of storytelling, character development, and reward loops, a game can really inspire your employees to continue, reach new goals, and come back for more.
Playing games is a social event. Employee learners will be talking about your serious game during lunch break or even on the gaming platform if it allows social interaction. You definitely want this to happen. Players will encourage each other, compete against each other, and collaborate with each other in order to get higher scores and rewards. A leader board is always a great tool to include when using games in learning.
When you're learning through a serious game you're virtually allowed to fail as many times as you need until you get it right. This flexibility regarding the concept of failure helps players be more relaxed and assimilate information more efficiently.
Essentially, LTP provides bits of clear and concise information that learners can immediately apply in their daily workplace problem-solving. Serious games can be a form of learning-on-demand that provides employee learners with the information they need to improve in their job roles.
Although the initial investment might be a bit more on the costly side, over time it will prove an investment worth doing. This is because more demand leads to lower prices and also better quality products. So getting in with serious gaming on the ground floor will pay dividends in the long run.
This motion tracking gaming system was developed for use in occupational services as the main goal. Barron Associates wanted to mix serious games with motion tracking to make everyday task completion more enjoyable. DesigningDigitally, Inc. developed a 3D game for use with Microsoft Kinect. The game, designed in Unity 3D, allows patients to perform day to day tasks such as putting away dishes or cooking dinner. This initiative helped players relearn skills that would allow them more independence at home.
The Sandwich Master serious game is used to train employees on how to make fresh sandwiches and entrees for customers, quickly and accurately. Working their way up through the models, new hires learn about the menu items and ingredients, after which they learn how to make each item on the menu until they have it committed to memory. The point of the game is not only to teach and assess but also to make sure that each employee upholds the standards of quality and knowledge required in their job.
Designed to be used along-side in-class training, the Mercer City Sales Serious Game was conceived to enhance the value, level of knowledge acquisition, and practicality of Mercer's ongoing sales training. The game-based simulation provides more challenging sales situations as the learner progresses through the levels. The scoring resulted from each client interaction motivated players to perform better in their next fictional meeting.
Designing Digitally, Inc. and HP designed this multiplayer online serious game to help employees access and share stored information and training modules. This scalable game incorporates social learning elements, such as virtual meeting spaces and other areas where players can share information.
There are a number of game developers out there that make serious games for corporate training use. Still, no two companies are alike, so a custom serious game might be the best choice for you. The benefits of using games in learning far outweigh the costs. If you need assistance deciding what the right fit for your business and employee learning needs is, contact our team today.