5 Reasons Game-Based Learning Helps Businesses

Designing Digitally


5 Reasons Game-Based Learning Helps Businesses

Despite the growing use of game-based learning, there is still some misunderstanding about it. When an idea is misunderstood, it is often discounted as invalid or not taken seriously, especially in a corporate setting when revenue is at stake.

The fact is, game-based learning is beneficial, legitimate, and worth taking the time to understand. Its use has changed the face of education for the better and the learners exposed to it are able to take ownership of their own learning in ways that weren’t possible with traditional training methods.

Traditional methods aren’t keeping up

For an employee who is in training for the purpose of improving their job performance, a classroom-type setting doesn’t offer the comprehensive education that game-based learning can.

Here are a few of the roadblocks to deep learning that are encountered with traditional training methods:

  • A classroom setting usually isn’t visually the same as the environment in which the employee will be working, causing them to have to make a mental shift when doing their actual job.

  • The interactions with clients aren’t adequately represented in a traditional learning environment.

  • Even role-playing scenarios with peers don’t prepare an employee well enough for a real encounter with a customer or client.

What is required for learning to take place?

There are certain elements that are necessary for learning to take place. These components are sometimes lacking in traditional training but are present in game-based learning activities.

  • Motivation. People need a reason and desire to push them to engage in learning. Games provide a level of excitement and fun that motivates employees.

  • Relevant practice. Learners who are ultimately able to apply what they have learned have had a reasonable amount of practice that mirrors their actual job interactions.

  • Immediate feedback. Learners need to know when they are succeeding and when they need to regroup and make a different choice.

Retrieval and application. A good training method will result in employees being able to remember what they have learned and apply it to a real-life situation.

WHY game-based learning works

It’s easier to see the benefits of game-based learning when there is an understanding of why it works.  

  1. Winning feels good. Whether a person thrives on competition or not, they will enjoy the feeling they get from overcoming an obstacle and completing a goal.

  2. Cooperation. Many people like working as part of a team. It’s fulfilling for them to work toward a common goal along with their peers.

  3. Curiosity. Learning games promote a natural interest in the learners. The desire to resolve a riddle or solve a mystery is motivation.

  4. Accumulating. Many game-based learning activities give the users a chance to earn points, tokens, or some other form of reward. They may also be able to take tokens or points from other players in the course of the game creating healthy competition to improve performance.

  5. Critical thinking and problem-solving. Games require employees to think more deeply in order to solve a problem. These are skills that will be required as they go through their actual job duties.

Gaining an understanding of the aspects of game-based learning, along with how and why it works, can change the minds of those who assume it isn’t a valid educational method.