Elearning Gamification and Real-World Effects on Behavior

Designing Digitally


Gamification and Real-World behavior

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the prolific use of video games in today’s culture.

The fear is that simulated violence will lead to actual violence. But what if the tables were turned and simulated kindness could lead to actual kindness? Or a simulated skill could actually have real-world value?

This is the crux of elearning gamification. Learning behaviors in a simulated environment leads to real-life results.

What does the research show?

The results of a 2010 study by researchers Silvia Osswald and Tobias Greitemeyer are very telling, but first, an explanation of what their process entailed. It consisted of groups of test subjects playing three different video games.

In the first game, the players’ roles were to help lead animals to safety. This was considered “prosocial.” The second group played a game considered to be “aggressive,” in which players had weapons and were required to destroy characters in order to keep them from reaching a destination. The third game was a “neutral” puzzle game. 

Each player was left in a room to play their respective games for eight minutes, after which the researcher returned. Upon returning, the researcher pretended to accidentally knock over a cup of pencils. They then waited five seconds to see if the subject would help to pick up the pencils.  

The researchers found that the subjects most likely to help pick up the pencils were the ones who played the prosocial game. 67% of them helped, while 33% of the players who played the neutral game helped, and only 28% of the subjects who played the aggressive game helped.

What does this mean for elearning gamification in the workplace?

One of the most important revelations of this study, and the many others like it that have been conducted, is that games are useful for more than just gaining knowledge. The gaming experience can have a decidedly positive impact on behaviors and attitudes.

To put it into the context of a corporate training situation, consider the importance of customer service. The representative of your company that potential customers and clients speak with is going to give them a first impression of the business. It is vitally important that the employees who are interacting with those clients or customers know how to respond in a way that represents the company well.

Elearning gamification is the means by which this can be accomplished most effectively.The trainees go through a program that simulates potential customer issues, thereby gaining an understanding of how to best interact with their clients.

The takeaway

Exposure to prosocial games has a positive effect on the attitudes and behaviors of the players. Elearning companies can use this knowledge in the design and development of training games and simulations for corporations. The businesses can use these well-designed training courses as a basis for instructing their employees in the most effective ways to engage customers, handle client issues, and ultimately form a positive reputation for the company.

Contact Designing Digitally Inc. to learn how they can help your company design an elearning prosocial gamification program to positively impact employee behavior that will result in improved results.