How to Use a Serious Business Game

Designing Digitally


If you have explored the eLearning path within your organization and understand the benefits of using serious business games and simulations for your business, you know just how important it is to strategize, build and deploy a program that will result in engaged learners, increase productivity, and improve the bottom line. From using serious business games to teach skills, communicate policy and best practices, and improve job-related competencies, there are a multitude of benefits of using serious game strategy for your business, regardless of the industry or vertical.

How can you use serious business games effectively? If you have made the decision to integrate such a strategy within your company, what do you need to know before you design your program?

Here are some tips on how to use serious business games for your business this year - and do so successfully!

1. Keep the game focused on the goal.

The purpose of serious business games is to make it effective. As you are teaching your employees a valued skill, it is necessary to keep them focused on the goal.

To do this, it is important to keep the game length relatively short. To help avoid overload, keep users fully engaged in the process by having each module or small portion of the game just a few minutes long. Users should be able to complete a few modules within one sitting.

Stay updated on the user’s feedback by asking them what they think about each module. Have they lost interest along the way? Are there too many levels? Be sure to keep the game focused on the desired goal by assessing outcomes of each module.

2. Keep the levels connected with one another and create a story.

Just like any good story, it’s important to create a plot that thickens - a story that winds over time into something that the user can identify with and learn from.

It should not include elements that are unrealistic; serious games should be driven in reality. The game needs to have a beginning, middle and ending that includes obstacles to overcome and a journey to the end.

Remember to place the learner in the story which requires them to resolve a portion of the story, such as how to overcome a difficult sales challenge or learn a new skill in the workplace.

3. Use serious business games to collect feedback.

The great thing about serious business games is that you can use them to collect feedback along the way. For example, you can gather feedback on your general user knowledge base in the workplace. How is their skill set currently? How is their comprehension of the materials going into the game?

As the serious business game is launched, ensure you collect feedback along the way. Find out what your users enjoy about your program and seek areas to improve. Ensure this feedback is honest, and keep your doors (virtual or otherwise) are always open for conversation.

4. Ensure the users understand the objective.

With serious business games, knowledge application is a priority. Learners need to understand what it is they are learning, and for what purpose. This will allow them to fully comprehend their training program and understand why they are embarking on the process.

While serious games should integrate storylines and ‘fun’ elements as part of the programs, learners need to be made aware of the program’s objectives before they begin the program. Make it clear how they can apply what they have learned to the real world. Learning from a virtual training environment requires providing users with real life applications and examples so they have a grasp of their purpose in taking part in the program.  This will make it easier to collect feedback, stay connected, and keep the users focused on the objectives of the program.

Have you determined if serious games are right for your business? If you’re in the process of determining, or perhaps you know you’re ready to make the next step, consider working with a partner who has will work for you. Contact the experts at Designing Digitally, Inc. today!