Implementation of Serious Games: Tips that Work and What to Avoid

Designing Digitally


Gaming In Workplace

Good serious games teach. They also possess the capability to entertain, but the most important aspect is that they educate. Many different types of educational systems have been using serious games, gamification, and simulations for quite some time as an effective means of teaching.

While serious games started in fields like aviation and the military, they have spread into many other areas, including the corporate world. Many businesses use serious games as a means to train their employees in sales, product knowledge, and even in the onboarding process.

Serious implementation

In order for a corporate training game to be effective, it must be implemented correctly. Here’s how:

  • Have a clear expectation for learning. Have a clear vision of the required outcome of the activity. Each level or unit of the learning game should be moving toward the same goal.  
  • Encourage employees to collaborate. Not only should they be encouraged to work together, but also build excitement about what’s ahead. Try to instill a team mentality.
  • Make sure activities are relevant to the job. There must be a direct link between the action in the game and the duties of the employee. This ensures that employees will easily be able to apply what they have learned in a real-life situation.
  • Progress should be monitored. A facilitator or administrator should be following the progress of each individual employee as they work through the training program. This prevents any one person from falling too far behind without any form of remediation.

Collect feedback and data. A record of feedback and assessment is a good way to keep track of goals reached and levels attained throughout the process. It is also encouraging for the employee to be able to go back and compare their assessment data from the beginning of their program to the end.

Serious mistakes to avoid

As with proper implementation, the road to serious games with a successful outcome is paved with sound educational elements. Don’t invalidate a great learning experience by making any of these common missteps:

  • Making the game too easy. Very little, if any, true learning happens when the player is bored by an activity that isn’t challenging them. Make sure the challenge is matched to the ability of the learner.
  • Not mirroring real scenarios. This is especially important for those employees who are required to interact with customers. Don’t expect them to know how to handle various situations if they haven’t had the chance to practice in a realistic way.
  • Not giving feedback. If an employee goes through an entire training program with no feedback, they won’t be adequately prepared to do their job as effectively as needed. Feedback is vital for correcting mistakes and reinforcing good choices.
  • Not thinking long-term. Studying information for a good grade on a test and then forgetting it isn’t going to cut it in the real world where employees are expected to retain what they are learning for the long haul. Include elements in the serious game that encourage deep comprehension.

Successful implementation of serious games is possible if the proper steps are taken to include the important elements and to avoid the pitfalls.

Designing Digitally, Inc. can assist your organization in identifying learning needs and designing serious games that result in higher employee satisfaction, increased productivity and improved bottom line results.

Contact us today!