Using Video Games for Employee Training

Designing Digitally


Benefits of game-based learning

A study done by the University of Colorado in Denver confirms that incorporating video games into employee training goes a long way in boosting employee productivity. As per the study, trainees who used video games to learn had a 9% higher rate of retention. They also had 14% higher skill-based knowledge. It’s been more than a decade that organizations have been seeing the benefits of game-based learning. The rewards learners receive from mastering the objectives and being pushed ahead to master more is what makes video games addictive.

Video games have been known to enhance the following skills in learners.

Cognitive: Games enhance mental rotation abilities. It improves the learners’ problem-solving skills by encouraging them to solve problems through trial and error. It also boosts creativity amongst the learners.


Motivational: Video games boost self-esteem when the learners work through obstacles and conquer them. Games provide instant feedback so that learners know immediately where they are going wrong.

Social: Video games are no longer solo activities. In fact, most learning games encourage employees to collaborate and play in a team or in competition with each other. Learners get to develop their social skills that lead to long-term social relationships.

There are several studies that indicate that video games go a long way in enhancing job performance, especially for those jobs that require attention, hand-eye coordination, good working memory, and so on.

Here are some industries that are using video games in employee training.

Hotel staff:

Efficient hotel employees play a large part in whether guests will come back or not. Major chains use game-based learning that elaborates on common problems and their solutions. The staff is made to go through situations where they face issues with guests and resolve it. The more they practice, the better they get at their job role.

Ice cream shops:

Scooping ice cream onto cones may not seem too difficult. But human error is inevitable where some cones may get more ice cream and some less. In order to maintain consistency in quantity and quality, franchises have used video game simulation to train their employees.


Firefighters have a crucial job. One small mistake can cause huge damages. The more they get to practice their skills, the better they get at the job. But it is not feasible to set a property on fire in order to practice. This is where simulators come in. They replicate a real-life fire scenario and encourages the firefighters to figure out how to resolve the fire. Even if they make mistakes, they know that the damage will stay only in the virtual world.

Surgeons and nurses:

Surgeons and nurses have critical jobs too. They deal with human lives and cannot afford to make mistakes. Hospitals have benefited from introducing game-based learning that simulates responses to a variety of emergency and healthcare situations. The end goal is to minimize human error and enhance the quality of care. In a recent study, new surgeons who were trained with video games performed better in laparoscopic surgery as compared to a group of surgeons who did not have experience with video games.

Forklift operators:

Forklift operators are usually made to view generic videos before they are asked to operate heavy machinery on the shop floor. That may not achieve the desired results. In order to minimize errors, games recreate warehouse environments and instruct the operators on how to maintain safety standards and avoid common obstacles.

In a nutshell, video games keep your employees hooked and engage them at a deeper level than any other form of learning. That is why more and more organizations are using it to tackle various issues like onboarding, compliance, products, process, and so on.

At Designing Digitally, Inc. we use compelling game-based learning experiences that ensure learner retention and positive behavior change. Our experts incorporate fun into applicable scenario-based exercises that effectively achieve knowledge transfer.

To learn more about introducing game-based learning into your training programs, get in touch with our experts today!

Related Resources: Video Game Genres for Learning Article and Game-Based Learning is a Game Changer in Corporate Training White Paper