Game based training, serious games and gamification for training have been around in the market for over a decade. These training facets help implement everything from leadership training games to sales training and management. But somehow it’s still obscure for multiple reasons and not as widely used in contrast to some of the other training techniques. Here are some of the reasons why:
IT’S HIGHLY UNREASONABLE TO HAVE FUN AND TRAIN AT THE SAME TIME
It’s always all fun and games, right? How could levels, rewards, badges, and fictional allies and foes yield any real results? Training always takes priority over entertainment when designing a serious game for training purposes. The goal is to make the eLearning experience more immersive, interactive and fun but of course, that should never come at the expense of achieving the organizational outcomes, though. This makes serious games or game based training the ideal training tool for unmotivated or distracted corporate learners who need a healthy dose of gameplay to hold their interest.
INTRINSIC AND INTERNAL MOTIVATION TAKES A BACK SEAT
A lot of people mistakenly believe that serious games are rooted in extrinsic motivation. Corporate learners actively engage in them because they want to earn a reward or receive praise from their peers or online instructors. However, intrinsic motivation is actually the main aim. Serious games in corporate training give corporate learners the power to achieve their learning objectives while having fun. They also feel a sense of confidence and accomplishment, knowing that they made it to the finish line. As a result, they are generally more empowered to take on new tasks and overcome everyday obstacles. It’s important to note that extrinsic rewards, such as offering gift cards, vouchers or cash to top performers, should be minimal or non-existent.
SERIOUS GAMES AND GAMIFICATION ARE NOT INTERCHANGEABLE
Serious games and gamification are not the same things, contrary to popular belief. Gamification and game based training involve integrating game mechanics into your eLearning/serious game training content, such as badges, leaderboards, or levels. Serious games are independent eLearning activities that serve as reinforcement as well as refresher tools. You can definitely use both approaches to create even more effective eLearning courses.
SERIOUS GAMES ONLY CATER TO CERTAIN FACETS OF LEARNING & TRAINING.
It’s true, kinesthetic and visual learners get more from the bargain because serious games involve more visual and tactile stimuli than any other source of training. That being said, you’re also able to incorporate text-based and auditory elements to cover other learning preferences.
SERIOUS GAMES DESIGN IS EXPENSIVE.
Serious game design initially has been expensive in contrast to other training methods. Before, you had to a serious games company that would set up a well-rounded serious game for you. Nevertheless, it was really expensive. You had to pay for everything, from 3D graphical environments to the serious game development itself and hosting preferences as well.
But with the emergence of new and more advanced authoring tools in the market, you can now gain a greater autonomy. For instance, let’s pretend you want to create 3D simulations for your organization or office environment. You can now do it at a much cheaper price and have the custom training content for game based training and gamification exactly according to your preferences down to the last detail that can last you for a lifetime and can be used time and again.
SERIOUS GAMES IS ENTERTAINING BUT NOT EFFICIENT OR EFFECTIVE
Games are often associated with entertainment, but not with effectiveness, efficiency or performance.
This is a completely wrong notion. Firstly learners’ entertainment usually leads to success, because if they are having fun during their learning simulations, chances are that they will practice it over and over again until they master it, thus increasing drastically the engagement rate and interaction of users of your learning module.
Second, knowledge amounts to nothing without the necessary action. And this is what serious game design is all about essentially enabling learners to apply the knowledge acquired into action.
In a serious game, learners are put in front of professional situations and choices to make, that will make or break their final score as well as help them learn in a risk-free environment without any consequences. Having the opportunity to use the content acquired through the online training into practical choices in a scenario-based course is way more efficient than simply receiving information and making the assessment part with a quiz or an MCQ type of training scenario. At the end of the day, the serious game design is entertaining, immersive and interactive of course, but above all highly effective and efficient.