Learning & Development

A Brief Guide: Video Games and Workplace L&D (Part 1)

The gamification market is anticipated to reach $11.1 billion by 2020. And according to Pew Research, 53% of 1,021 technology stakeholders claimed that gamification would be widely used by 2020, especially in the workplace. Video games are particularly becoming more and more popular in the workplace, as many industries adopt gamification strategies and techniques. But what else do you know about video games in the workplace—other than the fact that they’re a force all learning and development professionals will need to reckon with in the next couple of years?
Outlined below is a brief guide, with the basics of what you need to know about video games and learning and development.

Benefits of Video Games in Learning and Development

Various research has confirmed that video games can have a positive impact on learners. One study confirmed that 3D video games can increase memory capacity, and another study showed that video games can make you smarter. And yet another study revealed that playing video games is linked to increasing brain matter in the areas of the brain that control spatial orientation, memory formation, strategic planning, and fine motor skills.
Here are some other common benefits of using video games for learning.
Video games:

  • Keep learners engaged in a fun way.
  • Provide immediate feedback.
  • Teach learners to respond faster and more efficiently to certain stimuli.
  • Allow learners to use their reasoning skills.
  • Permit learners to engage with others and collaborate.
  • Enhance learners’ self-esteem and help alleviate their stress.
  • Can elicit empathy of others and increase levels of emotional intelligence.

Elements Workplace Video Games Should Have

In order for video games in the workplace to have their desired effects, they must contain certain features and elements.
Avatars and a storyline—Have your learners create their own personalized avatar that faces certain challenges and tasks, and who uncovers levels, earns badges, etc. And create a storyline for different characters and “missions” to make learning more engaging and fun. There’s a reason why Minecraft and other popular games are so successful—they’re able to be personalized, and they require players to be on a mission to do something and accomplish things during their journey.
Great graphics and simulations—To catch your learners’ attentions, use images and graphics that stand out. Learners won’t take your video games seriously if images are extremely pixelated and fuzzy. Better yet, use real-life simulations that put your learners in the middle of all the action.
[Part 2 of this article will appear in tomorrow’s Advisor.]

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