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Playing training games online

01.16.2014
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Gamification – yes, you read that correctly – is a word that has been misconstrued by many. Many view gamification as actual games but this is incorrect. Gamification is the application of game elements and feel to an activity. Gamification elements, especially in employee training, have recently become adopted by several major corporations. Marriott Hotels, Deloitte and even the U.S. Department of Defense have realized the power that playing training games online has to engage and educate staff.


Traditional forms of employee training involving classroom lectures and field training can work very well for some employees, but others, who may well view learning as boring and tedious will not respond well. Playing training games online is becoming the 21st century way to educate employees and improve overall performance because it is a fun way to learn.

This mirrors several experiments which have been done in the last year. They prove that incorporating fun into something that is otherwise mundane increases the chances of the desired result. For example, a litter bin was rigged up with a device that emitted a sound rather like a huge rock falling down a ravine and ending with a splash as it hit the water below. The sound played every time litter was put into the bin. Studies found that the use of the bin increased by 70%.|

In similar fashion, a speed camera (or what the authorities like to refer to as a “safety” camera) was altered to take pictures not only of speeding motorists, but all motorists. The speeding motorists were sent a ticket and those obeying the limit were sent a lottery ticket. All the money collected in fines was put into a pool and then a draw was held, which resulted in it being distributed among the law abiding drivers. It became “fun” to obey the law. The result achieved was an overall drop in speed of 7%.

There is no doubt that playing training games online in order to educate staff and ultimately improve productivity is going to become much more widespread. Staff have given this form of employee learning the thumbs up. Many have reported at the end of a program that they were sorry it had finished because they enjoyed the process so much. 

Playing training games and gamification elements add fun to the learning experience. It is already proving to have good results for many major organisations. Companies using games for training now include Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, Alfa Laval, Merck and Cisco.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Shany Dembak.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)