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Gaming the System
As gaming gets serious and more strategic, today's organizations are using simulation games for both learning and business effectiveness.
Learning professionals have long known of the power of gaming to assist learning programs in delivering more engaging experiences, higher retention rates and better reinforcement of the workforce behaviors needed to execute business strategy. Simulation games in support of workforce effectiveness can be fun, but they also are serious business.
However, even as learning executives are expanding their use of gaming as an effective means of knowledge transfer to employees at all levels of an organization, they also should consider the power of simulation gaming to support higher-impact strategic areas. Because simulations can model complex organizational and market systems, they also can be a means of knowledge creation about how markets are developing, the strategies a company should pursue to drive high performance and organizational and workforce capabilities needed to execute those strategies effectively and cost efficiently.
Obviously, these are games that go well beyond entertainment value. By helping senior executives better understand their companies, simulations can become an essential tool for competitive advantage.Workforce Effectiveness Simulations
Gaming gets increasing attention today in part because more gamers are entering the workforce with expectations for online learning experiences. According to Peter Butler, head of learning for telecommunications company BT Group, “With the younger generation in particular, it’s important to attract such workers with the kinds of technology they’ve come to expect, including simulation games and Web 2.0 capabilities.
“Those applications are part of an overall mix of learning experiences we’re pursuing depending on who is doing the learning, what their responsibilities are and what kind of learning can help them become productive the fastest and most cost effectively.”
No one has to tell gamers there is an inherent learning component to games and simulations. Whether it’s a single-player racing game or a multiplayer online role-playing game such as “World of Warcraft,” a learning process is involved. The gamers — or learners — attempt to meet a goal, succeed or fail, learn from their progress or failure, and adjust their strategies.
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