UNC Executive Development discussed new aspects of L&D delivery in the December post titled UNC Executive Development- How New Technology is Changing L&D Delivery. Among the new technologies being incorporated into organizations’ learning and development efforts was the use of gaming and simulators. While we touched on these topics, the white paper Got Game? The Use of Gaming in Learning and Development gives a more detailed view of the new uses of gaming in learning and development. Here is a glimpse of the insight offered in this white paper:
Who is Playing Video Games?
A recent study by the NPD Group, a market-tracking firm, found that 211.5 million – two thirds of Americans – play video games. Games and gaming technologies are continuing to grow in popularity and sophistication, so much so that children and adolescents are no longer the primary users. The average game player today is 30 years old, and a large majority of gamers are above the age of 18. As video games grow in popularity and sophistication, an increasing number of organizations and government agencies have embraced them to support l&d efforts. Games are being used by large U.S. employers to recruit, improve communication among managers and their staff, and to train employees and new hires at all levels in their organizations.
What Games are Being Used and How?
One category of video games, serious games, is the most common type of game being incorporated into organizations’ L&D efforts. Serious games are video games designed to improve learning. Also known as immersive learning simulations, digital game-based learning, and gaming simulations, serious games are developed with specific learning outcomes in mind that will result in measurable, sustained changes in performance or behavior. Serious games can be effectively used to develop talent in an organization. They can yield insights that organizations can use to assess performance, identity patterns, and predict behaviors in situations that may occur in the real world. Well-crafted games are used to develop and reinforce skills and competencies.
Benefits of Using Games
Some L&D professionals argue that video games can help develop the leadership skills that organizations will need in the future. Tomorrow’s workplace will be global, faster-paced, competitive, and more virtual than ever before. Using games in learning and development can enhance an individual’s ability to work in these fast-paced, competitive environments. A recent study by the Office of Naval Research found that video game players performed 10-20 percent better in perceptual and cognitive ability than non-game players, and that video games helped adults process information faster. Another study by the Federation of American Scientists found that students remembered 90 percent of what they learned if they completed a task themselves – a percentage much higher than other visual and auditory learning methods. Serious games can also serve as a source for new ideas, helping organizations become more innovative. Gaming technologies are escalating in organizations and have much to offer in L&D efforts.
For more on this topic, view the white paper: Got Game? The Use of Gaming in Learning and Development
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