Serious Games in Companies

One of GALAs outcome is a roadmap on Serious Games aiming at identifying drivers and barriers as well as how to overcome these in order to increase the deployment of Serious Games in training and education. The roadmap consist of different parts, one of them looking specifically into the needs related to Serious Games in companies. The key findings are summarised below.

 

There is a long tradition of the use of Serious Games for corporate training (Cohen & Rhenman, 1961) and there has been a significant growth of interest and research in the application of serious games. In particular there has been a digital turn (Aldrich 2005; Faria 2001; Gibson & Aldrich 2007), which has led to an upsurge in interest. A review of serious games intended for use in companies carried out in 2014 (Riedel, et al 2014) shows that SGs are mainly used in companies in four main ways:

 

1) in corporate training, 2) in active company interventions/ strategic change, 3) through viral diffusion and 4) with Gamification

 

In a corporate setting, serious games can be used not only for training but also as organizational change interventions – to improve organizational processes, for cultural change/adaptation, and for strategy development. There has been a recent growth in the use of gamification within companies for both internal uses (encouraging employee engagement) and external uses (encouraging customer engagement).

 

Innovatively, digital serious games may be distributed through an organisation by a process of viral diffusion enabling a rapid uptake of serious games and encouraging mass participation – thus achieving a low cost per participant. There are, however, still some barriers to be overcome before SGs in companies reach their full potential.  Research needs to be carried out to help overcome some of these barriers and further develop SGs for use in companies. Research on the following topics has been identified as important:

 

  • Corporate SG Applications
  • Evidence of SG Outcomes in companies: learning & commercial outcomes
  • Game analytics & data and privacy issues
  • Game mechanics and learning
  • SG development from ‘art’ to science
  • Development of remote/mobile SG learning

 

The major issue facing SGs in companies is a lack of awareness of SGs and their benefits. The main priority for research is to produce evidence of the learning effectiveness of SGs in companies and also to produce evidence of the commercial outcomes of SGs. The provision of such evidence will greatly help convince companies to adopt existing SGs and commission the development of new ones. Building game analytics into SGs will also help adoption – as the assessment of learning would be carried out by the game and not by the company. Understanding how game mechanics can drive learning will help to build more effective SGs that deliver learning in shorter amounts of time. Moving SG development from an ‘art’ to a science will also help reduce the cost and development time of SGs. This will aid the development of new business models for SGs. Both of these will help companies to adopt SGs.

 

Finally, application domains of SGs in companies and new technologies and devices, tablets and mobile learning, need to be taken into account. These will both be driven by the market.

Below, we present the timeline and milestones related to the above topics. None of these research challenges will take a long time to solve, providing the researchers and resources are available.

Time line corporate training

For more detail on the different topics to be addressed for serious games in companies over the upcoming years, please have a look at the preliminary version of the Roadmap here: GALA Roadmap section corporate training

Your feedback is highly appreciated.

More detail can be found in the GALA D1.7 “Gala Roadmap on Serious Games” deliverable, which will be available after September 2014.

For the complete report (D1.7) or feedback on this part on Serious Games in Companies, please email baa@biba.uni-bremen.de with:

  1. i) Name ii) Affiliation iii) comments (Optional).

 

References

Aldrich, C. (2005). Learning by doing: A comprehensive guide to simulations, computer games, and pedagogy in e-learning and other educational experiences. San Francisco, CA: Pfeiffer-Wiley.

Cohen K. J. and Rhenman, E. (1961) The Role of Management Games in Education and Research, Management Science, Vol.7 No.2 pp.131-166.

Faria, A. J. (2001). “The changing nature of business simulation/gaming research: A brief history”. Simulation & Gaming 32 (1): 97-110.

Gibson, D. & Aldrich, C. (2007) Games and simulations in online learning : research and development frameworks. IGI Global, DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-304-3.

Riedel, JCKH. & Azadegan, A. (2014) A Framework for Serious Games Use in Companies, ECGBL 2014 – European Conference on Games Based Learning, 9-10 October 2014, Berlin, Germany.

 

 

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