Serious Gaming plays an important role in blended learning programmes and can be defined as, “a game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment.” In partnership with our European SPACE consulting partners, OE Cam is bringing serious gaming into their blended learning proposition.
“a game designed for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment”
From a psychological perspective, learning through ‘play’ enables an individual to adopt a playful mindset, allowing them to think more openly and removing barriers to creative thinking (1). Instant feedback and reward in a team context are key principles behind our learning through play design. This is underlined by the science of positive reinforcement and the dopamine effect, which supports the rewarding experience. So, when designing a development activity as a game, the facilitator consciously combines learning principles with entertainment, placing prominence on entertainment as the overarching principle (2). For example, to build key skills of capability and understanding, we constructed an interactive game that used play to stimulate learning through activities and reward.
Playing to win
In the business context, allowing individuals to practise and experiment with risk-taking in a safe environment, Serious Gaming develops new techniques that individuals can then employ within their organisation. This delivers real business benefits, including increased likelihood that staff transfer skills from the learning environment to the workplace and improvements in mental agility and calculated risk-taking (3). Serious gaming is stimulating and exciting, improving retention, self-efficacy and encouraging learner creativity to think outside the box and collaborate (4).
“Serious gaming is stimulating and exciting, improving retention, self-efficacy and encouraging learner creativity to think outside the box and collaborate…”
OE Cam gets serious
Team development activities using Lego have been commonplace for some time. However, as the psychological knowledge that underpins gaming advances, we are beginning to see far more sophisticated learning activities that deliver greater business impact.
Using the principles behind serious gaming and learning through play, OE Cam has designed a new board game for leaders to develop their understanding of Agile Leadership and the associated capabilities. For example, as we all know, bringing people with you as you navigate through continuous and fast paced business change is a critical capability for Agile Leaders. During our game, players are given the opportunity to earn points and progress by reflecting on responses to situations that an Agile Leader many face, such as bringing other people with them during an unexpected change. The game allows them to learn this critical skill in a safe and engaging environment.
- Davis, J. (2018, June 26). Why You Should Try Working-Through-Play. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/tracking-wonder/201806/why-you-should-try-working-through-play
- Zyda, M. (2005). From Visual Simulation to Virtual Reality to Games. Computer, 38(9), 25–32
- Sealund, B. (2008, October 27). The Impact of Serious Games on the Workplace. Retrieved from https://www.hrexchangenetwork.com/hr-talent-management/articles/the-impact-of-serious-games-on-the-workplace
- Designing Digitally. (2017, May 29). Six Reasons To Choose Serious Games For Corporate Learning. Retrieved from https://www.designingdigitally.com/blog/2017/05/six-reasons-choose-serious-games-corporate-learning