Gamification: What It Is and How It Helps
Humanity was forever changed when we learned to tame fire. Then again, when someone invented the wheel. Next game electricity, which transformed how we perceived energy and industry. Then the computer and internet changed the world, turning this massive planet into a global village, where people from all corners could communicate instantly and effectively.
Next in-line to change the world and transform humanity, is Artificial Intelligence, but we aren’t quite there yet. We are still unlocking the marvels of computers and the internet, and one of these marvels is Gamification.
What is Gamification?
The concept of using games is quite simple and very old. Converting education, learning, and ideas into games to make them more palatable and exciting is familiar to everyone. Teachers have been doing it for generations with their students. They turn specific ideas into games and competitions, and children, while engaged in play, also learn something.
However, in recent years the concept of Gamification comes into the picture. The gamification is using game dynamics and mechanics to make boring subjects a bit more fun. It’s not necessarily that a gamified project looks like a game. With Gamification, you can pick and create specific game mechanics and leverage game dynamics to make your educational/training resource significantly more deliverable and entertaining for the participants/students. This makes it easier for them to learn. And even if it’s not a full-fledged game, or it doesn’t even resemble a game, the elements of scoring, competition, problem-solving, etc. make Gamification an extremely powerful tool.
There are only so many ideas you can convey using game mechanics (or “Gamify”) while ensuring that the Gamified learning experience itself holds its appeal and interest. Gamification is especially useful if applied with complicated ideas or complex learning topics. Relying on collaborative learning and competition, even the most boring subjects can be turned into exciting exercises.
The new Gamification, or what Gamification is right now, is on an entirely different level. Computers and the internet have transformed so many other aspects of life, and entrainment is no exception. That’s where technology usually shines the brightest. Computer games are infinitely more engaging, detailed, stimulating, vibrant, and better at conveying information and ideas than sports or games have ever been. And if you combine the power of the internet to it, multiplayer gaming can help people collaborate in unprecedented ways. There is camaraderie, competition, meaningful communication, all stemming from the drive to achieve a common goal.
This is what modern Gamification leverages. Computer games’ power to draw and retain the attention of an individual (or teams) can be turned into a very potent learning experience. Complex ideas can be broken down into objectives, goals, stories, and characters in ingenious ways. And the best part, there is no limitation. The only limitation is your imagination, and maybe a lack of technical proficiency. But you can overcome the latter quite easily, by choosing the right platform and team of professionals.
Gamifying Professional and Corporate Training
One of the most significant advantages of modern Gamification is that it’s not limited to students. It’s a powerful tool that corporations and businesses can use to make their training much more fun, and ensure that participants actually participate, listen, and learn.
Imagine the yawns and grumbling that ensue in an office when a manager announces a training session. The thought of listening to dry and complex ideas, and watching tens (if not hundreds) of slides of PowerPoint presentations, puts most employees to sleep. And that’s the mindset even before the training starts. It’s one reason why corporations have to push other incentives to increase enthusiasm for participating in the training.
And then imagine that same training as an exciting game that all employees have to play on their phones. The same training points that would have looked boring on a projector screen would be several times more attractive as a game mission or level. Most employees won’t even feel like they have been subjected to an additional task in the form of training. Instead, they might take it as a mini in-office retreat.
There are several benefits of Gamification over traditional training methods. One of the most prominent ones being the retention of information. Since computer games are visually appealing, stimulating, and engaging, people tend to retain significantly more information presented to them through Gamified training than they would have if delivered to them through conventional means. Gamers/employees manage to keep most of the information provided to them in-game, but even if they don’t, it’s many times more fun to replay a game level, than to re-read an emailed presentation.
Gamification: The Future of Training
Despite using games approach being an old concept, Gamification of training is a relatively new trend, which many old-school corporate heads still not think very highly of. The age-old idea that work and fun don’t mix is still prevalent even though scientific studies have proven time and time again that productivity increases when people are more relaxed, comfortable, and having fun. Also, gaming (for a reasonable amount of time) is good for your brain and psychological development. It enhances your senses, response time, problem-solving skills, and several other soft (and hard) skills that improve employees’ efficiency and productivity.
As employers, businesses, and organizations start learning the benefits of Gamifying their training, Gamification of training will become more commonplace. And it wouldn’t be too presumptuous to say that Gamified training might dominate the corporate learning and training landscape. One major reason behind that would be the fact that multiplayer Gamified training lets remote workers and people who are working from home join a training session as one. And it not only mimics the constant workplace communication and team spirit, but it also provides the same morale boost, especially when employees are working and collaborating as teams in a game. It also gives rise to the same spirit of competition that pushes employees to outperform their peers.
Gamification of training isn’t a temporary trend or an isolated niche that will fade into obscurity as time passes. It’s a powerful tool that offers a definite advantage to its users. Corporations that have already used Gamification for their employees’ training have seen drastically improved participation levels and employee enthusiasm for training. 95% of employees, who have been part of Gamified training, enjoy using game-inspired aspects/elements of their work.
Gamification of corporate training has the potential to become a key element in business strategy. Well-trained and skilled employees are perhaps the most critical resource a business can have, and Gamified training not only help with that, but they also aid with employee morale, workplace happiness, and job satisfaction. All of which are invaluable to an organization’s growth.
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