Videogame Based Training: Effective or Just a Joke?

For several years, employers have tried to develop “relevant” and creative ways to successfully train new employees. After all, employees are more likely to pay attention to training videos and seminars if they can actually relate to the content. While there have been some pretty outrageous attempts over the years—just take a look at the 1989 Wendy’s training (music) video designed to instruct new hires how to properly pour coffee—some of the methods do work.

More recently, the use of videogames has been growing in popularity in the hopes of captivating “millennial” employees—those who fall between 18 and 29 years of age.

For example, Hilton’s Garden Inn, which is one of the first companies to implement videogame-based training, uses a PlayStation game called the “Ultimate Team Play” in order to teach new hires about customer service and loyalty. Players are immersed in a virtual 3-D Garden Inn where they must pass a series of customer-related scenarios in order to “win” the game.

Johnson & Johnson and Volvo use videogame-based training as well.

While videogame-based training is certainly innovative, it does come with some challenges. For starters, it’s hard to determine whether employees will actually internalize the lessons, or if they will just have “fun” while playing. Thus, the game has to be carefully tailored to help employees actually learn valuable lessons at the end. It’s also undetermined whether videogame-based training downplays the seriousness of the company culture, which may worry some larger (and more serious) corporations.

Beyond that, however, videogame-based formazione can be a cost effective way to train people and encourage their continuing education. Companies can save money by not sending employees to expensive conferences or off-site courses. Information can be learned at the office or at home with the help of a PlayStation, Xbox, or Wii. Videogame-based training is also extremely eco-friendly as it omits the need for hardcopy materials (paper and ink) and reduces the release of gas emissions as a result of car and plane travel.

So what do you think? Are videogame-based training programs ingenious or ridiculous? Would you use them?

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