Lack of motivation and distractions are impediments that companies face in training employees. To combat this, companies have begun experimenting with games as a learning strategy. Some use “serious games”, which, instead of entertainment, focus on developing a certain skill or teaching a concept. It’s increasingly becoming popular.
However, even casual games are being increasingly used. These differ from ‘serious’ games in that they have a low barrier to entry and are enjoyable and entertaining. That’s also why some are sceptical about their educational efficacy. However, a twelve month study done on around 6000 employees is unequivocal in its conclusions that causal games aid in employee learning. Reasons vary from gamers entering a state of flow (a state of enhanced immersion) to increased vigilance and alertness.
Further research needs to be conducted
to determine the cause of the increased
learning outcomes. But if a casual
game can place a learner in a state of
flow, or a state of high concentration and
alertness, the learner may be more open
My opinion is that games are addictive precisely because the gamers reach such high levels of concentration that it becomes pleasurable. And that this state of flow can be transferred to an immediate learning process, though mildly surprising, makes sense. And so, if one can increase the levels of motivation of employees, reduce their distraction (cause they’re busy playing the game or doing the learning in an attentive state), and train them efficaciously with the help of casual games, then we should go for it.