Games have become the new normal, the new black or so to say the new in-thing. Without a doubt, the gaming industry is the most powerful industry in the entertainment domain, when compared to other forms of entertainment like music or movies.
It is seen that an average teenager will spend more than 10,000 hours gaming before he even turns 21. And this figure is mind-boggling, because that’s like spending more than an year doing nothing but solely gaming, and that too before even he turns 21. This clearly points to the underlying aspect that people are now spending way more time playing video games
Truly, only games can truly understand how human motivation really works! But why such a thing happens? Why is the entire world glued to games? And most important, can we leverage such gameful experiences in non-game contexts to make them more engaging? The answer, yes we can! Game mechanics can be applied outside the environment of games, to create engaging experiences as well as assign rewards and recognition.
Mechanics of games are applied to simulations to make the virtual and the physical world seamlessly blend into each other. This drives higher learner engagement, affects learning and behavior, and helps in transferring enhanced performance in the real world.
Imagine a situation, where a new tunnel operator joins and he needs to know about the operations that happen in real-life situations in the tunnel. At the outset, the operator won’t be let out in the dangerous situations of the tunnel. Hence, simulation-based gamified training! This will help the operator undergo real-life training in a simulated environment. To take things to the next level, simulation can be made in 2D and 3D.
Let’s apply this scenario in the medical training scenario, where you cannot get the new students to do an open heart surgery on a real patient. Here, 3D simulations can be used to teach the patients on how an open heart surgery happens. They can go back and forth on the simulation training, if he misses out on a point or want to revisit a given point. And if the training is game based, then simulation becomes all the more interesting. That explains the need for game based simulation training.
Mcdonalds, the fast-food giant, faced a very peculiar challenge pertaining to the training of their new employees. This was because they have new people joining them as associates without any training. These people are mostly young college goers or others prefer working part-time, while pursuing their other life goals.
To solve this problem, Mcdonald’s brought 2 Nintendo stations for each of their 3800 stores in Japan. The intention was to train their customer service reps quickly without investing a lot of money. They came up with the idea of creating Nintendo games which teach them how to flip burgers, what the right temperature of fries should be and so on and so forth. With these the best part was that the learners could use their free time, to play these Nintendo games and gain expertise.
Next morning, when they would come to their respective jobs, they could apply the lessons learnt through gaming and hence, make lesser mistakes. Besides, their on job training wasn’t starting from scratch, and they could concentrate on other aspects like soft skills development, communication development, and the other aspects needed to complete their training. So the games were helping them train, while at the same time, Mcdonald’s was saving a lot of time in training, and the employees were having fun while learning.
SAP’s community is user rich. It is thriving like how! To give a heads up on SAP software, it is one of the complex softwares to deploy and hence, they needed a way where one customer could help the other customer to figure out the challenges in deployment. Hence, the creation of a community where the consultants and the technicians would help each other out.
To encourage people, they created leaderboards where the users would get scores based on the level of their engagement in the community. For example, they got leveling icons, that ranged from glass to diamond. The more they contributed, the higher up they went on the leaderboard. This created a sense of challenge, adventure and status, as a result of which the users were contributing more and more on the community. At the same time, the users as well as the customers were learning more and more.
The statistics saw a drastic change after deploying gamification. After a month or so, the SAP community saw that the overall activity in their community increased by 400%. SAP did the deployment of gamification in phases, so it’s been a 10 year journey to get where they are now. A lot of principles of gamification can be seen on their customer portal, especially leaderboards and badges. Let’s look at badges in the following paragraphs.
Badges can be a great way of creating gamification within the community. They can be used internally and externally. To cite an example, if you are doing a project management certification training online, in the following term period, you are going to earn a certificate. However, what happens on the weekly, monthly basis progress you make. Badges are those little stars you get when they you do something nice. It’s like the small doses of acknowledgement between the bigger achievements like graduation etc. Badges can be shared on social and have the tendency to create a viral effect on the training culture internally and externally.
Paradiso has learning embedded in the Salesforce CRM. We have given the provision of sharing badges on Salesforce chatter. Salesforce chatter is a social platform where the salespeople can interact with other salespeople and help each other out, while showing recognition, collaboration within the organization. You could leverage Paradiso LMS to deploy gamification to your learning environment and see the difference it brings in your e-learning dynamics.
So you see, the above businesses didn’t create an angry bird kind of game or video games, what they simply used were game mechanics to create an impact.
Watch the Video for quick recap of the above Case Studies-