More about Serious Games

We were recently assigned a reading reaction about serious games, but I’m extremely interested in this topic and want to cover it more in depth, particularly the applications of video games to the real world.

Many of the additional uses of video games are pretty simple and straightforward. For instance, the use of the Xbox Kinect, Wii Fit, or Playstation Move to exercise and lose weight, or educational games such as math blaster to increase one’s knowledge.

However, games are also used in training. A recent study at the University of Colorado Denver Business School found that individuals trained with video games for their jobs perform much better, “have higher skills, and retain information longer” than other workers trained with the usual methods. In a study with over 6,000 trainees, people that were trained using video games also had a significant “11% increase in factual knowledge, a 14 percent higher skill-based knowledge level and a 9 percent higher retention rate than trainees in comparison groups.” See the article here:

One particular example that intrigued me was the use of video games for training at Cold Stone Creamery. The company discovered that the employees were scooping too much ice cream per serving, and they were losing money because of it, so they developed a game to show exactly how much ice cream should go in each scoop. Furthermore, Miller Brewing Company also developed a game to show bartenders how to pour the perfect beer.

Why are these video games so successful in job training? Because they are much more interactive and engaging compared to the conventional methods of training. They give trainees much more practice and can hold their attention better.

Video games can also be used for military training. They teach recruits how to use certain weapons and how to respond to certain conditions. But you may not know that they are also used to help soldiers cope with the mental and emotional toll that serving in the military takes. This type of training is called “stress-resilience or emotional coping” and takes players step-by-step through what they should expect to see and how to deal handle the situation in a virtual manner before experiencing the real thing. See the article here:

Serious Games-video clips

If any of you were curious about what these games might look like, as I was, I found some clips on youtube of serious games:

While I was looking through the clips I was surprised to see they have serious games for a variety of topics from medical training to marketing skills. I wonder how popular these games are as a form of training. Has anyone ever used a program like this for job training?