Chapter 1: the challenges and advantages of serious games
The term ‘gamestorming’ is, of course, derived from the word ‘game’ and the concept of ‘brainstorming’ and consists in creating new solutions on the basis of games. Does it work?
This practice has gradually entered the business world via large American groups. Gamestorming and its cousin, the serious game, constitute real testing grounds and offer a number of advantages: they inject an element of play into a task, strengthen team unity, foster creative solutions, rebalance relationships within teams and provide a vector for your company culture.
Think of serious games as taking codes normally associated with games and applying them to business, whereas gamestorming is more like a method involving several different games. Games are, of course, particularly useful in the field of training!
Training is conducive to simulated scenarios, role plays and the decompartmentalization of the normal working environment. Games, on the other hand, are all about learning, stimulating innovation and engaging participants. A perfect combination! We think this playful approach is particularly interesting to demonstrate and develop. In this report, therefore, we provide some avenues for reflection on games, as well as some concrete exercises and support throughout the process.
This special report will accompany you step-by-step to help you achieve your goals and offer your participants a truly unique training course. Our work would not have been possible without the help of Dave Gray, Sunni Brown, James Macanufo and their work entitled ‘Gamestorming, a Playbook for Innovators’. We hope to pass on to you their rich teaching through our report. Before giving you some concrete examples, it is important to look into the challenges and advantages of serious games in more detail. This will therefore provide the focus for this first chapter.
The many advantages of serious games for training
How can you apply games to the learning process?
The many advantages of corporate gaming presented by Gamelearn
Games between professionals follow the same fundamental laws that apply to games between children: they are limited in space and time, correspond to a goal and take place according to rules defined in advance. In a company, the games may be serious but the same rules still apply. The same is true in training. Games are facilitated, in particular, by the natural tendency for learning to take the form of role play.
A significant advantage of training is that the game master, i.e. the trainer, is often external to the company. Their authority cannot therefore be challenged and participants are more inclined to accept the rules.
What are the benefits for the trainer?
The main difference between learning through games and learning in lecture form resides in the approach. Games make it possible to capture learners’ attention in innovative ways. By actively involving them in the overall process of reflection and by valorizing the participants and their differences, games make it possible capture and maintain the players’ attention in a new and different way.
For the trainer, games make it easier to get the message across to learners. By creating another framework for their training, the message takes on a different aspect. It therefore becomes easier to understand and assimilate. Games also influence dynamics within the group. Because they are governed by their own laws, games break the normal codes existing within the company and its various departments. In addition, they encourage more informal discussion, new stances and the creation of a real sense of team spirit. Games make use of their framework outside the scope of normal life to create a new experience that brings participants together.
Simulating for better training. Humans always learn best through trial and error. Games enable players to put themselves in someone else’s shoes via concrete situations. Simulations are particularly useful for training in sales or health, in order to let the client or patient speak. The final benefit we are going to list here concerns the role of the trainer. As the game master, the trainer helps learners to assimilate all the important concepts.The French Gamestorming User Group
Simulate to train better. Humans never learn as well as when they try. The game allows through concrete situations to put oneself in the place of the other. Simulation is particularly used in sales or health training to give the customer or patient a voice. The last benefit that we will list here concerns the role of the trainer. By becoming game master, he helps learners to assimilate all the important notions.
If they are alone, the trainees may experience additional difficulties assimilating everything during the game. Hélène Michel, professor at Grenoble Ecole de Management confirms this and insists on the role of the game master “This is the reason people have to perform demonstrations, create challenges and spend time with those who are having difficulty ”.
What are the advantages for trainees?
Games enable trainees to step out of their normal roles. Thanks to their different representations, specific language and unusual situations, games encourage participants to develop a parallel perception of their world and cultivate their creativity.
Hence, to achieve the aim of the game, participants use indirect routes rather than the normal paths. It is via these indirect routes that the participants are able to develop new ideas.
A game can, for example, highlight a new way of using an object or find ways of improving an offer of service. Not all these things may have been perceived by the team beforehand. The final point of interest concerns the role. When an after-sales technician is no longer an after-sales technician, a doctor is no longer a doctor and a CEO is no longer a CEO, real solutions can emerge.
It is both fun and productive for participants to step out of their predefined roles and give free rein to their personalities. The reason carnivals are so popular is because the concept gives people a unique opportunity to change roles. When games are based on the same principle, everyone benefits.
In the next chapter of our file devoted to serious games, you will discover the key elements of a good gamestorming, as well as the principles to integrate for the creation of a game. If you lack ideas, no worries, we give you examples of games to use in your training.
Also discover a concrete example of Serious Game via Virtual Reality: