Video Games: The Future of Business Training?

December 13, 2010 -

The future of corporate training - at least in Ontario - may very well be game-related. From small business owners to college professors, video game-based training is proving to be popular and effective. Several people involved using special business training software in Ontario are profiled in this Vancouver Sun report.

Merle Ballaigues is trying out a new video game-based training system from Burlington, Ontario-based company, E=mz2. Ballaigues is using the software with her sales team to see if it is effective. She is the North American distributor for Thomas International.

"I wanted something new and different. Online game-based training allows you to offer training anywhere at any time," she says.

She says that, so far, the game seems effective and translates into real-world knowledge that her team can use in the field. She claims that the game allows salespeople to choose when they play, and that it reaches across age barriers, allowing participants to compete against themselves and against others.

E=mz2 introduced its first training simulation, Momentium, in 2009. The company has been in the training business since 1985, but recognized that small businesses with limited budgets can't afford to spend the kind of money needed to get traditional training.

"The time and cost to bring people together, often from different parts of the country, was prohibitive," says Marguerite Zimmerman, president and chief executive of E=mz2. "I also knew from my own experience and research that they would not get a sustainable result from one event in a classroom over a couple of days."

"I found myself feeling very frustrated because I knew that what the businesses could afford would not give them the result they wanted," Ms. Zimmerman added. "Technology afforded us the capability to put together a cost-effective way of training sales reps online, providing both the theory and practical applications of the theory in situations they would likely face in real life."

Mandeep Malik, assistant professor of marketing at McMaster University's DeGroote School of Business, thinks that this new approach to training is a novel one - and one that younger team members will take a liking to. This, he says, is the future of corporate training.

"If you can simulate real-life business situations online and present them in the form of a game, you can impart best practices, enhance retention and reduce costs," Malik tells the Vancouver Sun. "These systems are becoming intelligent, students learn as they advance in the game and are exposed to planning, rehearsal, execution and review. The cost of learning face to face with customers is the cost of lost opportunity. Game-based training tools offer an effective, inexpensive alternative."

Malik uses Momentium in his classroom, to help in a particularly tough area for entrepreneurs -- sales training. Momentium uses 120 story-based episodes that Malik uses over the course of three semesters. The school offers students a cloud-based subscription model cost $25 - $30 a week. Participants sign in for 10-to 30-minute sessions three times a week.

"We use stories so there are memory hooks and the frequency moves the learning from short-term memory to long-term memory," Zimmerman says. "If I don't retain something I can't use it."

Source: Vancouver Sun


 
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E. Zachary KnightZippy, So you can't find even one?08/29/2014 - 1:04pm
ZippyDSMleeAndrew Eisen:Right because shes prefect and never exaggerates... *rolls eyes*08/29/2014 - 12:53pm
SleakerAnd honestly, nearly all of the games she references, or images she depicts I've always cringed at and wondered why they were included in games to begin with, from pinups through explicit sexual depictions or direct abuse. I think it's cheap storytelling.08/29/2014 - 12:35pm
Sleaker@AE - aren't most people fundamentally misunderstanding her at this point? haha.. On a related note I think a lot of the backlash is coming from males that think she is telling them their 'Generic Male Fantasy' is bad and wrong.08/29/2014 - 12:33pm
Andrew EisenAnd no, I don't think the female community would be upset over the performance of a case study in and of itself. Possibly the mostivations behind such a study, the methodology or conclusions but not the mere idea of a case study.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
Andrew EisenAmusingly, these videos aren't saying you can't/shouldn't use tropes or that sexual representations are inherently problematic so those are very silly things to have a problem with and indicate a fundamental misunderstanding of the series.08/29/2014 - 12:29pm
SleakerDo you think the female community would get extremely angry over a male doing a case study on the negative impact of sex-novels and their unrealistic depiction of males and how widespread they are in american culture?08/29/2014 - 12:25pm
SleakerThe other thing that people might find problematic is that they see no problem with sexual representations of females (or males) in games. And realistically, why is there anything wrong with sexual representations in fiction?08/29/2014 - 12:24pm
SleakerTo even discuss or bring up these issues at a cultural level to begin with. Going straight for games to many probably feels like a huge overstepping given that it's interactive story in many cases, and when you're telling a story why can't you use tropes.08/29/2014 - 12:21pm
SleakerI think a large part of the controversy stems from the idea that games aren't culture setters, but culture reactors, and simply depict what is already in culture. So people don't care that games use tropes or are blind to them because we've failed ...08/29/2014 - 12:20pm
AvalongodBesides, what better way to make her point for her than to respond to her opinion by behaving like a misogynistic asshole. Sure, it may be a troll account, but that doesn't make it "ok"08/29/2014 - 12:19pm
AvalongodWhether Sarkeesian is "right" or "wrong" is not relevant, neither she nor any other woman should have to expect that her opinion will be met with death threats or even just sexist language.08/29/2014 - 12:18pm
Andrew EisenOh, may as well. Zip, I challenge you to cite three specific examples from the TvW videos (use direct quotes and time stamps) and explain how/why they ring hollow or are over exaggerated.08/29/2014 - 11:56am
Andrew EisenZip - Bullies on both sides? What both sides? And of course bullies are worse than people who aren't bullies.08/29/2014 - 11:23am
Neeneko(2) yes, male tropes also have problems and gender studies looks at those too. But this highlights a privilage problem, the idea that if male issues are not brought up too female issues should not be discussed.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
Neeneko@ZippyDSMlee - jumping back (1) one can acknowledge systemic problems without requiring every male be a Neanderthal.08/29/2014 - 10:42am
MaskedPixelanteI don't like the new 3DS, mostly because it means there's a good chance future 3DS games won't be compatible with the current models.08/29/2014 - 9:30am
ConsterI don't get why Amazon decided to buy this "Twitch" fellow, really. It took him ages to beat Pokemon.08/29/2014 - 8:31am
ZippyDSMleeIt goes without saying that we need to et rid of the bullies on both sides that are far worse than Sarkeesian or Quin will ever be.08/29/2014 - 8:24am
ZippyDSMleeI'm talking more about the genreal movement and how silly it is, as for Sarkeesian half of what she is says rings hollw while the other half tend to be over exsagerated.08/29/2014 - 8:22am
 

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