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 KnightThe Daily WTF has a nice run down of some of the impact to software that the US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage has. http://thedailywtf.com/articles/i-m-not-married-to-the-idea07/02/2015 - 7:45am
MechaCrashGee, how did people ever get the idea Gaters are morons who argue in bad faith? It's such a mystery.07/02/2015 - 7:03am
E. Zachary KnightGoth, again, no one is saying that we shouldn't be writig uncomfortable subject matter. What people are saying is that chances are you are going to write it poorly so it would be better to not have done it at all.07/02/2015 - 7:00am
Goth_Skunkdiscussed or portrayed in an expressive medium. Such an opinion only serves to stifle discussion. And as I said before, the only thing not worth talking about is what shouldn't be talked about.07/02/2015 - 6:50am
Goth_Skunk@Info: The same reason why I would entertain the notion that the Wired article writer could be right: Curiosity. Except in this case, I'm not curious at all. I'm not interested in hearing anyone's opinion on why uncomfortable subject matter shouldn't be07/02/2015 - 6:49am
IvresseI think the problem with the Batmobile is that they made it a core aspect of the game that you have to do continuously. If it was basically a couple of side games that were needed for secret stuff or a couple of times in the main game, it would be fine.07/02/2015 - 5:38am
Infophile@Goth: If you're not willing to entertain the idea you might be wrong, fine. That's your right. But why should anyone else entertain the idea that you might be right? If they go by the same logic, they already know you're wrong, so why listen to you?07/02/2015 - 3:53am
MattsworknameEh, I love the new batmobile personally, it's a blast to mess aroudn with. Plus, the game is set in a situation that mroe or less leaves batman with no choice but to go full force. And even then, it still shows him doing all he can to limit casualties.07/01/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenAgreed. Luckily, we don't seem to be in danger of that of late. No one's suggesting, for example, that tanks shouldn't be in video games, only that the tank in Arkham Knight is poorly implemented and out of place from a characterization standpoint.07/01/2015 - 11:27pm
MattsworknameConfederate flag, Relgious organizations, etc etc. Andrew isnt[ wrong, just remember not to let that mentality lead to censorship.07/01/2015 - 11:20pm
Mattsworknamefind offensive or disturbing, and that mindset leads to censorship. It's all well and good to say "This would be better IF", just so long as we remember not to let it slide into "This is offensive, REMOVE IT". IE , the current issues surroundign the07/01/2015 - 11:19pm
MattsworknameAndrew and goth both have points, and to that point, I'll say. Saying somethign is improved by changing something isn't a problem, on that I agree with , but at the same time, on of the issues we have in our society is that we want to simply remove things07/01/2015 - 11:18pm
Andrew EisenSee? Suggestions for improvements that involve taking things away do not mean the work is garbage or performing poorly, critically or commercially.07/01/2015 - 9:29pm
Andrew EisenSkyward Sword is spiff-a-rific but it would be an improved experience if the game didn't explain what each item and rupee was every single time you picked them up!07/01/2015 - 9:27pm
Andrew EisenHere's another: De Blob is a ton of fun but it would be improved without motion controls. Incidentally, THQ heard our cries, removed motion controls for the sequel and it was a better game for it!07/01/2015 - 9:24pm
Andrew EisenI'll give you an example: Arkham Knight is a ton of fun but the tank sucks and the game would be even better without it.07/01/2015 - 9:23pm
Goth_SkunkWell clearly we're diametrically opposed about that.07/01/2015 - 9:03pm
Andrew EisenNot even remotely true.07/01/2015 - 8:59pm
Goth_SkunkIt is, if the suggestion involves taking something away from a product in order to make it better.07/01/2015 - 8:49pm
Andrew EisenOffering suggestions for improvement does not mean that the work in question is garbage or not doing fine.07/01/2015 - 8:21pm
 

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