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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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
 

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