Why is game-based learning growing popular?


When you deconstruct any game, what makes you enjoy it, is the learning process that is built into it. When you progress in a game, you learn.

When engaged in a game, our minds are dealing with a new system. This holds true whether the game is for entertainment (World of Warcraft) or is for a serious purpose (flight simulator).

The scope of delivering game based learning is enormous for both training and education. In 2008, nearly 170 million people played video and computer games in a market worth $11.7 billion. Well-designed games can be harnessed to create a workforce that is trained to apply problem solving skills.


Following are the reasons why game based learning is suitable for training and development:

  • Games engage learners: When learners are engaged with games, it makes it more likely for them to learn the skills needed for success. For instance, sleeping while your teacher was delivering a lecture was quite common in the traditional classroom setting. In this scenario, you were definitely not engaged in learning. This is natural that you don’t get excited abouta book full of theories. But, as for games, most people love to play. Games tap into our intrinsic emotions via elements of surprise, competition, reward and pleasure. We are motivated to attain skills for success in the game and ultimately to gain skills that can be applied in the real world.
  • Games are practical:Though not many companies and organizations have applied game based learning as yet, there is considerable proof through research about the advantages of game based learning. Game based learning companies are growing in popularity. As per a Meta-analysis by the Business School of UC-Denver, it was found that those who played learning games came to acquire skilled based knowledge that was 14% higher, factual knowledge that was 11% higher and retention rate that was 9% higher. In the case of self-efficacy which is a strong belief in one’s abilities to attain goals, it increased by 20%. It was found that employees who played learning games, acquired more skills needed to perform at their jobs, retained and remembered more, and were more confident to perform their duties. Games also work by providing progressive feedback to the learner. Games help judge ability of employees and identify areas where they still need improvement. Games also help to train employees in skills needed to tackle hazardous situations like flight simulation or fire-fighting.

These are the benefits of game based learning in education and training, especially in the corporate environment.

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