Why this article?
Many words are written and spun on the topic of gamification, game based learning, serious games etc. We have been working effectively with this methodology for over five years and up until now, we have facilitated over 300 business games with over 4,000 participants.
In this article we would like, in all modesty, to share with you where, in our experience, you will find the main added value of In Person Game Based Learning and why we feel that this very same IPGB should be, and is, indispensable for the L&D mix of every organization that has human development as its main priority
What I would like to communicate to you in the first place is that this is not an “or” story but an “and” story. In Person Game Based Learning is not a panacea, it does not replace traditional learning or e-learning. However, it is an addition to these learning methods that you simply cannot do without.
What is it?
The definition of In Person Game Based Learning that we adhere to is: “The use of gaming and gaming elements in a non-digital learning environment”.
Game based Learning is the use of gaming and gaming elements in a non-digital learning environment.
What does it do?
Fun, experience and connectedness
This is probably the most obvious and the most visible characteristic of IPGBL. It is fun, you are drawn into the game by the gaming mechanics and the positive peer pressure. You have to go with the flow!
In addition, the game mechanics require intensive collaboration with, as a natural by-product, connectedness and camaraderie between the participants. My first business game was with a group of Dutch trainees whom I’d never clapped eyes on before, but going home straight afterwards was not an option. We simply had to stay on to enjoy a drink and discuss our shared experience.
Only yesterday I was facilitating a session of Tactic Travel for a large Belgian telecoms company and I literally had to force a group of participants to step out of the game just for a little while to go to lunch.
Efficiency and return on investment
Even more than creating a unique experience, we feel that the main value of this methodology is on the ‘harder’ side, more specifically in terms of efficiency and return on investment.
In ‘Customer Drive’, one of our games on ‘doing business in a customer-focused way’, the 13 participants hold a total of up to 156 training conversations in only half a day. If you start using role play in a more traditional setting, as a trainer you have put in a good effort if each of the ten participants has taken part in one role play or one training exercise.
Our game mechanics and the game design ensure that you can do more in a shorter time frame, and with more participants! In other words, you need to take people off the shop floor less often and for a shorter period of time, plus the return on investment in training is higher.
This makes the bottom line of business games interesting in terms of cost per participant as well as the reduction of logistic disruption for L&D and the various business departments.
The game mechanics and the game design ensure that you can do more in a shorter time frame and with more participants!
Effectiveness and positive association
The natural biotope of IPGBL is one of positive association, learning through experience and of ‘learning by teaching’, methods we have come to recognize as the most effective learning methods.
The main lesson we have learnt in recent years is that the ‘learning by teaching’ approach is extremely successful. Our games are structured in such a way that participants, within a clearly defined framework, in due course start taking over most of the role of the ‘teacher’ or trainer.
In Chip Factory for managers, participants-employees enter into a conversation with participants-managers on the basis of pre-defined criteria after which they have to coach their colleague. We have observed that the participant-employee is very ‘aware’ when stepping into the role, which can lead to astonishing learning results
In Person Game Based Learning (IPGBL)