We often think of games as a form of entertainment. Makes sense, because a game without entertainment has little value. Nevertheless, games have been used for many years to stimulate learning and for behavioural changes. Serious games for business has become very serious.
Applying games in your business is one of the most effective ways to transfer knowledge, learn skills or change behavior. Serious games can produce amazing results within your organization.
Why serious games are effective
Serious games – also known as applied games or gamification – are games with a more important purpose than just entertainment. Serious games are used to:
- Transfer knowledge
- Create social awareness
- Teach new skills
- Encourage behavioural change
By the way: this does not mean that a serious game should only be serious. In fact, we believe in making ‘seriously entertaining games’. The more immersive and entertaining the game is, the greater the positive impact on the user.
The advantage of games is that the user receives immediate feedback. We see this, for example, in Underground, a serious game we developed for UMCG Groningen. Surgeons in training use it to work on their mobility by helping two figures on an underground journey. This way, surgeons can practise in a safe, virtual environment. A little mistake has no direct consequences.
In addition, serious games have a high degree of involvement. In a digital environment with an exciting storyline and in-game rewards, players are encouraged to keep going. Play together with colleagues to learn from each other and discuss the game. And it also has a positive impact on job satisfaction and it reduces the workload.
Games for business: when do you apply them?
Games for business can be used in two ways: for employees and for customers. Do you want to use creative games to train staff, stimulate behavioural change or even to acquire new customers? It is possible! But the most important question is:
What is your question, problem or idea?
Often there is a problem within a company that hasn’t been solved so far. Or there is a business objective that is not achieved.
Let’s say an organization has a high a rate of absenteeism due to illness and knows that the staff does not move enough during the day. This company has tried to cooperate with the gym, where employees are stimulated to exercise, without results. This can be a reason to implement a serious game to get employees to exercise playfully.
This is just one example where serious gaming can be a solution. In addition, serious games can be used for:
- employer branding
- staff training
- management training
- (better) serving and reaching the target group
- marketing & sales
From problem to concept
The development of a game is complex. Luckily, you don’t have to worry about that. After we’ve discussed with you what the objective is, we’ll go over the conditions together. In this phase, we put a concept on paper. Which target group is the game for? What should be the outcome of the game? In how many languages should the game be available?
The next step is to create a creative concept. Our team comes up with the story of the game: in which world does the player go and what are the tasks that have to be carried out? Thinking outside the box is a requirement, and that’s our strength! The storyline and visual elements are presented and discussed with your organization.
Do you agree with the creative concept? Then we make a prototype: a first technical set-up of the game idea. The advantage of this prototype is that it can be tested quickly. Is the game fun and challenging? That is beautiful! But is the game also effective? Does it lead to the solution we determined in the first phase?
Production and validation
As soon as we are satisfied, we will switch to production. In this phase we build the virtual world, the characters and a logical storyline.
We work with short sprints of two weeks with clear objectives for each period. After each sprint we deliver an intermediate product, ask for feedback, test and optimize the product.
During the production phase we test the game with the target group. We listen to their feedback and find out if they experience the game as we intended. We collect the results and discuss them with your organization. Together we decide which changes we will make. These steps are repeated until we come to a final game. Check, check, double check: done!
Completion and launch
The game has been tested, the target group is enthusiastic… your own serious game is ready! But how do you make sure the game is actually used? Maybe communication needs to be made and your game needs to be marketed.
We will also be there after delivery. With our years of experience we know how to successfully use a serious game. We help you with the planning and execution. Together we will make your game a success.
Are you looking for the solution to a problem within your organization? Do you want to exceed the company objectives or do you simply have a brilliant idea? Contact Tim Laning to discuss the possibilities for your business: