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The name of the game is work

The Name of the Game is Work: “If you’re thinking that maybe you should hide the video game controller from your kids because they’re spending too much time in front of the TV or computer, don’t. What you think is slacking may just be preparing them to become productive members of the workforce when they get older.”
There is little doubt that games and simulations (not SecondLife, necessarily) will become a significant aspect of training and education. About eight years ago, with a colleague at RRC, we started incorporating simple games into curriculum. Some games were a simple play on Jeopardy, Solitaire, and other common games. Others were more complex and involved. The potential impact with games and learning became apparent when we asked for student involvement in reviewing our games. Without exception, students became much more involved, active, and even excited. I recall one classroom where the game (think it was a Jeopardy-like) where one student started on my laptop in the front of the class, and within a few minutes, almost the whole class was crowded around the computer. Games, for learners, are an invitation to interaction. Unfortunately, most classroom-based learning is not.

2 Comments

  1. Manish wrote:

    This is very true. Gaming actually brings in the element of having fun…and if fun becomes work then definitely productivity will improve. I can understand that we deploy the concept of gaming into training…as long as the training is going on. But what happends after that? When real work needs to be done? Say for example for a guy whose job is to develop a training program, develop content, or something like that? Surely we need to look at the validy of this concept for masses and not only for a small section of the workforce.

    - Manish

    Friday, August 17, 2007 at 7:22 am | Permalink
  2. Virginia Yonkers wrote:

    On the other hand, I remember when I got my first job, I was shocked at how boring it was. If all we ever do is pressure students to be constantly working, how do they cope with those down times (which certainly happen). In fact, work processes consist of really boring work, followed by intense pressure (which may or may not be interesting) followed by more waiting. Also, what happens when the required work really is tedious and boring? I find my undergrads have a very warped sense of what work is, only wanting to do the cool “games” type of work rather than the tedious “mindless” work which is the backbone of most offices (try having to count inventory: necessary, but very tedious for an auditor).

    Friday, August 17, 2007 at 10:03 am | Permalink