I am a big fan and believer of game design. It is one of the things I have spoken here. Hence, when as a part of the upcoming People Matters TechHR Conference 2019, I had the opportunity to shoot five questions to Mohsin Memon, I was naturally excited.
As the CEO at Memcorp Immersive learning and a pioneer in Immersive Learning, Mohsin is no stranger to the world of games. He is the founder of the Immersive Learning Methodology -a 4-step system that enables anyone to be able to create immersive learning experiences for their learners. He has given six TEDx talks and has facilitated over 5000 immersive learning experiences for many of the Fortune 500 companies among others.
Here is what he had to say:
Q1: What is it about games that make them great learning tools?
Games bring the perfect balance of immersiveness and cognitive activation. When someone is engrossed in a game environment, they’re completely cognizant of their actions and feel committed to achieve their desired outcome in the game world (see attached images). This makes them take actions as they would deem fit in their real lives as well. When given an opportunity to reflect over how they behaved during play, most learners are able to see whether their actions were productive or not. This type of learning goes beyond a typical classroom training where a download of information is provided or even activity based learning experiences where an activity is ‘designed’ to teach certain competencies. Game, as a learning tool, aims to solve for the deeper issues in the learning process such as: creating sufficient buy-in for the learner to acknowledge that the learning is, in fact, necessary for them. And enabling learning through realization which is far more personal and relevant to the learner’s worklife.
Q2: Game design is more than just PBL (points, badges, and leaderboards). What elements do modern day game based learning vehicles forget to consider?
Having been in the game design and development arena for learning for the last several years, I realize that games are certainly a great deal more than PBL. One of the most critical components that I find missing in many game based learning vehicles today is making the game social. Peer pressure always has and will always continue to have an impact on how we interact with each other. This social norm can and should be leveraged to build great game and learning experiences.
Q3: What other aspects can HR leverage gamification for?
Games and gamification can and should be leveraged in some of the most troubled areas of HR. Payroll and claiming reimbursements, mass adoption of new HR technologies, onboarding and induction programs are just some of the examples of where gamification can enhance outcome and employee experience.
Q4: Do you ever see a day where employees will walk into a game instead of work every day, a world where every aspect of work is converted into a game by careful design?
I do see that day in the far future but in all practicality it’s farther than I’d like it to be. However, there’s no denying that games are becoming more like life and life is becoming more like games.
Q5: Is there an innovation in the space of game mechanics and experience design that surprised you? Can you share more about it?
I’ve seen fairly innovative game mechanics and experience designs but nothing that makes me say ‘wow’. A recent survey by Deloitte sheds some light on this: most organizations haven’t innovated with games as much because a number of organizations have experimented and burned their hands. The unsuccessful game/gamification deployments can be attributed to inaccurate and under-effective game mechanics. This leads many others to believe that game/gamification may just be a phase or a fad that will soon pass.
This is what I thought too until three years ago when I started seeing great gamification designs implemented to solve real life problems.