Work is Not a Game – But Training Can Be!

In our last blog, we talked about why ‘Learning by Doing’ is far more effective than learning by seeing, hearing or any other form. In this post, we discuss why interactive gaming technologies hold the key to doing that effectively.

Hands on experience is key - but NOT a good starting point

Hands on experience is key – but NOT a good starting point

Learning by doing something in real life is the best way to learn – there’s no doubt about it. But it’s also the most expensive way. And it can be dangerous too (to both operators and sensitive equipment). Beyond THAT – timing is often an issue as scheduling trainings is never easy and comes with its own set of costs.

And if training in real life isn’t the best starting point (or even desired, considering the cost and risk involved) – what’s the next best thing?

The 10,000 Hour Rule

The ‘10,000 hour rule‘ claims “the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.” That’s a LOT of training – and ‘training’ is not something employees sign up for willingly, or that they even stay awake during, most times – so add THAT to our growing list of obstacles to overcome.

But what if there was a way to make training interesting, safe, cost-effective, portable, scalable AND interactive? There is – but first an aside:

jumping-video-game-player-WFP0059848Did you know that “the average young person racks up 10,000 hours of gaming by the age of 21”? And, as noted by Jane McGonigal, a world-renowned designer of alternate reality video games, “that’s almost exactly as much time as they spend in a classroom during all of middle school and high school if they have perfect attendance.”

And they’re doing it “because games do a better job than ordinary life of provoking our most powerful positive emotions” . . . and learning. The reason people today love video games is that it’s immersive – it puts them in the driver’s seat and they control the experience. It’s engaging and requires the participant’s full attention.

Ever catch someone fall asleep playing a game?

The skillset is already there, you see – it just needs to be harnessed.

Now imagine harnessing that same interactive experience and applying it to work challenges: Rather than trying to make sense of unintuitive manuals and drawings, Operations & Maintenance techs could have access to amazing, immersive applications whenever and wherever they needed it. See one here:

From learning by listening to learning by doing… Education and learning will become as much fun as videogames. And we call it ‘full body learning.’”
Bing Gordon Partner, KPCB (a top Venture Capitalist firm)

To be clear, this isn’t exactly Gamification (we will expand on that in an upcoming post) – but it IS using interactive technology – the same technology that we are already comfortable with in our every day lives.

And this concept isn’t new: The success of companies like Apple is rooted in the fact that they made computers desirable for ‘people who hated computers.’ And then they did it again with the phone (they did almost too well), with people now loving and never leaving home without their phones.

Taking inspiration from that, we have embarked on the Big, Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) of making training desirable for ‘those who hate training.’ And we’re succeeding. Built on modern video game engines and delivered via desktop, web, mobile or tablet, Heartwood’s 3D Interactive Training technology makes training stick.

Check back next week and we’ll tell you more about it. In the meantime, check out our videos to see what it looks like in action  and Contact us!

Credits – ‘Gamer to Operator’ by Mark Rondina