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Gamification or Serious Games?


The very idea of games entering the labor market as more than just a way to make a profit is not unknown to businesses. Over the past couple of decades, we can pinpoint the rise of serious games and gamification aiming to enhance skills, competencies, promote new methodologies and practices, and to gather information.

Serous Games vs Gamification

Serious gaming and gamification are two terms that are often confused, seeing us the have common elements. They are both e-learning strategies, however, their differences are very distinct. Here is a simple way to separate the two.

Serious games are specific types of games that have a primary purpose other than entertainment. A primary purpose could be to gather information from a target audience as market research for a product or enhance the skills and competencies of employees in a specific field such as digital literacy.

Gamification, on the other hand, has a much more typical game-like application to areas like training, marketing, and services to increase engagements as well as effectiveness. 

The benefits

Both strategies have their benefits. They both focus on increasing user enjoyment through knowledge retention. They can both greatly help potential learners get inspired and focus on the things that motivate them the most.

It is important for anyone interested to add either method to their quiver, to understand what separates that two. Gamification uses a different game mechanic to engage players. Reward systems such as leaderboards, leveling up, badges, and points the learner can earn add value to the experience. Moreover, they are speaking to a learner’s natural need to compete for an achieve the final goal which is non-other than winning.

Serious Games on the other hand, follow a different pattern. Instead of using gamification techniques, they are more focused on a typical game structure with an added form of training elements. Serious Games produce results based on positive reinforcement and just-in-time learning.

Why are they different?

The major difference between the two is that Gamification can stand alone as a teaching/learning content. Serious Games, however, are considered more of an addition to an already existing e-learning strategy.

Gamification takes different types of game-like mechanics and adds them to the traditional e-learning methods and programs to increase participation as well as engagements. Serious games are complete games that follow a typical game structure while simultaneously adding educational value other in addition to entertainment.

The simplest way to think about it is the following. Gamification takes an already existing training course and adds value to it by integrating game-like elements. Serious games take already existing games and enhance them with educational elements.

Application in the real world of business

Both gamification and serious games have been linked to life-long learning which is a valuable technique for businesses and employees alike. They are both great ways to promote and enhance entrepreneurial skills and competencies, as well as help employees, reach the next level on their digital skills.

Therefore, the project “entrepreneurship, employability and enterprising in a digital and gaming environment”, or Triple E-dge, seeks to enhance the digital skills of people who are in one way or another involved in the world of enterprises, as well as their trainers, as they are the ones who first instill these skills and also help employers in identifying the digital skills that are pertinent in their sector. 

You can learn more about the Triple E-dge project by paying a visit to its official website.

With the world evolving at an insanely fast pace, all employees, potential employers, and entrepreneurs need to enhance their own skills and competencies. By finding the right training material you can increase your knowledge and expertise and make yourselves marketable.

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