Jan. 26, 2023

What Video Games Can Teach Us About Making Work More Engaging

What Video Games Can Teach Us About Making Work More Engaging

This week, we discuss how video game design elements can be applied to the workplace to increase employee motivation and satisfaction, and new ideas for making work more enjoyable and fulfilling.

In this episode of the podcast, we explore the ways in which video games can serve as a model for making work more engaging. From the use of clear goals and instant feedback to the incorporation of teamwork and problem-solving, we examine the elements of game design that can be applied to the workplace to increase employee motivation and satisfaction. Whether you're an employee or a manager, this episode will give you new ideas and inspiration for making your work more enjoyable and fulfilling.

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Ryan Purvis 0:00
Hello, and welcome to the digital workspace works Podcast. I'm Ryan Purvis, your host supported by producer Heather Bicknell. In this series, you'll hear stories and opinions from experts in the field story from the frontlines, the problems they face, how they solve them. The areas they're focused on from technology, people and processes to the approaches they took, that will help you to get to the scripts with a digital workspace inner workings.

Heather Bicknell 0:21
So this topics really all about why we like to play video games where we have a job and part to escape our real life jobs. So why are these games more engaging, more satisfying than our actual jobs where they feel like an escape, and people spend hundreds of hours on them. So these are games like Animal Crossing, where you can be a farmer and interior designer,or Stardew Valley is another farming, kind of cosy game. And then there are ones that are a bit more high stress, but are still kind of centred around normal ish jobs, things like

what I like to play with my friends is overcooked, we, you are a team of chefs working to get different meals out the door. That's quite stressful, actually. Because it's timed, and you're all having to coordinate and kind of yell at each other to

logging on and, and playing these games where you have a job of, you know, after your nine to five, why do we like to do that?

Ryan Purvis 1:46
I think it's about control what we think about, but also, it's very much around some time in your working environment, you can't, you don't have control over what's going on. And the games have, have a lot more guardrails in place, because it's kept with the mechanics there. So you control the outcome better, to any and that's why it's a nice stress relief, because you can go and play the game, to get some games, you know, obviously, can be stressful being what you're doing. I mean, I can think of some games where it took a month to get past a certain level. Because you just, you know, be able to do things perfectly, and then use the level and start again. But but the other stuff, you know, I think that's the only other game that I've played in my life, when I was gaming, it was the puzzles, it was the relaxation of solving the problem in a nice confined space where you felt that that validation, and then achievement for finishing it, but you weren't in this uncontrolled space, like work and sometimes be sometimes you can be overwhelmed sometimes can be stressful, because it's you've been bombarded with things, or whatever it is. And that's we games make, make it easier to deal with things.

Heather Bicknell 3:04
I was just saying, you know, I agree with you. And I also was thinking there might be something around the ability to fail in a game, you know, the, the safety of failure, and that one thing, you know, people talked about is that psychological safety at work and feeling like, no, if you if you try something new and you fail at it, you know, that's a growth experience. That's a learning experience. But oftentimes, in the workplace, you might not feel quite like you do have permission to fail or kind of muddle through things. Were in a video game, that's very much what you have to do, right. And the consequences are, you know, as again, by the nature of being a game less, I guess they don't have a real impact on your on your life. So you can try things out without fear of failing.

Ryan Purvis 4:02
Yeah, and that's a serious games have come in quite quite aggressively there were there were a lot of these for a while that were being considered, you know, if you get training generally speaking, how you could we did some of the stuff when I was with Hi-Lo, we looked at these, where you could be the scenario training, and you could build a, an environment that would explain what he does have the user try out and explore the situation, and what would you do in that situation? And I'll try to think of somebody else who did something I did many years ago actually did this as a responsible RFP with Salesforce automation, where we actually built a 3d rendered game of a couple local bars where the salesperson could walk through and they could check the branding and the location of the fridges and stuff or the alcohol that was being sold. To confirm that the bar was meeting the spec was required. Because you know, these bars here, I'm sure this works. They get sponsored by the brand, certain amount of kit, so that they can show the the premium brands in the right places and stuff like that. And, you know, that was actually a really cool game. And I was surprised we lost that deal, honestly, because we're the only ones who did that, to say, well, this is how you're going to train your your sales force people to use the tooling. And you know, it was all gamified. And then then you also get into situations where you can roll out new stuff in an in a repeatable environment where you're adding a branding or so we have to look for and they can be retrained in the same place. So you can have repeatable training, that sort of thing.

Heather Bicknell 5:59
Yeah, I remember hearing, I think it was Walmart a few years ago, something around them using VR to train their associates for Black Friday shopping. I wonder if they still use that? Or if that was kind of a one off experiment somewhere. But it seems like there is more opportunity to bring that gamified experience and at least to the the training portion, because a lot of corporate training tends to be on engaging, right, like videos and quizzes that are, you know, kind of old or just kind of rote, you know, don't really fully engage your brain. So you're just trying to get through them instead of maybe developing an actual skill, just even, you know, have more enjoyment in the training experience.

Yeah, yeah. And that's what it's all about engagement. And the development of game has become, you know, drastically quicker to do this. There's some really good engines out there now, is if you look at some of the cloud services like Amazon, the export services that are provided by Amazon, the one from Google, which that one's called, Sony's got their own one, so that so they're generating this platform where you can go create the game and deploy it. Now, obviously, they're directly consumer games. But if you're a company trying to do training, and you can do you know, short games, and we've got some very simple ones, you know, 2d games, as opposed to 3d where you, you're teaching people how to comply before they drive a truck. And there's a quick games there, two, three minute games where they play the game. And part of that game is to recognise when there's a fuel leak and recognise when there's the tire pressure problem or maintenance issues, whatever it is, it's a really good way of, of getting the person engaged to to learn something, but also to stay confident in what they're doing. I'm sorry, I'm going to need to end this.

No worries

Ryan Purvis 8:14
Thank you for listening to today's episode. And the big news, our producer and editor. Thank you, Heather. For your hard work on this episode. Please subscribe to the series and rate us on iTunes or the Google Play Store. Follow us on Twitter at the DW W podcast. The show notes and transcripts will be available on the website www.digitalworkspace.works. Please also visit our website www.digitalworkspace.works and subscribe to our newsletter. And lastly, if you found this episode useful, please share with your friends or colleagues.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai