Skills training with games and gamification

Skills training with games and gamification

Skills Training With Games And GamificationListen to the story


A research study shows interesting results of how different video game types affect white matter in the brain and cognitive skills. A result that gives new input to skills training with games. The research focussed on the impact of strategy games and action games. The lead researcher of the study, Chandramallika Basak, PhD, Assistant Professor at The Center for Vital Longevity, the University of Texas at Dallas, explains.

“When researchers use video games as a tool for cognitive enhancement, they assume that game performance relies on specific cognitive/brain function, yet there is a little evidence that establishes such a connection. (…) Such oversimplification has serious consequences on research on video game training. I believe that we need to investigate the specific brain-cognition associations for different genres of video games before theorizing about the potential impact of training on a particular genre of video game.”

Skills training with games

This is the conclusion from the result of the research. It shows that there are obvious differences in the outcome of playing games. These are better suited for improving memory tasks and perceptual speed tasks. While action games, on the other hand, stimulated more emotional arousal. This is beneficial for other clinical populations like patients with mood disorders. The study is published in the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience and the subjects of the research were adults with little or no former experience of playing games.

Gamification design

In this spirit, to get the game mechanisms more integrated into the work process you still have to adapt “the game plan” to which skills you want to train. Gamification design is from this perspective more complex than game design. Since former is more based on real-life action while the latter is more based on fiction and storytelling. But both are basically about gaining points, reaching new levels, by successfully managing different kinds of interactions.

Written by
LarsGoran Bostrom©

Author of the book Learning Design in Practice for Everybody and developer of Storyteller for Business and SOE PublishingLab

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