Training with Gamification

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Lessons from Super Mario: Training with Gamification


You probably remember playing Super Mario at one point in your life.

Or, you’ve at least seen pictures of the red suited chubby little plumber jumping up and down on giant mushrooms.

If you have played the game, it’s likely you’ve have experienced an unsuccessful beginning. According to developers, “the first thing that happens as you play Super Mario Bros is that you die.” The fast paced game quickly kills the main character.

The developers of Mario turned the starting stage into a learning field.

Now, the beginning part of the game carries the task to teach children how to behave, jump and run in video games. Designers made players feel as if they’re undergoing training at the opening stage of Mario. Instead of giving obstacles at the beginning of the challenge, Mario has presented a smoothly expanding set of in-world objects and hazards. The design appears like teaching players through iteration, repetition and escalation. So when you play Mario, you’re actually learning from the first stage how to play the game without noticing it.

Capturing the attention of your expected viewers longer than the usual time they spend on learning something requires a context that is motivating. It needs a learning process that enables them to stick to your context until they discover what needs to be discovered.

The video game, Mario, which is talked about earlier is a good example of letting players learn in the most engaging way. Instead of giving a manual that can be read for hours, the developer desires every player to learn the game at the starting stage.

Hence, they’re dropping them right into a tutorial-like level. A 15-minute game could be enough to let players discover how to play Mario.

Gamification has become a powerful technique used by experts to make a certain context more engaging or attractive to the target audience. With this strategy, users tend to make use of some game mechanics to create a motivating atmosphere.

Gamification involves the use of gaming psychology, storytelling, game design principles, game play scripts, player journey and other aspects related to game.

Training with gamification is becoming popular due to the success earned by those who have applied such a strategy already. It drives an individual’s game-like player behavior to a higher level. At that moment, the person is expected to get more involved in the competition, learning process, awareness, interaction, engagement and addiction.

If you are promoting a context related to health and fitness, civic engagement, education, community participation, work and other areas that are non-game, using the gamification technique is highly useful.

Instead of looking at the ordinary situation, viewers will tend to see the situation in an extraordinary way. It’s like making the situation a game.

Learning from actually playing the game allows players to retain what they have learned. It’s like a “learning on the job” process wherein the knowledge earned gets retained far more than the knowledge gained from reading the manual.

More people are in favor of this particular technique as it keeps them alive and determined while undergoing training or learning something.

Now, how can you incorporate gamificiation into your business training? Imagine allowing your employees to make controlled mistakes and then learning from those mistakes. Imagine separating training into different stages that allow employees to “level up” and reap rewards (along with additional responsibility).

As with Super Mario, the most engaging type of training is when the person being trained doesn’t even realize it.

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