Blog entry by Ken Interactive

Anyone in the world

The first question that comes to mind reading these terms is surely, “Aren’t they the same? At least similar if not same?”

They then need to be distinguished and defined, to appreciate that each has its own strengths and challenges. But first let’s delve into why use games at all, in corporate settings.

What Games offer

Games in general are enjoyed by many, in all age categories. But games that are designed to teach and to learn, the rules there are do not simply regulate winning or about accumulating points and badges. The objective of games in corporate situations for instance could be to provide on the job training or establish a new process or provide mandatory education in a matter of legal compliance. Such objectives need to teach, test, provide feedback and allow for improvement. This article discusses application of serious games (yet another jargon to be defined) to businesses.

Literature abounds in research and validation that using games for training has many advantages:

·         It engages employees. That being limited commodity in contemporary corporate life, where employees complain of boredom and repetition, seek new ways of absorption and retention, it makes logical sense to adapt a technique that is familiar to all, and that is also attention-riveting.

·         People learn without realizing that they learn. Choice of parameters to win in a game are usually tied to real life work situations. Players make decisions, solve problems and handle provide leadership without conscious effort that would be required outside of the game environment. Learning happens while players aspire for that sense of accomplishment that is oh so fulfilling.

·         Because of engagement and motivation to achieve, a natural positive side effect is improved morale and productivity.  This in turn implies a lift in the bottom line. Gamification can also help save costs by educating employees on alternate methods of doing routine jobs such as printing and storage (

·         I think one of the biggest advantages of incorporating games into learning methods, indirect as it may be, is the opportunity to know your users through data analytics. By collecting player statistics and scientifically examining them the ability to identify and improve their performance through constructive feedback will benefit the organization in many intangible ways (more company loyalty, increased eagerness to perform better, clarity in career progression and much more). Such changes in attitude will bring uplift the working environment as a whole.

·         Quantitative studies prove that there is discernable improvements in corporate learning when infused with games. I mention one quote here,  “Consistent with theory, post training self‐efficacy was 20% higher, declarative knowledge was 11% higher, procedural knowledge was 14% higher, and retention was 9% higher for trainees taught with simulation games, relative to a comparison group” This was in a published study by  Sitzmann, T., in 2011, titled “A Meta-Analytic Examination of the Instructional effectiveness of Computer- Based Simulation Games”.

These are but a handful of advantages to utilizing games in businesses. A Google search will bring up a rush of sites especially businesses who are in eLearning using Games.



Studies by M2-Research predict a 25% increase in the utilization of games in enterprises,  2016 and beyond. A 2012 study by Learnovate projects that even though the growth is only steady compared to use of games in K-12 education and certifications training, there is immense potential for growth precisely because of such a pace in the business sector.  

And a more recent study by KPMG and Google predicts that the online education market in India is likely to increase 8 fold, from USD 247 Million in 2016 to USD 1.96 Billion in 2021. (See

All indicators point to a tremendous increase in adoption of games by corporates for Training across various functions. There are already successful examples in Finance training, Business training, Hospitality training, compliance training, skills training, new hire orientation, in HR and recruitment, sales and marketing and on and on. 

Gamification, Games based learning or Simulation training?

How do you choose one over the other?

Let us start with distinguishing them and what their characteristics are.

Gamification is the use of gaming elements such as badges, points and leader boards in non-gaming situations. Such as an inventory control system or a multi-level online course. These are features that can be tagged on to an existing software system. For example there could be a score board in plain view of everyone in office to show points awarded for prompt inventory updates or sales closures or service calls successfully completed, etc. The present software will still be used for the actual data updates but the point awarded are outside these systems and have mostly motivational value. Even awarding ‘Employee of the month’ is technically gamification.

If a game is created and the employees play the game to learn how to update inventory, or learn how to make a sale or how to talk to a customer while attending a service call, that would be called GBL. Most times the game is situated entirely outside of existent business application systems and primarily used for teaching a process or policies or methods.

A simulation is a game that mimics a real world situation. Most popular examples are flight simulations and ambush simulations in army training. In corporate training a computer game can simulate steps to be followed to update inventory, calls the player as if she is a real customer. A prototype if you will. Simulations could be thought of as another form of GBL.

Here’s another example of similar situation applied to Gamification, GBL and simulations. In recording punctuality in attendance the following are how we could peg the three types of Games applications.

Gamification : Award plus points each day to those employees who reach office on time and zero or minus points for those who are late

Game based learning : Employees will play a game in which they plan their morning activities before

heading to office and multiple scenarios will determine if they get to office on

time. On reaching they understand the repercussions of reaching late (missing meetings, warning letter from HR, appraisal rating, pay cut etc.)

Game Simulation: Create an environment imitating the office environment and present scenarios on how their day will pan out depending on when they arrive.


But from the above definitions we can logically deduce that if we want to simply add gaming elements to existing systems but not change anything otherwise, Gamifying such applications would be an obvious choice.

For Training, teaching, orientation, understanding rules, etc., GBL or simulations would be a way the go.

Let’s gamify this blog or is it GBL-ize ? Trivial pursuit <Insert Trivia game with questions about content in this blog>



1) The Use of Serious Games in the Corporate Sector

2) How To Justify The Cost Of Gamification

3) Six reasons to choose serious games for corporate learning

4) Measuring the effectiveness of learning with serious games in corporate training

5) Online Education in India :2021

6) Gamification market to reach $2.8 billion in 2016