Success Factors for Games in Business and Project Management

Success Factors for Games in Business and Project Management

Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 35
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3689-5.ch002


This chapter covers a number of key features of games in relation to their design and purpose and looks at previously suggested theoretical models and their criteria for effectiveness. Findings from a game study in which players' emotions have been recorded at three points during play are considered, along with some recorded views of tutors conducting those games. Nine games of the Mixed Reality (MR) genre (denoted G1 – G9), all subjects of previous studies, are then looked into, five from earlier publications and a further four conducted as part of the same postgraduate teaching programme in a U.K. University.
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Learning Objectives

The particular genre of game examined in this book is referred to as Mixed Reality or Team Based Mixed Reality (TBMR) as these games involve a blend of live interactions and social discussion around a constructed virtual scenario. They are increasingly becoming a feature of business and management training, although there is less evidence of their use specifically in Project Management, e.g. in the management of large-scale road or rail infrastructure projects such as High Speed 2 (HS2) in the U.K. or nuclear power stations e.g. Hinckley Point, Somerset, U.K. As will be argued in the final chapter simulation can be modelled on a real project rather than just a mock project, however realistic. If this leads to improved training and a better understanding of delays and cost over-runs and saves just one percent on a budget of, say, one billion, that represents a cost saving of ten million (in any currency) not to mention the effect of receiving income sooner, from earlier completion. Hence it is hoped that some of the discussions and suggestions made in this book may lead to enhanced interest in this area. Serious games often involve technology at some level, though whether any particular resources and methods are essential or beneficial to a game’s effectiveness is debateable and will be discussed later. At this point it may be useful to attempt to answer a number of questions:

  • Are games of this type being developed in accordance with the best design frameworks and educational practices to achieve maximum effect?

  • Is the recent emphasis on the use of advanced technology necessarily leading to the best experience for the participant, or is good educational practice being lost in the process?

  • Are games in education viewed as valuable by tutors or are they seen as trivial or associated with entertainment rather than serious study?

  • Are institutions reluctant to commission new games’ design owing to the perceived cost and effort?

  • Are tutors wary of the effort involved in conducting them?

However the central question to be addressed is: “Are these games effective in achieving the goals for which they are intended i.e. do they improve the participants’ competence in relation to the objectives of the course, whether it is an academic module or an industrial training programme?” A serious game should ideally be based around the content, ethos and objectives of the training course or module in which it is to be conducted. This requires a clear understanding of the goals of the module itself, generally referred to in Higher Education (HE) as Learning Objectives (LOs). The design, development and subsequent assessment trials of the SiBS game (see Chapter 5) was based on an existing undergraduate module called Management of Engineering Technology Innovation (METI). The LOs prescribed for the METI module are set out in Section 8 and presented in four main categories:

  • Knowledge and Understanding (KU).

  • Intellectual Skills (IS).

  • Practical Skills (PS).

  • Transferable/Key Skills (TS).

As described later in this chapter these in turn are divided into a number of coded sub-headings e.g. TS1: Participate effectively in group working activities.

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