Using Serious Games for Training and Development of Human Resources

Using Serious Games for Training and Development of Human Resources

Paulo Correia (Instituto Superior Manuel Teixeira Gomes/GAME ISMAT, Portugal) and Paulo Carrasco (Universidade do Algarve, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch363
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Background

Concept of Video Game

Since this article addresses the topic of video games, we will begin by defining the concept of video game. We can define video game as “a set of activities involving one or more players. It has goals, challenges and consequences. Moreover, it has rules and involves some aspects of a competition “(Moita, 2007). Another possible definition is: “a kind of game based on the interaction of the individual (player) with a machine through a controller, either on a console, computer, mobile phones or other technology.” (Oliveira & Pessoa, 2008). Video games emphasize action and interactivity in which the player does not have a purely passive role, since he adopts the role of protagonist of the story, having to act consistently for its unfolding (Salvat & Miranda, 2008).

Video games have undergone a remarkable development over the past decades and the technologies employed, both hardware and software, suffered a tremendous evolution, allowing do things unimaginable 30 years ago. Currently there is an entire generation that grew up with video games and that is well versed in its use. Video games are a real social phenomenon, which cuts across all cultures. So, it is not surprising that its application to areas beyond pure entertainment has been considered.

Certain characteristics of entertainment video games have proven to be of interest to improve management skills. Video games such as Civilization, Sim City, Age of Empires, Starcraft, among others, are already being used in some universities as learning tools, thereby improving students' skills in the areas of resource management, problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, creative thinking and leadership, which are important skills in workplaces in the real world. As a result, many companies are turning their attention to this kind of video games as a tool for the development of management skills, such as IBM, which carried out a study for eight months in conjunction with the company Seriosity about leadership in online games (IBM, 2007).

The strong emphasis of the aforementioned types of video games in management capacities of the player has attracted the attention of education professionals in the field of management and economics, whom are increasingly using them as a teaching tool. Some companies are also beginning to understand a reality in which video games can be an important aid in training and developing skills of their employees.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Serious Games: Games that are developed using video game technologies for a primary purpose other than pure entertainment.

Business Simulation Games: Games which aim to simulate management processes and that are used to train and develop skills in areas such as strategic thinking, financial analysis, market analysis, leadership, teamwork and operations management.

Video Game: A type of game based on the interaction of the player with an electronic machine through the use of a specific human-machine interface. The player has to perform a set of activities in order to achieve de game’s goals.

Human Resources Development: Distinct from HR training in that it relates to a process of long-term learning, focusing on the development of skills that are not directly related to the specific requirements of the current function. These are future-oriented processes which aim to add capabilities to the individual that allow him to articulate his individual career with the strategic objectives of the organization.

Human Resources Training: the organized effort of transforming individual skills aiming to improve collective performance and achieve organizational objectives. The aim is to equip, in the short term, people with new knowledge or skills.

Games-Based Learning: Use of video games as a tool for transmitting knowledge and skills in a learning process.

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