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Friday, April 30, 2010

Video Games for Corporate Hiring, Training and Advancement

Thanks to Scott M. Helfrich who tweets as @studentlifeguru for this interesting article about Sun Microsystems, (a wholly owned subsidiary of Oracle) who teamed up with vendor Enspire Learning to develop two online video games as part of its new hire integration process.
Image from Rise of the Shadows

As the article, 6 Outrageous Hiring Practices states:
“Rise of the Shadow Specters” and “Dawn of the Shadow Specters” serve as a fun way to learn about the company structure and history, as opposed to a traditional on-boarding program. One goal of this $100,000 enterprise was to target Gen X and Gen Y employees. “Rise” uses a puzzle format where there are evil “Specters” to destroy and specific goals to achieve. “Dawn,” on the other hand, is a slower, story-based game, lacking the competitive targets of its counterpart.

Another article Corporate training becomes a game to some explains how the game is played.
Sol City is in danger. Its fate rests on the shoulders of Ray, the newest employee at Sun Microsystems Inc. To save the day, he must find a missing scientist while learning company products and policies. Developers created puzzles to move players to the next level and incorporated Sun Microsystem's products and procedures into the games.

Its not just tech companies using video games for employment purposes, UPS, the international freight shipment company, has a one-week training course that isn’t easy. It includes a video game that tests driving abilities, quickness and reliability and even sales skills; and an obstacle course with a “slip and fall” machine. The report notes only 10 percent of 1,629 trainees have passed the course according to an article titled UPS Readies For Pending Retirement Wave

And here is a video explaining how video games foster leadership.

So, if you think video games are remaining relegated to the basement, think again and if your company is NOT using video games for hiring, attracting or growing talent, it is missing out on a huge opportunity and some really innovative talent.

And speaking of Oracle, check out this mini-game type interface, based on Ironman they developed to teach someone about cloud computing, educating customers through games.

Brief description of cloud computing before your "assessment."

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