The promise of learning through gaming at work

Katia Dupret*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter discusses the potential of learning through gamification. It does so because a growing body of evidence suggests that games can help us learn, become motivated and engage with complex practices in the workplace through the compression of time, through specific processes of reflection and by mimicking difficult and at times taboo topics from real life (e.g. Deterding S, Dixon D, Khaled R, Nacke L, From game design elements to gamefulness: defining gamification. In: Proceedings of the 15th international academic MindTrek conference: envisioning future media environments, pp 9–15, 2011; Hamari J, Koivisto J, Sarsa H, Does gamification work? – a literature review of empirical studies on gamification. System Sciences (HICSS), 47th Hawaii international conference, pp 3025–3034. https://doi.org/10.1109/HICSS.2014.377; Landers R, J Manag Inquiry 28(2):137–140, 2019; Savignac E, The gamification of work: uses of games in workplaces. Wiley, Incorporated, 2017). Strategically framing play in serious contexts is known as gamification (Deterding S, Dixon D, Khaled R, Nacke L, From game design elements to gamefulness: defining gamification. In: Proceedings of the 15th international academic MindTrek conference: envisioning future media environments, pp 9–15, 2011). As part of an action research project on the future of work, a game has been developed which facilitates learning about how to thrive amidst agile organizing. The real life work dilemmas used in the game seek to awake engagement and reflection among staff which have the potential of mirroring real life experiences (Brown, Experiment: abstract experimentalism. Wakeford N, Lury C (eds) Inventive methods: the happening of the social. Routledge, London, pp 61–75, 2012). This mirroring gives an emotional and cognitive insight into how agile organizing may affect well-being at work. The analysis of the gaming session and the staff member’s experiences with the game focuses on different systemic levels of learning while gaming and what this means in contemporary organizations (e.g. Bateson, 1972, 2000). The contribution of the chapter is that it reveals important points of concern in the use of gamification at work, as it potentially addresses serious dilemmas without having the organizational capacity or willingness to change real life practices and leaves them dealt with only superficially. The chapter also concludes that gaming always has to be followed up by professional facilitation processes, not least to materialize change, and also to help see the politics behind gaming as a process of learning itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent practices in workplace and organizational learning : Revisiting the classics and advancing knowledge
EditorsBente Elkjær, Maja Marie Lotz, Niels Christian Mossfeldt Nickelsen
Number of pages20
PublisherSpringer
Publication date2021
Pages99-118
ISBN (Print)9783030850593
ISBN (Electronic)9783030850609
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

An anthology in the ‘Lifelong Learning Book Series: Rethinking lifelong learning for the 21st century

Keywords

  • Gaming
  • Gamification
  • Co-creation
  • Knowledge work
  • Transformational learning

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