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Below is our recent interview with Stephen Baer, Head of Creative at The Game Agency:
Q: Stephen, can you tell us something more about The Game Agency?
A: The Game Agency is a software development company focused on building game-based solutions that make K-College and corporate training more effective. We help learners connect better with training material and we turn educators into heroes powering them with fun and analytics. Our games are available in >20,000 schools and used by hundreds of companies including Amazon, Comcast, IBM, Kellogg, PayPal, Philips, Siemens, and Wells Fargo.
Q: What makes you stand out from your competition?
A: The Game Agency is made up of 50+ employees with varied skill sets and two things in common. (1) Most of us come from the video game industry. (2) We are united behind the common goal of making K-College and corporate training more fun and effective with game-based solutions.
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Q: You’ve recently won a Gold Brandon Hall Award for the Best Advance in Gaming or Learning Technology; could you tell us something more?
A: In 2007 The Game Agency was founded with the mission of delivering the power of play to Fortune 500 companies. Initially we were a custom services business and over time we expanded our business to offer turnkey products. Today we have two cornerstone products:
The Training Arcade: a game authoring tool that allows anyone to create training and reinforcement games in minutes. It’s easy to use, fun to play, and provides comprehensive user data. It comes with 8 games including the official Jeopardy! game licensed from Jeopardy! Productions and is playable on phones, tablets, and personal computers.
Motivate Cloud: a gamified, social, reward-based learning platform that keeps employees more engaged by letting them earn coins, unlock badges, level up, and climb the leaderboard for completing training and sharing helpful content.
By using The Training Arcade and Motivate Cloud to educate learners (kids and adults alike), schools and companies are meeting their audience where they are and delivering something they already like (games). The result you ask? Active learning, higher engagement, and improved retention.
Q: Can you give us insights into your product?
A: We launched Motivate Cloud in 2012 and today the underlying platform has hundreds of thousands of employees using it with enterprise organizations reporting a 5.5X increase in training completion, 4x more user engagement and a 2.5X increase in non-required activity.
The Training Arcade was born in 2016 and was designed to enhance other training platforms including PowerPoint, the most popular authoring tools, and just about any LMS. In a recent study of >700 games from Training Arcade, they identified a few key stats: 4 minutes – average game session; 2.5x – average number of times people played each game and 64% improvement in knowledge retention.
Q: Does game-based training motivate learners? How?
A: Most people are motivated by games. Some for intrinsic reasons (ex. mastering game play) and some for extrinsic reasons (winning a prize). Either way, games draw learners in and often keep them coming back until they accomplish a goal that they’ve set out for themselves. There are no other forms of training that do this.
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Q: What is the future of game-based training?
A: Given that the workforce is adding more employees from generation X, Y, and Z, mobile and micro games are especially important. Gen Zers are known to have only an 8 second attention span and therefore respond really well to bite-size training and often prefer to digest it on their phones mobile and micro-learning have become the buzzwords of late and appear in conversation with our clients just about every day. Both formats enable employers to meet employees where they are for a length of time that works within their schedules. Mobile and micro-learning are the future of corporate training and capitalize on learners’ ever shrinking attention spans. By offering bite sized and media-rich training games, companies are engaging their employees on a regular basis, resulting in much greater retention.