When we think about gaming, we often think of it as something you’d do sneakily while taking a break at your desk, or something that could interfere with your productivity.
With the popularity of a range of online games, such as World of Warcraft (WoW), and the past success of games like The Sims, it’s easy to see how people can get absorbed in a digital gaming interface.
With gaming receiving more attention as a way to engage with people, and to train our brains for better memory and other cognitive skills, has there been a shift in the concept of games and their contribution to the workplace?
Here are just a few of the most popular gaming applications right now:
As any ardent gamer will tell you, getting involved in a game is more than about just keeping yourself entertained, it’s also about being able to build up your own gaming personality, and allowing you to access different skills that you wouldn’t necessarily have the chance to in real life. An applicaiton that really puts the potential of gaming into perspective is an application called Knack, which gets people to play games in order to assess certain skills, and their ability to perform certain roles in the workplace.
Used by individuals and businesses, Knack gives people the opportunity to showcase skills they might not have known how to demonstrate, and by setting up certain game scenarios to test certain skills. With these kinds of gaming tools, human resource departments have the ability to easily pinpoint people with particular skills, which can refine the hiring process considerably, by cutting anyone who doesn’t fit what they’re looking for immediately.
With a range of different games available, Lumosity is an application that helps you to improve different aspects of your cognitive functioning, by getting you to play certain games and assessing your ability. In order to progress, you need to get a certain number of points, so the idea is that you get to a certain level before being able to improve on subsequent skills.
By allowing you to focus on different parts of your cognitive functioning, including memory, attention and speed. By working together with universities and the scientific community, Lumosity is also concerned with making sure that their games are being constantly refined and developed to have the most optimum results, with the added benefit of compiling data that can assist us in understanding our complex human brains.
3. Body Brain Trainer
In a recent article on WIRED, neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley discusses the future of gaming applications in the treatment of cognitive disorders, such as ADHD and depression. With a test application called Body Brain Trainer, Gazzaley aims to prove that these kinds of games not only improve cognitive function and physical fitness, but could eventually replace drugs as a way to treat people suffering from various ailments.
While engaging in a virtual reality space, we can actually use our bodies and our brains to improve various aspects of our functioning, which has huge potential for productivity in the workplace. By being able to physically train both our muscles and our brain using motion capture, Gazzaley and his team are keeping track of all kinds of vitals in order to see how this kind of digital interaction can improve our abilities.
Making Gaming Practical for Productivity
With many different games available, it’s really just a matter of choosing one that works for you, and provides the most benefit to you. With these kinds of developments taking place, it’s likely we’ll see these kinds of applications evolve as their potential is recognised, an exciting thought which reminds us that learning can be fun and productive too!