A new study from the University of Colorado Business School finds workers that train with video games absorb and remember their training better than those that are trained more passively.
The results of the study, which are being teased ahead of upcoming publication in the journal Personnel Psychology, show those trained on video games had 11 percent better grasp of facts, 14 percent more knowledge of job skills, and a 9 percent better rate of information retention than those in comparison groups.
But these benefits were not distributed evenly among all training games. University of Colorado Assistant Professor of Management Traci Sitzmann, who worked on the study, said 16 percent of the games she looked at were "too passive" to be any more effective than other training methods.
Sitzmann also found that training games were most effective when paired with further instruction before and after gameplay, and when employees were "intrinsically motivated" and allowed to come back to the game and master the associated skills.
"Remember the video game is a tool and not a substitute for training," she said in a statement. "But if you can engage your employee with the video game, you will likely get a well-trained worker."
Game-based training and education have been a large part of the growing serious games movement in recent years
, and were the focus
of a London conferenceearlier this year. Employers from Cold Stone Creamery to the U.S. Department of Defense have used games in their training for years as a way to engage and motivate learning.
Sitzmann's study gathered together data from 65 previous studies of training methods, which looked at nearly 6,500 trainees altogether.