Sorry, Gameophobes. More Evidence Supporting the Benefits of Experiential Learning.

By Marshall Bergmann - July 31, 2017

It has been over five years since I challenged the audience at TEDx Gramercy to bring games, or experiential learning, into their lives to transform the way they teach and learn and to put an end to the reign of the #Gameophobes. Two years later I posted an update on the topic called the Demise of the Gameophobes, and I just realized it has been almost three years since my last post on the topic!

During this time, a great deal of progress has been made using simulation training and business performance analytics to create innovative and game changing leadership development training programs, but to be honest, nothing had motivated me to post on the topic until last month. Then something extraordinary happened, which I believe may be the beginning of the end for #Gameophobes.

Every year the geekiest part of me looks forward the time when Mary Meeker publishes her famous Internet Trends deck.  For anyone who is interested in our digital future, her annual report is a must read just like Black Mirror is a must watch.

This year, in addition to covering the major trends in digital retail, the cloud, India, China, and healthcare, she dedicated a solid 70 slides (80-150) to a topic called Interactive Games = Motherlode of Tech Product Innovation + Modern Learning.

When a friend sent me the link I thought it was a cruel joke, but as I read through slide after slide of her presentation I got goosebumps. It was finally clear to me that our little band of rebels who have been struggling to transform businesses with games and simulation training had finally made the big time!

While I encourage you all to read her entire presentation, here are a few of my favorite slides and sections (with witty commentary of course).

Slide 81: Can you believe that there are 2.6B gamers in the world today -- Gamers have arrived!

benefits of experiential learning

Slide 83: The people who are in charge of budgets and decision making AND your students have been gamified since birth. Don’t let the door hit you on your way-out Baby boomer #gameophobes.

benefits of experiential learning

Slides 88-102: Gaming can Optimize Learning and Engagement – Experiential Learning Theory has told us this for a while, but it is great to see it hit the mainstream!

benefits of experiential learning

Slide 114: Games are the most engaging form of social media.   Want to see engagement?  Just ask any mom or dad about how hard it is to get their 13-year-old outside on a nice summer day, or go watch a fortune 500 executive competing in a Regis Company business simulation.

benefits of experiential learning

Slides 118-131: Games and gaming tools are already improving human performance in sports. Executive leadership training is the next frontier!

benefits of experiential learning

Slide 148: Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs who are transforming business credit games for their success. Our future selves need to have highly evolved cognitive capabilities, and games help us develop complex thinking skills.

benefits of experiential learning

Slide 149: The clincher is that gamers may be better prepared than non-gamers for the convergence of technology, analytics, games, and simulations, which are transforming how we learn and interact with humans and technology. I always told my mom I wasn’t wasting time playing video games up in my room!  Finally, there is proof.

benefits of experiential learning

As you can see, the entire 70 pages is a motherload of fantastic thinking, research and examples of how games are transforming business, the ways we learn, and how they lead to the best leadership training programs

Thank you, Mary Meeker, for shining a light on the transformational work that people are doing to merge gamification with training simulation software. And, thank you for putting yet another nail in the coffin of the #gameophobes!


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