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A game makes businesses and people feel free

His hearty laugh is infectious, just like his enthusiastic, almost studenty looks. And you’ll be happy with his product too. Yet the Breda-based company, L.I.B. Businessgames of the 42-year old owner, Gijs van der Linden, is a serious business. With his Live Interhuman Business games he is conquering whole departments and boards of the biggest companies in the Netherlands and beyond. From teambuilding to process optimisation, Gijs will set it in motion. With a game because, as he himself says: ‘A game sets businesses and people loose.’

Blog Gamification

The differences between Serious Gaming and Gamification

By: Gijs van der Linden, L.I.B. Businessgames BV

Gamification and the term ‘Serious Games’ have become common terms when organisations decide to use games for purposes other than pure fun. During conversations we notice more and more that these two terms are getting mixed up.

Serious gaming

When I developed my first game model 15 years ago, Serious Gaming was my starting point, but the term was still uncommon. I preferred to speak about management games to emphasise that the game was more than just a game. For 12 years now, we have been using Serious Games at very divergent organisations. The main goal here is learning, but the ‘fun’ element is always of key importance in our games; After all, the word ‘game’ for me is inextricably linked with fun. That was also my motivation in setting up my company: let people learn in a fun and safe manner by using interactive offline games. You’re allowed to make mistakes (and that is sometimes desirable in order to increase the learning effect), after all everything you’re doing is taking place in a game format.

A pitfall with the term Serious Gaming is in my eyes that Serious Games are often taken too seriously. ‘If only people wouldn’t laugh, we’re playing to learn something, not to have fun’, you hear them say. That of course does depend on the context of the game. We all realise that an anti-terrorism game offers less space for fun than a teambuilding game. But when playing both games, the fun must come to the fore. The game has to challenge and get the best out of the participants.

Gamification

At the moment, the term ‘Gamification’ is being used more and more in the media. Organisations are moving with the times when they use game principles and techniques in a non-playing context. Companies do this to motivate employees and/or have them display certain behaviour. Think about setting up real sales competitions within companies, whereby winners can choose a prize (weekend away etc.). One well-known example of Gamification in everyday live is rewarding good driving by means of a smiley. Your speed 48

Think carefully about the parts of the company where Gamification will and won’t work. A sales team which in itself has a competitive attitude will embrace the idea. A financial department, for example, which often works with strict processes, may well find it ‘childish’.  Then Gamification can easily be counter-productive.

My experience is that many entrepreneurial employees often apply Gamification sub-consciously in their everyday work: Opening doors within companies, pursuing leads, enthusing customers, delivering high-quality products and making customers happy. And the reward? Satisfied customers, and that in turn translates into sales.

Similarities and differences
Learning by playing is indeed the great similarity, only the platform differs. Gamification plays out in a ‘real environment’. It’s mainly all about influencing behaviour by means of rewards. You make people aware of good or bad behaviour. You hope, of course, that they learn from it. With Serious Gaming it’s about learning in the form of playing within a safe learning environment. You’re allowed to make mistakes; you can experiment, whereby the goal is to learn from that so you can apply it in practice.

BNR bij

Business Games on BNR News Radio

Owner Gijs van de Linden at the radio broadcast BNR Zaken doen met… Listen here to the full interview (Dutch).

Bredavandaag

Game company from Breda enjoys international success

LIB Business Games from Breda enjoys international success. After Singapore, Businessgames will now work together with a company in Turkey. Business Games Turkey, also known as Baltas Grubu, developes management games

Source: Bredavandaag

Delhaize1 Delhaize2

Playing for a job

Suitable as a potential supermarket director? First get to know our sector and organisation during our business game, thought Delhaize Belgium. Via this game, the retailer was trying to find good candidates to start a long training programme and give youngsters a realistic picture of the job.

Source: Human Resources Magazine

 Arcadis1 - playing to learn     Arcadis2

Playing to learn

After productive workshops, thought-provoking strategy sessions, informative updates, and inspirational discussions, what do you do on the final day of the IMM with a room full of some of the brightest leaders in the company? Play games, of course.

Source: The Int. Staff Magazine of ARCADI