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Why L&D Professionals Should Know the History of Learning Games: Part I

The history of learning games seems like a weird or strange thing to know. But learning games have been around for decades helping organizations obtain success in waging war and running businesses.

The elements of well-designed games that lead to serious learning have been leveraged by smart companies throughout the centuries. In Prussia during the 1600’s military officers used games to plan battlefield actions and activities. This even carried on to the Gulf War and even into recent history were games were used to predict how the medical system in the US would survive a wide scale pandemic (spoiler alert: woefully unprepared).

But why does the L&D professional need to know this? They need to understand that learning game elements, ideas and concepts can be readily transitioned into meaningful, purposeful learning experiences. Learning games are an immersive experience which is what we are striving for in L&D. We want the learners to perform at their best and to focus on the process of making decisions and trade-offs.

To help you on your way, here’s a video explaining when the first game was used for learning and why it was so impactful.

This is just the first of many explorations into the history of learning games and why L&D Professionals should know the history of learning games.


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