Skip to content

What is it?

Using traits of games (e.g., rules, goals, effort, rewards, competition, etc.) to immerse learners in engaging and risk-free settings that allow and encourage learning by experimentation. Game-based learning presents learning content in a game format, in contrast with gamification, which applies gaming principles to more traditional learning methods.

Why is it important?

Game-based learning processes are dynamic and personalized. Properly implemented, game-based learning that uses emotions, cooperation, or competition has the potential to engage busy and easily distracted learners.

Why does a business professional need to know this?

The steady growth of the game industry demonstrates that the level of engagement triggered by games is in high demand worldwide. Well-designed games immerse people in an experience where time passes by without notice. In this state, learners are engaged, which improves the efficacy of learning.

Gamification applies gaming principles to traditional learning methods to engage and motivate the learners to learn and retain the learning.

Game-based learning presents learning content in a game format. Learners engage with the learning content while playing a game.

The deep concentration and motivation that game-based learning can provide following benefits:

  • Supports progressive learning
  • Helps personalize the learning experience
  • Helps learners evaluate from various perspectives (sometimes even in an unconscious way)
  • May increase memory capacity by helping trainees remember more and in a deeper way
  • May help improve more complex skills, like decision making, strategic thinking, etc.
  • Promotes teamwork and collaboration
  • Helps improve the ability to cope in a highly competing and demanding environment
  • May help improve hand-eye coordination
  • May reduce stress levels by creating a safe environment for learning about failure

The organization also benefits in the following ways:

  • Cost optimization: digital games can be used anywhere, anytime—​just for fun, too
  • Employer branding: the fun factor positively influences perception
  • Effectiveness: games can make it easier to tie learning goals to the business environment and the company’s organizational goals
  • Efficiency: optimization of costs through personalized delivery


About Marek Hyla

Photo of Marek Hyla

Since 1999, Marek has worked with over 100 companies in learning strategies, learning environment development, and instructional design. As a thought leader he manages the network of people involved in innovative initiatives at Accenture. He is the author/co-author of four books (3 in Polish, 1 in English) on the topics of learning technologies, instructional strategies, and design. He is also the creator of learning and development (L&D) industry solutions:, Learning Battle Cards, and Moments that Matter in Learning.

Term: Game-based Learning



Twitter: @marek_hyla