Magazine article Workforce Management

It's 'Game On' for Training in Virtual Worlds

Magazine article Workforce Management

It's 'Game On' for Training in Virtual Worlds

Article excerpt


A new book depicts growing corporate support lor using virtual worlds, particularly Second I ile, to deliver certain types or employee training.

In Trainino and Collaboration With Virtual Worlds, authors Alex Heiphetz and Gary Wooclill trace how computer- I simulated 3D games have evolved to embrace specific business functions, including immersive learning, recruitment, orientation and employee collaboration.

Tire maker Michelin Group, along with IBM Corp., advertising firm TMP Worldwide and microchip maker Intel Corp. are among well-known companies whose Second Life learning projects are featured in the hook, which is published by McGraw-Hill's professional division.

Heiphetz and Woodill contend that virtual worlds, once viewed merely as a curiosity, are gaining adherents among businesses. They say the interactive format is especially helpful for teaching complex concepts and procedural or technical training, such as surgery, operating sophisticated equipment and safety-related training.

"There are a whole hunch of areas in which using virtual worlds has showed excellent results and higher return on investment than could he achieved with other approaches," Heiphetz says.

Wooclill says virtual worlds, like any new technology, have undergone a "hype cycle" that caused some companies to have unrealistic expectations. Some abandoned Second Life altogether, hut those that stuck with it realized the need for more targeted uses.

"People often tend to use it to do the exact same thing they do in real Life, and of course that usually doesn't work. What they should be looking at are its unique uses," Woodill says.

The book discusses the seminal work of linden Labs, the San Franciscobased company that created Second Lite in 2003. Other virtual-world software platforms that are featured include I onterra Systems' Olive, the Open Simulator project. …

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