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Gamification, Serious Games, Simulations, and Immersive Learning Environments in Knowledge Management Initiatives

Guest Editors: Michael Sutton, Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business, Westminster College, USA
                       Allam Ahmed, SPRU – Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex, UK

Introduction to the theme of the issue

Gamification (GAMING), Simulations (SIMs), Serious Games (SGs), Immersive Learning Environments (ILE), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) have all converged to align with highly relevant Knowledge Management Initiatives. Professionals, managers, leaders, supervisors, and knowledge workers are learning to acquire, capture, and steward knowledge and intellectual capital through GAMING, SIMs, SGs, ILEs, VR, and AR knowledge mobilization tools, techniques, and applications.

Within the corporate sector, K-20 education sector, and public sector, initiatives associated with micro-learning, eLearning, personal knowledge management, organizational learning, and knowledge mobilization exhibit a significant business value proposition for increased performance, engagement, and retention. Large and growing populations of Gen, X, Gen Y, Gen Z, and Millennials are more familiar with the pragmatics of playing games than grappling with the theoretical concepts explicit and tacit knowledge.

Many of the positive characteristics of the Millennials can be harnessed through gamification within knowledge-based environments. This edited book will review the emerging trends and cases where GAMING, SIMS, SIMs, SGs, ILEs, VR, and AR are applied to the deployment of knowledge-based initiatives. The impact within KM initiatives will be described in terms of knowledge acquisition, capture and creation, knowledge organization, knowledge stewardship, knowledge storage, knowledge sharing, knowledge mobilization, knowledge diffusion, and knowledge preservation/archiving.

Games provide immediate feedback, which appear to be more effective and efficient than traditional learning strategies, while exhibiting many complementary values to coaching and mentoring—critical knowledge sharing and exchange (KTE) activities.
Virtual reality environments and simulations have been found to be very effective for each step in the knowledge management life-cycle, because of their immersive experiences that make for sticky knowledge and lessons learned. At the same time, card games, board games and 3-dimensional games can present employees and learners with compelling challenges set in realistic environments, where failure is an option for learning. Gamification may be defined as the process of integrating game theory, game elements, and game mechanics in order to engage employees and learners, enhancing their participation, commitment, and performance.

Gamification in business and education is an experience that helps individuals and teams:

• Improve performance,
• Commit and take responsibility for learning, knowledge acquisition, and knowledge acquisitions,
• Achieve and sustain engagement,
• Promote transformational mind-sets, and
• Open the mind to creative thinking and innovation.

Gamification within training and education builds passion, rigour, organization, discipline, resiliency and grit. Simulations, 2-D, 3-D worlds can construct immersive environments for experiential learning. Gamification in the enterprise and higher education are not just the inception of the “funification” of work. Gamification creates a foundation for building the Learning Organization by:
• cultivating leadership, teamship, followship, collaboration, and communityship traits;
• improving soft skills, hard skills, competencies, and individual performance;
• focusing attention upon innovative knowledge work through personal and team reflection that can be described in terms of affect, behavior, and cognition;
• supporting the achievement of the mission, goals, strategies, and objectives.

Just like KM, GAMING in the enterprise must be aligned with the strategic goals and result in clear benefits for the enterprise and its stakeholders. Gamification in higher education must align with the learning goals and outcomes of a course; and clearly demonstrate that learning can be evaluated and achieved through experiential, project-based, competency-based learning strategies. SGs and playful experiences drive organizational change and transformation by generating an attitude of acceptance of the challenge of continuous improvement and innovation from direct participation.

The application of GAMING, SIMS, SIMs, SGs, ILEs, VR, and AR to KM initiatives has the potential of re-invigorate the foundational work performed by the KM thought leaders of the last four decades.

Intended Authors:

Professionals, Consultants, Managers, and Executives can recommend how to interact with Gen X, Gen, Y, Gen Z, and Millennials when deploying Knowledge Management/Knowledge Mobilization initiatives.

Higher education instructors, professionals, academics, and practioners who have built online, eLearning and blended learning environments where KTE have been facilitated by GAMING, SIMS, SIMs, SGs, ILEs, VR, and AR.

Submission guidelines

Submit your abstracts to [email protected] by 30th April 2016. Papers considered for the special issue will be emailed directly by the guest editors and invited to submit their full papers. Full details of deadlines are below:

Abstracts due: 30th April
Full paper submissions: 10th June

If you have any questions about the special issue please contact Michael Sutton ([email protected]) or Allam Ahmed ([email protected]).