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NogginLabs was founded on the notion that custom e-learning design and development is the ultimate horizontal industry. Time and again, each new project, client, and industry proves it. The biggest advantage of the e-learning horizontal is cross-pollinating ideas from two wildly different domains. A restaurant service simulation for iPad may influence a high-fashion online retail challenge. E-learning for financial advisors in a bank could inspire a mobile outreach program for cancer survivors. This variety also keeps the creative folks at NogginLabs fresh. Fresh learning ideas and designs come from a set of constantly changing constraints.

Video games and the dark side of Millennials


Video games and the dark side of Millennials

Wojtek Batko

Video games. They are my go-to instant entertainment and my primary source for graphic design inspiration. Being a NogginLabs Designer for six years, I’ve seen a wave of new technologies rise and pave a very bright and exciting future for today’s e-learning. I believe video games are such a technology. 

Several of my coworkers share this belief. In fact, many Noggins enjoy a good video game on a regular basis. From Thomas Was Alone to Firewatch, to Life is Strange to my all time favorite—Skyrim (yes, some of us still dress up in Medieval armor before we head to bed), there’s something to be learned from each and every game we play.  Simple gameplay mechanics and rich narratives are interesting ideas to convert into an e-learning course.


But wait!  Video games have been around for decades. Why look to them for insight on how to create more interactive training today? Many of you in the training industry know that today we face a new learning audience: a breed that craves simplicity. They want a quicker and more engaging experiences than ever before and they want it with fewer clicks! Who are they? Well, they’re none other than my generation, the Millennials.  And we want to make a dent on today’s video gaming and e-learning experiences!

Okay, besides Millennials just being completely and utterly awesome, I also think we might just have a dark side too; the dark side of losing interest, and fast! In fact, if I asked anyone around the office about their video game favorites, they’ll most likely derail my question and say how much faster they got bored with the newest and latest title. Is this really unique to Millennials though? Aren't all the generations short on time and loaded with things to accomplish at work?


I too see my game library ever expanding, and some great titles of yester-month are now somewhere tucked in the dark and dusty corners of my SSDs. Video games aren’t getting progressively worse and the developers aren’t getting any less creative. Actually, they’re doing just the opposite. It’s us, the Millennials who aren't shy about saying we crave richer experiences. This holds true for online training as well. Just like all of our colleagues in the older generations, we want an engaging learning experience and we want  to take fewer clicks to get there!  

E-learning has been transforming alongside video game trends and delivering what we Millennials crave. Gamification, rich storytelling, and innovative design are all becoming the norm, and they're bringing narrative and competitive elements to the learning experience. On the horizon there are the new challenges of VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality). These new advances in gaming are bound to influence e-learning design. 

For a custom e-learning Designer like myself, the opportunity to work with these new technologies and consider how they might be implemented into an online training experience is nothing short of exciting, and really, I can’t wait.